(Hi Everyone, I’m back after I originally posted this with an edit. I had stated that the Gemma tank calls for 1″ bias tape, but Rae pointed out to me that the pattern actually calls for 1.25″ bias tape. I am pretty sure that my mistake came down to the fact that I can’t read. Ugh! I updated the post below with the correct information and I am super embarrassed that I gave the wrong details previously! Thanks for being so nice about my mistake, Rae!!)
Soooo, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know that I love the patterns from Made by Rae. I was thrilled when she started teasing her newest woven tank pattern, Gemma. I had really high hopes for the pattern since her designs fit me really well and I’ve been on the hunt for my perfect woven tank. I have the Wiksten tank pattern and I made it once about 3 or 4 years ago. It never fit me right– mostly because I didn’t grade out enough in the hips. I did some fitting work on it last Summer and ended up making 4 muslins. (What?!) I ran out of steam and never got an actual tank made. At this point I can’t remember if I was happy with where I ended up, but I think it’s a moot point now because Gemma turned out to be really great for me.
I was a tester for this pattern and the version I tested had wider shoulder straps than the final version of the pattern. There is about a half inch difference at the shoulder seam between the tester version and the final version that tapers to almost nothing at the underarm. I did a muslin of the final version and found that I had some gaping at the back neck and the back shoulders, which I was able to dart out. I decided that I wanted a little more coverage on the straps to hide some front underarm chub I have so in the end I split the difference between the two versions and went 1/4″ more than the final pattern.
My first tank is made from some lovely Nani Iro double gauze that has been in my stash since last Summer. I only bought 1.5 yards of it so no stripes were matched in the making of this tank. For this version I added 1/4″ seam allowance past where I wanted the finished tank to hit my shoulders since I knew that I wanted to turn the binding all the way to the inside of the tank. The pattern has a visible binding at the neck and shoulders but I didn’t want to distract from this fabric so I opted for invisible binding.
This tank is a size M graded to a L at the hips. I did a 5/8″ forward shoulder adjustment. I am so happy with the fit and I love wearing this fabric. It got some silver metallic dots on it that aren’t really visible in these photos. This is my first garment made from Nani Iro double gauze and I feel like I’m wearing a piece of art.
My second Gemma tank was made with this fun checkered fabric from Cotton + Steel. I love the citron green color and I really love that the fabric is yarn dyed instead of having the pattern printed on the fabric.
For this tank I went with the visible bindings. I love how the checkers look cut on the bias! I opted to sew my bindings differently from the pattern instructions again. This time I attached them to the inside of the garment and folded them over the seam allowance to the outside of the tank. (The pattern instructions have you sew them to the outside and fold them to the inside of the garment.) Then I edge stitched to secure the bindings. Since the edge is on the outside of the garment you can see it and you don’t run the risk of not catching it while topstitching. (I posted this picture of my process on instagram, which might make it a little more clear.)
I cut the front piece of this tank a little smaller at the hips than the first one. I cut between the lines for the size M and size L since the fabric is a bit more stiff than the double gauze. I’ve still got plenty of ease at the hips so I think I may cut it this way for any future versions of this top.
Also, I am wearing a new pair of Parkside shorts. (See my previous post for my fit modifications.) I made them from this cotton rayon twill chambray in black, which is actually more of a dark gray. It’s a really nice light weight– perfect for this shorts pattern. It’s not very evident from these photos but I did the split hem modification from Sew Caroline’s blog. I love how it turned out, but next time I want to do this modification I will probably add 1/4″ or so seam allowance to the outer leg seam. It was tough to keep the fabric folded in half nicely where the pockets are also in the seam allowance. I think a little extra seam allowance would make it a lot easier.
I love the tank and these shorts together, it’s the perfect outfit for the hot weather we’ve been having. The Gemma pattern has two neckline options and so far I’ve only made the higher, jewel neckline. I like the lower neckline, too, and I think my next version will be solid white with the lower neckline. I think that would be so useful in my wardrobe! I also got the Willow tank/dress pattern this past weekend so I’m looking forward to making that and seeing how the two patterns differ.