Alice Top and Willow Tank


This month’s Project Sew It theme was tops. I decided I wanted my main project to be the Alice top from Tessuti patterns. I’ve had the pattern and the fabric for close to two years now, I think. I’m so glad I finally got this sewn!

I’ve seen so many pretty versions of this top and have been wanting to make it for a long time. I sort of dragged my feet because I’d read on other blogs that it runs large and I never seemed to have enough muslin when I would get the urge to sew it. I finally rounded up a bunch of fabric scraps, though, and made it happen.

My measurements put me in a size small through the bust and then I graded out to a medium at the hips. I found that the pattern was true to size, but maybe people were saying it runs large because the size chart is than other indie sewing companies? I am almost always a medium in other patterns so I was surprised that my measurements put me in a small, but it fits very well.

I had to do a petite adjustment to the yoke and sleeves. I have found that Tessuti patterns run long on me from shoulder to underarm/bust. I took out 3/4″ from the height of the yoke and sleeves ( just cut a straight line through the middle and overlapped the pattern pieces. I also shortened the top by two inches since it runs pretty long. There is a lot of volume at the hem and I didn’t want to look like I was drowning in the tank. My last modification was to do a forward shoulder adjustment. I adjusted the yoke pieces and the sleeve pieces.

I was a little bit surprised at the construction of this top. The yoke and the sleeves are lined but there isn’t any clever finishing to hide the seams. I serged my seams to finish them and that is all visible in the interior. Usually, linings hide all of the seams but in this case, they do not. I’m guessing there is a way to neaten the interior but it might involve some hand sewing or stitching in the ditch.

This pink linen fabric actually came from Tessuti. A while back I won a contest they ran on Instagram. I got a $100 gift card and with it I was able to get this linen and a length of merino jersey, which is still in my stash. Their fabrics are so lovely and I was a bit scared to cut into this. (Still scared of the merino!) My top turned out great, though, and I’m excited to wear it this summer!

The other top I made is the Willow Tank from Grainline Studio. I have had this pattern and fabric for close to a year now, I think. I knew this would be a quick sew but also wanted to make a muslin since I usually have to adjust the bust dart placement on my Grainline patterns.

I ended up tracing my pattern and doing a tissue fit instead of making a muslin. I raised the bust darts by 1/4″ but in the end, I think I need to raise them a little bit more. I did french seams on this tank and I’m pretty sure I sewed one of the shoulders with a different seam allowance than the other one. One of my darts is higher than the other and I think that is what caused it. It’s a little bit annoying but unpicking the neckline and arm binding to fix it would be more annoying.

I made my usual Grainline size 10 through the bust graded out to between a 12 and 14. The widest part of my hip puts me in a 14 at the hips but since this hits at the high hip I didn’t grade out as far. As I was sewing I tried on the tank to test the fit and it felt a little loose through the bust. I sewed the side seams with a 5/8″ seam allowance instead of a 1/2″ SA. Turns out this was a mistake because it feels slightly tight and I’m getting a little pulling through the upper bust. So I’ve got a few things to change for my next one, but I know I will wear this a lot anyway!

I love the fit of this tank. I really like the somewhat boxy shape, the high hip length, and the deep 2″ hem. My favorite woven tank is the Gemma tank from Made By Rae. It’s got a really different shape than the Willow andย  I definitely think there is room in my wardrobe for both patterns. (Of course, there is! There is room in my wardrobe for a gazillion woven tank patterns! I also love the Trevi tank and hopefully this summer I will finally get to the Ella tank.) I think the Willow would be really cute cropped a little bit and paired with my fleet of Everyday skirts. I need to make a basic white one as soon as possible!

This fabric is a chambray from Andover fabrics. It is much different than the Kaufman chambrays that I usually buy. I was drawn to the print on this but was pretty disappointed when I received it. It is stiff and feels more like quilting cotton than a typical chambray. In the end, I think it works really well for this tank and I the blue stripes will be great with jeans and my navy shorts.

I love that both the Willow and the Alice also come with dress versions, too. Have you tried any of the variations of these patterns?







6 thoughts on “Alice Top and Willow Tank

  1. I just finished a willow tank last week! Im fairly new to sewing for myself and I cut into some good fabric right away and my first attempt (size 8) was too big, and the bust darts were too low. I learned my lesson and made a muslin for a smaller size (4) and it fit, but was snug. I tried the size 6 and moved up the bust darts 1″ and it’s perfect! For a tank that looks so easy I was surprised how much work was involved but I love how it turned out and now I want to make a ton more! But now I know to always make a muslin… always!!!
    IG: Michellerams


    1. I am one of those people that almost always makes a muslin, I just hate the thought of wasting my good fabric on something that doesn’t fit. I’m glad you figured out what size to make in the Willow! Now you’ll be able to make them a lot faster!


  2. Love both your woven tops! They look perfect for what will undoubtedly be a hot summer just ahead of us ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been busy with sleeveless tops – my new favourite is the Endless Summer Tunic. LOVE this pattern I have to say ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve made 2 already – one in silk and the second in linen and I keep thinking about making more but I’m resisting since I already have so many in my cue waiting like the Kalle by Closet Case Files ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I have to double check, but I think I have that Endless Summer tunic pattern. It might have been available through a class on Creativebug and I’m pretty sure I downloaded it last Summer and then never got to making it. I should add that one to my sewing list for the summer. It is really such a pretty top! I also really want to get to the Kalle shirt/tunic soon. It looks like a great pattern!


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