The Great Tank Bonanza // Willow Tanks

Hi! The Great Tank Bonanza is going on over at Indiesew this week and I’m excited to be part of the blog tour. Every year Allie spends a week celebrating sleeveless tops (and offering a discount on the patterns that include a sleeveless view!) I sewed up two new Grainline Studio Willow tanks for the occasion.

I have made the Willow tank twice before and it’s quickly become a tried and true pattern for me. I love the relaxed, slight a-line fit of this tank and the deep hem allowance is a great detail. What is it about a 2″ hem that seems extra luxurious?!

The Willow is a pretty quick sew for an experienced sewist and a great pattern for a someone who might be new to garment sewing. It has bust darts for shaping and uses bias bindings to finish the neckline and armscyes. I love that tanks don’t usually require complex fitting and they can be made with a small amount of fabric. The only changes I’ve made to this pattern are a forward shoulder adjustment and raising the bust dart.

Speaking of not needing a lot of fabric, this Willow tank was made from a small piece of fabric I had left over from a failed project. The fabric is a brushed, herringbone rayon that I got from Indiesew. It’s gorgeous fabric and I was really gutted when some bad fitting decisions resulted in my first project being unwearable. Of course, between the time that I ordered the fabric and sewed my disaster, the fabric sold out so I couldn’t order more.

Thankfully, with some pattern piece tetris and adding a yoke to the back piece, I was able to squeeze a Willow tank from my leftovers. I didn’t have enough length for that fabulous, deep hem so I created a hem facing and used contrasting fabric for that and my bias bindings.

I used a double layer for the yoke and my favorite burrito method to enclose the shoulder seams. The insides are nice and clean and I think that my changes to the pattern look totally intentional, instead of being born of necessity since I was short on fabric.


I am suuuuuper happy that I was able to make something wearable from this fabric. The fabric has a lot of drape and it resulted in loose, flowy tank that I love. I am a sucker for stripes and this navy and white stripe is so perfect! It looks great with my white shorts and will be one of my go-to outfits this Summer.

My second Willow tank was also an exercise in making a pattern work with limited fabric. This silk dupioni used to be a slim fitting dress. It was the dress that I wore to our rehearsal dinner 9 years ago. I don’t think I ever wore the dress again because I didn’t love the fit. I did, however, love the fabric and thank goodness I held on to it for all those years.

The skirt portion of the dress had just enough fabric to fit a cropped Willow tank. The skirt had a center back seam, which I used as a design detail in the center back of the tank. The skirt was lined and I ended up cutting bias strips from the lining fabric to use to finish the neckline and armscyes. I expected it to be tricky to use a slippery fabric for bias tape but it worked out really well.

I cropped this tank 2″ thinking it would look cute with my high waisted, black pleated skirt. I think it needs to be a little shorter to work with that skirt, but I like how it looks with my Lander shorts. I have fabric to make some black Flint trousers and some slim black pants– I bet this tank would look great with both of those when I get them made.

This fabric is more structured than the rayon and it was fun to see how the pattern works in two totally different fabrics. The fit of this one is a little closer through the bust and it stands away from my body at the hem. I feel like a fancy lady wearing a silk tank! I could definitely get used to this…

If you’re interested in the Willow tank (or any of the other tank patterns available on Indiesew) you can use the code GREATTANK between now and June 17 at 10pm MST for 20% off.


p.s. This post was sponsored by Indiesew. All opinions are my own.


6 thoughts on “The Great Tank Bonanza // Willow Tanks

  1. I like both of these, but especially love the silk one! You look pretty fancy, so you should feel pretty fancy. I’m glad you were able to find a “save” for both of these fabrics. I am drawn to this pattern because it is a nice sleeveless tank without spaghetti straps and a low neckline. I may just have to get this one, although I admit I don’t enjoy wearing sleeveless tops too often. Good saves, Teri!


    1. Thanks, Becky! I used to not love wearing tanks much since my upper arm area isn’t my favorite. I do like them a lot for layering with cardigans when it’s cool. Eventually I just decided to forget about my arms and just wear tanks since they are good for our hot, humid Summer weather, too. I love the shoulder coverage on this pattern and the high neckline. I haven’t tried the dress view yet but I may give it a try this Summer.


  2. Blue. Silk. Willow! Lovely.
    I see it with some drapy black Winslows. Long with that length top. (Please don’t shorten it.) Or a maxi skirt. Or… I’d live in it! No sir, no more grocery store or erands for me…


    1. Thank you, Carolyn! I have been curious about sewing with silk but it always seemed a little scary. This fabric isn’t slippery so it was really easy to sew. Maybe one day I’ll get brave enough to try some silk crepe for something with more drape!


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