Just a Wiksten

thegreencateye.com

After the two Wiksten Hack Tanks I made (see here and here), I decided I should at least make one that was more as the pattern intended.  I also wanted to try to fix the fit issues while the changes I made were still fresh in my mind.  I took extra precious time to pick up a few new techniques that I know will serve me well in future sewing projects.  (Please excuse the “whoa!” angle…having my sister hurriedly taking pics while the kids are shouting behind her is not always the best timing.)

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I got this fabric at Hancock off the clearance tables.  I wish you could feel how soft it is!  The weight and drape of the fabric (to me, anyway) is just a step below quilting cotton, but I love the print, which is really rare for the major chain stores around here.

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The few things I changed for my goofy shaped self:

-I shifted the pattern half an inch for the back neckline the same way I did the first Wiksten Hack Tank.

-I shaved a quarter inch off the front and bottom armscye (but still need to remove a bit more from that front part).

-I straightened the shoulder seam line so it didn’t slope quite so steeply.

-I did a baby hem instead of the pattern’s recommended typical, folded up hem–just because I like it better, and it seemed easier for such a curvy hem.  I suck at doing a regular hem on a curvy line.  (This recent rolled hem tutorial by Megan Nielsen came in handy.)

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I mentioned on the first version that the neckline wasn’t laying flat and the bias binding finish was sticking out.  Instead of winging it like I usually do and trying to figure it out myself (which is fun sometimes, but there’s a point where it becomes an “Ashley, you are officially wasting fabric!” kind of thing), I looked to the internet and my book resources to find some clues and answers to how to fix my issues.  And, whaddya know?!  I found answers!  Shocker, right…

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I used this tutorial for how to do the bias finish, and I even double checked the Wiksten pattern directions–there is nothing in the pattern directions about clipping, understitching, or grading the seam allowance of the binding before doing the final press and stitch.  Check out the tutorial before you do a bias finish neckline, because her technique is spot-on.  It was worth the extra time. (It’s still a great pattern, though!!)

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I do see that the neckline still sticks out a little, but I think I now know why (thanks to my handy dandy collection of book resources mentioned above!).

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This book offers oodles of finishing techniques for gobs of fabrics and necklines and seams and insides, etc.  The one that struck me was for bias finishes.  Have you ever heard to stretch-press bias tape before stitching it on?? If you haven’t, don’t feel too dumb, because I’ve looked at and read tons of information that has yet to be used by my brain, and I have never seen this before!

thegreencateye.com

thegreencateye.com

As I was cutting my bias strips for the arm holes and neckline, I even found myself wondering if I was supposed to stretch it all while measuring.  The tutorial I used by Grainline Studio doesn’t mention stretching; just that the length of the bias strip should be an eighth of an inch shorter than the seam line around the neck–plus seam allowance to stitch the bias into a continuous circle before attaching.  The seam allowance isn’t included in her measurement recommendation in the actual post; I found that in the comments.  To save you from confusion like me, you have to add that in!  I followed this guidance without stretching (just in case she factored in weird stuff like that), but when I was stitching the strip to my tank, the bias was longer than my neckline.  If I had stretch-pressed it before cutting, I know this wouldn’t have happened, and chances are that the tiny bit of shrinking back into shape would’ve pulled the neckline into place.  I’m still a little iffy on whether she means to stretch-press before cutting it to measurement (in the book), but I’m going to try it next time.  Needless to say, I learned so very much with this simple top!

I think this will be my last entry into Rae’s Spring Top Sew Along, since it ends on Monday.

Next week, I plan to tackle some yellow shorts for Little Man (by his request!) and some high-waisted shorts for myself.  I also have plans for a new Crescent Skirt, since Skirt Week is approaching!  I’m not sure which will get made first, but expect a little more variety coming up soon!

As always, thanks for looking! 🙂

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2 comments
  1. Lala said:

    I love this top. And stretch pressing is new to me too, I’ll give it a try on my next top. Thanks!

    • Thank you! And I’m happy to pass along the info. The common techniques are so ubiquitous with tutorials and books galore, but gems like this can make great improvements to a finish–I’m looking forward to testing it out. 🙂

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