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Apparently, I’m into the “make do and mend” movement (is that a thing?). First it was the visibly mended jeans. Buoyed by that success, I decided to tackle a project a bit more ambitious, at least for me.
Enter this tank top. I love this top, it is loose and flowy and generally camouflages the belly area. I love the front, but have never loved that back, because it was made of a knit material, which was clingy on all the wrong parts of my body. And it didn’t wear well–after a few months of use, it developed a bunch of holes, and it stretched out in a weird way, as you can see in the photo.
I had this grand idea of cutting the back off of it and replacing it with a fun rayon print. Art Gallery Fabrics is known for gorgeous rayon prints, and I quickly settled on Fusions Abloom.
I have done a bit of garment sewing before, but not for years. I basically was winging this entire project.
Of course, I did a bit of online research about sewing with rayon. I quickly learned that I needed to prewash rayon–or it can shrink and distort your garment. Not being a prewasher, I was a little bummed about that, but it seemed worth the trouble.
Meanwhile, I cut the back off of my tank top.
Then I got a large sheet of freezer paper to make a pattern. I folded the top in half lengthwise and traced the existing tank top back with a tracing wheel. Using a pencil, I traced that perforated line with a pencil, and then traced a second line 1/2 inch bigger than the traced line. This created my seam allowance.
After ironing the rayon fabric, I folded it in half and pinned my pattern in place and cut it out.
At this point, I needed to teach myself how to do a rolled hem. Again, I googled a few methods, but after seeing many people using a rolled hem foot, I decided to dig through the feet that came with my Juki TL-2200QVP Mini. It turns out that it came with that foot! Happy day!
More googling and watching videos, and I learned how to use the foot. I did a good bit of practicing on scrap fabric before tackling the tank top. Rayon is a tough fabric to learn how to do a rolled hem with, but I pushed on and created rolled hems on the back of the neck and arm holes.
Then I sewed up the sides with french seams (so that the rayon wouldn’t fray).
And finally created the rolled hem along the bottom.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve worn this top already. The rayon is so much more flattering than the knit back and I just love the addition of the colorful back panel! Here in California we still have plenty of summer left, and I’m so happy about “making do and mending” another piece of my wardrobe.
Pin it for later!