A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Vienna Tank Test

Last week I tested the new Itch to Stitch pattern, the Vienna Tank (affiliate link).  This was my second Itch to Stitch pattern.  After having sewn the Lisbon Cardigan (which I've now made three times - the last two will be blogged soon), I was excited to try another pattern from this line.  The Vienna looked like the type of top I would gravitate towards in a store, so I was happy to be chosen to test it.

The tank features a woven yoke with a knit bodice which is gathered to the front shoulders and center back.  The front neckline ends in a slit and is closed with a (woven) bias tape tie that also finishes the neckline.  View A includes a cute neck ruffle too. 

Since I was testing, I cut the pattern according to my measurements - a size 12, graded to a 14 at the hip and lengthened about 3/4".  My knit is very drapey, making the top longer.  The length is fine, but if I were to make it in a less drapey fabric I think I'd lengthen by 2".

Cutting my size out of the envelope is not how I usually approach knit tops.  I usually cut according to my high bust (which is 5" smaller than my full bust) and then grade out to my full bust size at the bottom of the armscye.  Sometimes I do a knit FBA (dartless) using this method.  Cutting my usual size didn't work out for me in this instance either - it gaped around the fronts of the armholes until I took it in an inch on each side starting at the bottom of the armscye and tapering to nothing at my ribcage.  The photo above was taken after the alteration and the two photos below are before the alteration.  

I find it a bit too big in the shoulders at the front.  I also need to do a forward shoulder adjustment.  I am not sure whether my usual mods will work in this gathered style, but I might try making another one, cutting a 10 shoulder and doing an FBA. 

The pattern is very nicely drafted - everything matches up the way that it should, and the instructions are clear and thorough.  Almost everything has a clean finish. The only exception is the knit portion of the armholes, which are turned under and stitched.  Since knit doesn't fray, this isn't a big deal, but it is an outlier on what is otherwise a totally neat finish on the inside.

The construction techniques are not difficult, however, the center seam facing on the front needs to be topstitched, and this is not an easy feat on knit fabric (especially in a drapey knit like the rayon jersey I used).  I found Wonder Tape to be indispensible for this step.  This is not the sort of knit top you can construct on your serger - many of the seams need to be sewn with a sewing machine.  

After I applied the Wonder Tape, I had no problems topstitching the front.  The little pulls you see in the previous photo evened out in the wash.

I'm still not sure this is the most flattering top on me, however, it looks universally fantastic on the testers with smaller busts.  I especially like the versions made in a woven fabric with the neck ruffle - the pattern isn't drafted for wovens, but it works nicely for people with smaller busts than mine - up to a C, it seems.  For me, I think maybe I need a little less ease in the lower bust area to get some definition there - as it is, it just kind of waterfalls off the top, making my bust look smaller and the rest of me look bigger.

This top is made of a vaguely splotchy rayon jersey and a rayon twill woven upcycled from an old dress.

I do have a fabric combination picked out for another one, but I need to make a few more bottoms for myself before my current selfish sewing spree comes to an end!



  1. I actually love your colour combo! Maybe if you give the side seams some shaping, it may be more pleasing to your eye? I am going to try that to reduce the fullness of this pattern on my next make.

    1. I think you are right; and I am going to try that! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with, too.

  2. I love the front center seam - glad the wonder tape worked! I think Abbey's idea about the side seam shaping would make a world of difference on this top for a larger bust. But I think this looks great on you!

  3. See, I really love this on you and I think the shoulder/above bust gathers are suuuuuper flattering on a larger bust, because they provide soft shaping. I also like the ties, but I am really into neckline details for my own life because they look good under a blazer or cardigan (I know I'm a broken record, but there it is). I don't know if it's your style, but I would also tuck this into a skirt (and put a cardigan on top), to make it a blousey style.

  4. It is beautiful! I like the fit and the colors especially!


Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!