KTFO-2016.9 : Hemp-silk muscle tank (with bonus mending)

FO : Hemp-silk muscle tee

Back in March when Jen Beeman was in Nashville and we taught the Stowe Bag class at Craft South, I organized a little Saturday night sewing party with Anna Maria and a few of our mutual friends. I’d had plans to have something picked out and cut out ahead of time so I could just drink and chat and sew, but it didn’t work out that way. So instead I brought a piece of fabric I had little attachment to and a lot of, and an idea for a simple sleeveless top. When we all got there, I set about cutting out that top as quickly as possible, with Jen and Alexia both weighing in on my so-called pattern drafting as I did it. Somehow, even with adult supervision, I managed to draw the front neckline on both the front and back pieces of my pattern. At which point Lauren yelled out, “Just make it a V in the back!” which seemed like an excellent and time-saving solution. Having hurried through the drafting and cutting, I managed to nearly finish this in the few hours we were hanging out — all that was left at the end of the night was the hem and fixing the bias at the V where I’d botched it by paying more attention to the general hilarity than to what I was doing. So it’s been hanging around for about 10 weeks waiting for me to have 30 minutes to finish it, which I finally did on Monday night.

I also took a few minutes that evening to mend my all-time favorite pants, which developed a sizable rip in the crotch about a year ago. I’m all for visible mending, but am not in the habit of calling attention to my crotchular area, so I just used some sewing thread in a camouflage-y color and did a bit of random stitching to fill and bolster the blown-out fabric. And I’m so happy!! How did I live a year of my life without these?!

As full of mishaps and memories as the top is, I love it. When I cut it out, I was debating whether I wanted to split the hem and whether I wanted the back longer, so I just cut it really long and decided I’d figure it out when I went to hem it. But once I put it on, I decided I really like it just the way it is! I can always shorten it later if I want.

The fabric is a hemp-silk blend I bought for $7/yard at one of Elizabeth Suzann’s remnant sales. I think I have four or five yards of it, so plenty left to make a dress, or a skirt to go with this top. For the neck and armholes, I used some linen bias that I had cut once upon a time, thinking a pile of black linen bias tape might be a handy thing to have on hand, so that was a big time-saver. Thanks, me!

Pattern: self-drafted*
Fabric: Unknown hemp-silk remnant
Cost: no pattern + $7 fabric = $7

FO : Hemp-silk muscle tee

*Fancy Tiger has a muscle tank pattern publishing very, very soon with which you could no doubt sew a facsimile of this

47 thoughts on “KTFO-2016.9 : Hemp-silk muscle tank (with bonus mending)

  1. Your blog is the first thing I do on my morning break, as well! I love those pants! Where did you get them, and are they still available?

  2. me too, your blog is the first thing I read in the morning! this top is so cute!! I would love to know more about mending crotchular areas bc my pants always blow out there (due to biking) and I’m wondering if I need a patch or just some thread

    • If the fabric is completely worn out I’d recommend putting a patch of another fabric behind it (a knit fabric scrap or a piece of an old T-shirt is good because it’s soft, not too bulky, and doesn’t unravel). Then stitch away through both layers, by hand or machine. You want the stitching to catch all the loose threads from the ripped fabric of course, and also extend past any parts next to the rip that are also very worn, otherwise you’re likely to get a new tear right next to your new stitching! If possible, extend the patch behind and the stitching into solid fabric on either side. I hope that helps!

      • Brilliant! Why do I always think fabric types have to match? All your reasons for backing with knit make so much sense. Thanks for the light bulb.

  3. Love the top – and love that its a hemp-silk blend. That sounds wonderful! Must feel great (as well as look great) on.

  4. Me four! I always read your blog before all others. It is my #1 favorite! Love this top and mended pants.

  5. I must be Me Five! Sitting here with my morning coffee, loving the read and the inspiration.

  6. gorgeous top! how do i find out about elizabeth suzann remnant sales!?! (i have recently discovered your blog and have been enjoying your skills and style!)

  7. Karen the top turned out great, love it! I’ve been wondering- where you are with your handwoven fabric. Any plans for it?

  8. What a cute tank! I’m about to do some hopefully invisible mending in the same area on a pair of jeans.

  9. It’s 5:30 am and I’m sitting in bed with a cup of coffee in one hand and iPad in the other laughing at all the comments about first thing in the morning, because I too have to have my morning Fringe fix before I start to get ready for work. I love how you can just basically hack away at a piece of fabric and end up with a perfect finished piece. I appreciate the time you dedicate to your website, seems like as people (crafters and their business) become more popular the website is the first thing that they let go only posting once in awhile and it was the very thing that drew us in and captured us as readers and fans. So thank you for continuing to feed our creative cravings and inspiring us to move forward, step out of the comfort zone and just go for it, the end result can be just perfect,

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