Sewing Challenge of The Week

CHOW: Tank Top with Knit & Lace Fabric

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Hello!  I’m excited about last week’s CHOW as this was a fun and easy tutorial. I’m definitely learning to be patient and follow instructions carefully. I must say, at times I find the tiny details stressful as they require a lot of patience and I find myself tensing up as I sew. However, I realize that I have to relax since this is not my job, but rather a hobby and what I’m working on is for myself and no one else. Ultimately, I am the only one who can criticize my work and learn from my mistakes.

This week we focused on another YouTube video tutorial by Comicat Creations: How to Sew a Tank Top w/Knit + Lace – Cute & Easy Sewing Tutorial DIY . The tutorial was easy to follow and the project was easy enough for a beginner like me. This is a project I will go to when i have “spare” time or whenever I feel like making something fast and it is easy to sew. I’ve been working a lot with knits lately so this project helped me practice and become familiar with the different types of knits.  Working with the lace stretchy fabric used for the back side of the tank top was a bit challenging as it is light and delicate. Pinning the stretchy lace fabric for the collar and arm holes was especially challenging for me because I had to fold the fabric over twice and stitch but at times I feel my fingers are too big to manage the fabric (LOL). Pinning is key when working on the collar and arm holes as it gives an even finish. In spite of the difficulty with the lace fabric, I was happy with the end product. I’m not sure how well the lace fabric will hold up as I will have to wash it by hand to avoid any tearing. It took me about 3 hours to complete the first tank top, which fit a bit too tight for me to wear and feel comfortably (I usually wear tank tops underneath a short sleeve shirt), but that is because the lace fabric used in the back doesn’t stretch as much as the fabric used for the front. I was surprised at how easy it was to sew the tank top and had some time to make another tank top.

For the second tank top I used a knit fabric and a different looser shirt as a template. I made sure to make this tank top a bit bigger not only for a good fit but to allow me more fabric to fold over twice for the arm holes and collar. Adding a bit of extra fabric to the shirt was great but in the end it was a bit too loose – I was thinking of the Goldilocks and the 3 bears. Maybe the third shirt would fit just right (LOL). I actually like wearing looser shirts such as the one I made so I was satisfied with the end project as I could wear it around the house, to bed or even out on a casual date (My husband and I went to have lunch in South Park at The Station – that’s a good spot to eat). It was perfect for the San Diego heat wave we are experiencing now, but I did wear a tank top underneath since the arm holes were rather big so a lot of skin would have been revealed (for my taste).

I usually dislike the cutting process but this was straight forward and easy. I used a tank top I already owned as a template and added about an inch for seam allowance and fit. I sewed using a ballpoint needle for lightweight knits and used a zig zag stitch. After sewing the shoulder seams and side seams, I tried it on and it fit so I moved on to trimming the seams I had just sewn. After, I moved on to folding over the fabric twice of the collar and I took my time and made sure to pin pin pin!! It was especially difficult where the lace and knit meet because I didn’t want the fabric to bunch up or appear uneven. I did a good job except on one side where I didn’t fold over very well so it is a bit uneven.








Left strap a bit uneven












Here are a few tips that helped me when sewing the collar and arm hole:

  1. Take your time
  2. Sew slowly and even use your hand wheel to sew so you have more control
  3. Take a few deep breaths and step away if you need to ( I was literally sweating at some point
  4. Practice sewing with cheaper material you won’t mind messing up. You can go to your closet for garments you don’t use and cut them or even go to the thrift store and find larger size t-shirts/knit garments you can use to practice.

I highly suggest this tutorial and you can modify it and make it your own just like I did for my second tank top. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and don’t be too harsh on yourself. Enjoy and don’t worry about what people think. A year ago I didn’t think I could ever do something like this and I can’t wait to see what I’ll be working on a year from now. Take care and have fun!


Soaking up the sun at Mount Helix, trying to look cute.

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