A Fun Print for Summer Sewing

… and how I exaggerated it’s flared shape, and other minor details. Summer is for wearing fun, conversational prints, like this bicycle motif on soft knit fabric. And, I don’t even own a bike.

Feel free to room-rate me…..

The flared shape: this pattern is called Anne’s Cardigan (who’s Anne?) and includes a tank pattern from the Sewing Workshop and is such a classic that they still sell it on their website.  

Image from the Sewing Workshop website. The Sewing Workshop’s Ann’s Cardigan and Tank

I used the tank top pattern to make my knit top; it’s drafted with a flare on the sides, but I decided I wanted 3 more inches in length and a more pronounced flare on the sides.  This graphic below should explain how I made it a more pronounced flare, but feel free to ask questions, or chime in with your own idea. Line drawings from the The Sewing Workshop website but I added the red and blue markings. Many thanks in advance to Linda Lee and The Sewing Workshop.

Making things more complicated: we seamstresses have more good/bad ideas in our heads than we know what to do with.  This tank is designed with no extraneous details, with the raw edges left as is at the neck, armholes and hem; a very fast sew with two shoulder seams, two side seams, throw it on and go out the door.  Until you remember that most knits curl up when left without a sewn hem. I’d love to get my hands on a non-curling knit.  For this bike print jersey, it was a good idea to finish every edge: foldover elastic at the neckline and armholes and a sewn hem.  

Adding another twist, a double layer of the same knit fabric would give it a good substantial drape and not be clingy.

I’ve lifted the upper layer so you can see. I see that my phone went into portrait mode and blurred the background. Also, the under layer print is upside down. It had to be that way, and won’t show anyway

It’s easy when you make two layers separately, and finish their armhole and neck edges together and let the rest of the layers float free.  However, my decision to sew their side seams together complicated it somewhat — since there is a side slit!  The slits had to be hemmed separately and that is no mean feat when they are joined at the side seam. Here’s how I did that. It’s fiddly but doable.  

After sewing the sides of both layers together and stopping at the slit point, serge the vertical slit edges (or not) – four on each side – remember you are now separating the layers. Press each slit hem. 

Make a horizontal cut in the seam allowance where the side seam ends and the slits begin; cut only in the upper (public side) layer of fabric. Adjust so that the inside layer is under the snip and over the front layer (when seen from the wrong side of garment). 

Add a folded triangle to cover the slit point
From the right side. The added triangle keeps the side slits from coming undone with movement and wear.

Now, I added a folded triangle to hide the cut, which also helps to keep the sides seam form splitting further.  Or, you can just run a few horizontal stitches from the right side, catching the raw end of the snipped area. If this is not clear, please ask in comments.

I love how it turned out, and did I say I love the bicycle print? Fabric source: Islander Sewing Systems . I’m not certain they still have this fabric, but feel free to take a look. They have a live Facebook event every Tuesday which is extremely informative; even though I am not able to join each time, I recommend it. (No business affiliation with Islander Sewing Systems) .\

That’s all, folks! Be safe and keep each other safe and healthy. See you in the next post.


8 thoughts on “A Fun Print for Summer Sewing

  1. This is so lovely. I, too, prefer to finish off edges. I’m working on finishing up a few tops and will use your suggestion of foldover elastic.


  2. Very cute, Samina. Love your details and thank you for the tutorial on the vent! Going to see if there is any more bicycle fabric @ Islander Systems…


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