Hi! I’m Cass (@CraftyProfessor on Instagram) and I’m excited to be sharing my first blog post for AK Patterns. In this post I’ll be showing you how I hacked the Sheona dress and top into a slightly cropped tank. Knit tanks are something my closet is actually a little low on, and this turned out to be a great scrap-busting project! I ended up making two samples for this post and it was so quick and easy to make and fun to wear. I hope you’ll give it a try and tag me so I can see your creations!
For reference, the samples that I made are olive tie dye light weight rayon spandex from Cali Fabrics, and rayon spandex waffle knit, also from Cali Fabrics. The waffle knit is heavier and you can see that it turned out longer due to the drape of the fabric.
Based on my measurements, I made size 8. I started with the basic dress bodice used for all versions and cut ½ inch below the waistline notch. I used the peplum for version 4 and I didn’t make any changes to the peplum. The main modifications I made, which I’ll outline below were to the armscye. Because it was intended to have a sleeve, I needed to reshape this part slightly to achieve the look I was going for. As shown below, the red line indicates the changes I made to the size 8 pattern pieces. I made the shoulder strap about an inch narrower at the top of the shoulder and ½ inch lower at the side seam (this may not be necessary for everyone, but I have a personal preference not to have any fabric touching my armpit 😊 ). I then scooped out a bit more than an inch in the middle of the armscye on the front bodice.
I will admit that I am not trained in pattern drafting, so I’m not sure how these proportions will work out for sizes significantly smaller or larger than my own. The important thing to remember is that the front and back shoulder seams need to be the same length and the front and back side seems need to be the same length.
Finally, I removed a bit (about 1 cm) from the pattern at the top of the side seam just under the armpit because again, if there were a sleeve here it wouldn’t need to be tight to the body. But, when we remove the sleeve, we don’t want there to be gaping under the arm.
I first attached my peplums to each of the bodice pieces and then I overlocked all of the seams, first the shoulders and then the side seams. You can use the same neckband piece included in the pattern. To finish the arm holes, I measured the arm hole opening after the shoulder and side seams were completed. I then made and attached a band in the same manner as the neck band that had a length of 90% of the length of the opening I just measured. This percentage can vary a bit depending on how stretchy of a fabric you use, but I typically use 90% for arm bands.
I decided not to hem the edges of my peplum for a fun flowy look! I played around and topstitched around the bands of the pink waffle knit tank but not the olive tank.
I can now tell you that I’m not generally a big fan of peplums because they sometimes feel like they accentuate my stomach or hips, but I’m super happy with these and feel like they are quite flattering. If you want to avoid too much pouf, I think it helps to use a knit with good drape (like rayon spandex). Based on my body type, I try to accentuate my natural waist, so I designed this to have the peplum start lower than the waist (I have very high natural waist, which is why using the waist notch puts the peplum just below my natural waist). This way, the more fitted part of the top still accentuates my natural waist.
I had a lot of fun making this pattern, and I’ll probably make more because it is so wearable (comfy, cute, you know what I mean😊). Give it a try and feel free to send me a message if you have any questions! Thanks for reading!