It is HOT HOT HOT down here in ole’ Tejas (LA friends I’m snarling at you!) And what better to sew up in the summer than some quick tanks. I’ve been making a lot of quick-and-easy tanks lately (this is the first I’m posting – more to come!) These projects are perfect for summer because a) Did I mention its hot? b) They are super easy & quick sews, I know a lot of us sew less in summer time because we are doing all sorts of fun things outside.. you can finish a tank in a couple hours! c) It’s versatile. I’m all about sewing separates lately because they will work a lot harder in my wardrobe!
This particular pattern is called the Polly Top and it’s FREE from By Hand London. These ladies make some absolutely adorable dress patterns (I have my eye on Georgia), and I’ve already got a copy of the Holly Jumpsuit. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you definitely should! And what better way to try out a new pattern company than by downloading their free pdf. You can do SO MUCH with this pattern! Personally, I have a great dress hack on my brain.
The Polly Top features a simple tank shape with some unique piecing in the front bodice, which leaves room for lots of color/print blocking experimentation. The curved inset piece can be a little tricky, but it’s super doable and great practice for new sewers. Front and back both have a simple scooped neckline, with a scooped hem on bottom as well. I love a curved hem, I think it echoes a bit of menswear chic don’t you?
My only critique of this pattern is in the placement of the shoulder line. Perhaps I just have narrow shoulders (probably true) but I feel the straps fall too wide and threaten to slip off. I understand the concept from a design perspective, as it adds to the boxy-ness of the top. However when I’m wearing it, it feels a little strange. I will definitely adjust this next time around.
This pattern is great to use up small bits of fabric that aren’t quite big enough for a full garment. I squeezed mine out of two small scraps I snagged from an internship that contrast very well together. I’m unsure of the exact content but they both have a linen-y feel. They both seem to be yarn-dyed prints. The red has some interesting white striping and the black and white polka dot is reminiscent of an ikat print.
I only made a few changes to the pattern, the first was my usual lowering of the armhole by about 1″. I did this in the patterning stage before I cut my fabric. After the tops complete I decided to shorten the hem by about 3″ as it was quite long on me. Not sure if I like the length.. I might end up cropping it at some point. This particular shape is hard to tell what length is best. I probably could have just hemmed like 1″ and been fine, but I tend to be a little quick with the scissors.
The finishes are pretty straight-forward. Inside neck and armholes are bias-finished. Them is a 1/4″ double turned hem. Side seams and front bodice seams are all serged. I’m proud to say this garment looks as great on the inside as it does on the outside.
Pattern: By Hand London Polly Top
Fabric: Red & White Stripe and Black & White polka dot – linen? Both from stash.
Adjustments: Lowered Armhole 1″, Shortened Hem 3″
Finishes: Bias bound neck and armhole, serged seams, turned hem
Time: Approx 2 hours?
Sew it again? Absolutely! Polly dress hack here I come!