Monday, November 19, 2012

My First Garment: Wiksten Tank Dress

Making my own clothes has been something that I have wanted to do for years and years. More than once, I bought a pattern and fabric only to abandon the project in frustration or despair. Time passed, and eventually examples of the Tova shirt and Wiksten tank began popping up all over the blogosphere. As I read over and over how easy the pattern was to make and how happy people were with the results, I began to think that I just might be able to make one myself, previous failures notwithstanding.

During the Pacific Northwest Modern Quilt Guild Meet-Up, I received in-person encouragement from Kelli of Drygoods Design. That day, she wore a Wiksten tank that she had recently finished. Paired with a cardigan sweater, it was both cute and professional. Kelli kindly answered my questions about her experience sewing up the tank, and confirmed that quilting cotton was a perfectly acceptable fabric for the tank. Shortly thereafter, I bought the downloadable Wiksten tank pattern and several yards of fabric from a line called Andaluc√≠a. (I'm a sucker for fabric named after foreign locales, especially those I have visited.) I stalled after printing out the pattern though, as I had neither the time nor the inclination to tape together so many sheets of paper and then cut out the pattern. The project languished in a corner until, on a whim, I packed it in my suitcase for Sewing Summit. I wanted to take advantage of the open sewing times, but didn't want to take any of my existing WIPs or something that required a lot of fabric. Packing this project turned out to be an inspired choice.

The Wiksten tank is indeed quite simple, but it took three evenings for this novice to complete the tank dress. It would have taken even longer if not for the moral and practical support of my mom. Along the way, I made a few tweaks to the pattern. I omitted the decorative pocket, make the neckline trim out of contrasting fabric, and used double-fold binding for the armholes (the single-fold option was too fiddly for my tastes). Let me tell you, I am thrilled with the results! In fact, I am sorely tempted to make half a dozen more, and spend this fall and winter exclusively in tank dresses, scarves, sweaters and leggings. Stay tuned for more of this pattern, as I’m planning to go stash diving for another tank dress soon.

 Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at crazy mom quilts.


  1. This turned out SO cute! I love it!

  2. What a fun post about an awesome accomplishment! So glad I could help just a little in helping you reach your goal. It's SO cute on you!! Here's to more garment sewing for you in the future!

  3. It looks amazing!! I told your mom, i'm totally inspired to try some clothing now!

  4. Thank you for your post! I used to sew all the time for my girls when they were little - now they are 21 and I have not sewn garments in forever! This would be a great look for them. I am going to go check out the pattern. Congratulations on making your goal

  5. Lookin' good!!! I need to learn how to sew more than just a straight line :P