Welcome to Part 1 of the Vienna Tank Top Sew-Along. This post will cover all the prep work.
The Vienna Tank Top is a summer top and designed for lightweight fabrics. Yoke and necktie are made with woven fabric. Here you can use all lightweight fabrics like batiste, linen, shirting, lawn, chambray, challis or crepe. Sheer fabric is not recommended as you would see the seams within the yoke. The bodice is made with lightweight knit fabric like single jersey. If you use knit fabric that is too thick or very stable you might get problems with the gathers. For view A the facing in the center front is turned outside so that the wrong side of the fabric shows. You should choose your fabric accordingly.
You can also make the complete top with woven (recommended only for C cups or smaller) or with knit fabric. In both cases you have to give a bit consideration to fabric and choice of size. If you think about using woven fabric for the bodice too, be aware that a big part of the ease at bust level is in the back. I would recommend to measure front and back of the pattern pieces separately (don’t forget that the seam allowances are already included) and compare these measurement with your body measurements. If you choose a knit fabric for the yoke make sure it is stable enough to hold the complete top.
I have chosen an organic cotton batiste and organic single jersey for view A. For view B I chose a silk crepe.
Itch-to-Stitch patterns are available as pdfs only, so you have to print and tape. But the pdfs have different layers, so you can print the sizes you need only. This makes the pattern more clear.
Choosing your size
Before we print the pattern let’s have a look at the sizing. The pattern comes in the sizes 00 – 20. Do not choose the size you are wearing in RTW, but look at the body measurements table:
I measure 83, 70 and 94 cm. This puts me in size 0 for the bust, size 2 for the waist and size 4 for the hips. As I am very small busted, I choose size 2 for the bust. Else the top would be too tight for me in the shoulders. Depending on the pattern I have to make a small bust alteration (SBA). I can skip this step for the Vienna top, however, as this is rather loose fitting. To check if you have chosen the right size let’s have a look at the table for the finished garment measurements:
This table shows the measuremnts of the finished top for bust, waist and high hip. The top ends at the high hip, therefore this measurment is given instead of a hip measurement. This table gives you an idea about the ease which is included in the pattern. For my chosen size there are 10 cm of ease at bust level and 24 cm at waist level.
For Itch-to-Stitch patterns you can rely on these measurments. And once you found the correct size, you can use this for the other Itch-to-Stitch patterns as well.
Printing and Taping
Now that you found your size, you can print just this size. Click on the layers icon on the left side in the pdf and choose the size(s) you want to print:
At first all sizes are ticked. Uncheck all sizes you don’t need. In my case I want to print size 2 and 4. Also very helpful is that in the section “Printing instructions” you will always find the information which pages to print if you want to print the pattern pieces only and not the instructions as well. This saves you from counting the pages by yourself. In our case these are the pages 18 – 30.
When printing make sure that you choose “Actual size” or scale to 100% in the print dialog box. There is a small test square on the first page to check if the scaling is correct. You should print this page first and measure the test square before printing all other pages.
I always lay out all the pages in the right order on the floor to get an overview. For this rather small pattern I just have enough space on the floor. For bigger patterns I have to lay out the pages in several stages.
All pages contains a watermark number to help you get the pages in the right order. Also, the outermost edges are marked by a thicker border so you know when to start a new line. I never tape all pages together at once. This would result in an unwieldily big piece. In fact, I roughly cut one pattern piece and tape this together. Here I started with the yoke pice which is on pages 9, 10 and 13.
There are diffenrent methods for taping. For me the best method is to cut along one edge and tape it to the next page with adhesive tape. You can also just fold the edge under (this is much faster) but I found that it gets quite thick especially when you have several intersections. Instead of adhesive tape you can also use glue.
This is how I work my way through until all pattern pieces are taped together. By now I find this work rather meditative and you familiarize yourself with each piece.
Before I cut out the pieces exactly I make the alterations from which I already know that I will need them. In my case this is adding a bit of length and blending between size 2 and 4 between waist and hem. I start with adding length. The pattern includes lengthen/shorten lines. I cut the front piece along this line.
I tape the lower front piece onto a piece of paper. I want to lengthen the top by 3 cm. Therefore I draw a parallel line with 3cm distance on the paper. I also extend the center front so that I have a precise point where I can align the upper front piece. Please dont’t be confused that I used the German version of the pattern for the pictures. In the English version it reads “Lengthen/Shorten” instead of “Verlängern/Kürzen”.
I align the upper front along the lines and tape it to the paper. Then I adjust the side seam and at the same time blend from size 2 to size 4:
The back is altered the same way. To be sure that the side seams are identical I use the front piece as a template. The other pattern pieces are not affected by my changes.
For view A we need all pattern pieces, for view B we need pieces 1-3 and 5.
Cutting the Fabric
Before I cut into my fabric, I always throw it into the washing machine first. I also wash the silk in the washing machine in a delicate circle with special detergent. This way you avoid bad surprises. Most natural fibers shrink in the wash, but also other fabric may change through the washing. The golden rule is: Pretreat your fabric the same way as you want to care for the finished garment. And don’t forget ironing.
Seam allowances of 1 cm (3/8″) and hem allowance of 2 cm (3/4″) are already included in the pattern. When you are happy with these allowancecs, you are ready to cut your fabric. If you rather like to sew with 1.5 cm (5/8″) allowances you have to add 0.5 cm (2/8″).
I like to cut my fabric wth a rotary cutter. I use big washer from the hardware store to weigh down the pattern.
To mark the center and other notches I clip into the fabric.
Notches within the pattern I mark with tailor’s tacks. First I pin through the pattern piece while it is still laying on the fabric. Then I pin from below the paper to where the first pin is. Remove the pattern piece and mark the place where the pin is with basting thread.
For view B the facing in the center front is turned to the inside. If you use a patterned fabric you should try to match the pattern across the seam. This is quite easy to do. Cut out one front piece and mark the center front with a basting thread. Fold the fabric along this thread line and search on your remaining fabric for a location where the pattern matches.
If you look closely you can see the basting thread along the fold in the picture above. Pin along the fold and place the center front of pattern piece along this line. You have now the perfect location for the second front piece.
Now everything is cut out and marked. Next time we start with sewing.
If something is not clear or should be explained in more detail please let me know in the comments or send me an email to sewingdreams(at)web(dot)de.