Tenacity Tee & Tank Sew-Along
By Katelynn from Sewing from Scratch on YouTube
Hey! I’m so glad you’re here for today’s tutorial. We’re going to be making up the new Tenacity Tank. This is a looser fitting knit top with some really fun colour blocking, and options for a curved hem and front button placket.
I’m going to be making the straight-hem, tank version with the raw edge overlaps, side vents, raw neckline (scoop neck on front & back) and sleeveless arm bands. And, I’m only 5’2”, so I downloaded the short version. I did film the whole process, too, so if you’re more of a visual learner, like me, head on over to our YouTube channel and check that out!
Did you know we offer projector files for cutting? I’m using one here to prep my fabric. I chose this fun, custom tie-dye cotton lycra from Shear Perfection Fabric, and I cut a straight size 16.
The pieces I’m using are the front & back bodices, a mirrored pair of colour block pieces, 2 arm bands & the neckband piece for the scoop neck front & back.
Attach the Color Blocking
The next step is to attach the colour blocking. You can do this by placing pieces right sides together with the front bodice and sewing as normal at a ⅜” seam allowance, OR you can do something a bit different and overlap the pieces by ¾” and topstitching down. I chose the latter! I find it useful to mark in the SA first, so I have a guide to line up to.
Then use pins, stick glue, or wash away tape to keep things in place while you stitch it down. I used my coverstitch, but a zig-zag would look really fun, too.
Constructing the Bodice
Now that we have a full front bodice piece, we can attach it to the back bodice, right sides together, at the shoulder seams. If you’re doing sleeves, you’ll attach those before sewing up the side seams, but since I’m not, I’m going to sew the sides up now, too.
If you’re sewing the side vents, be sure to stop at the notch provided. The instructions say to do this on a regular sewing machine, but I thought I’d experiment with my serger.
I started at the underarm and serged down and right off the fabric at the notch. Then I folded back the SA of each side of the vent and pressed with my iron. Next I added a bar tack to the top of the vent to hide the edge of the serging and give a bit of extra support. Lastly, I topstitched around the vent with my coverstitch. It turned out pretty good, but I would have to agree that a regular sewing machine would be easier.
I don’t like hemming last, so we’re going to do that now. Fold up the bottom ¾”, press & topstitch down.
Now we can tackle the arm bands. Grab one piece and stitch it to itself along the short edges to form a loop. Fold in half the long way (like a hotdog bun) to align the two long edges. Quarter the band by finding the center, then aligning the center and the seam to find the quarters. Repeat this process with the armhole opening and then, with the top inside out, slip the band inside (so the pieces are RST) and align all 3 raw edges. Match those quarter points and stitch together. Repeat on the other armhole.
Raw Edge Neckband
Now for the raw edge neckband. Take your neckband piece and slice it in half along the length to give you two long, skinny pieces. Sew each one into a loop, the same way we did with the armbands, using a sewing machine so the tails don’t show in the end. Quarter them, as well as the bodice neck opening. Now we’re going to attach them to the neckline by making a bit of a sandwich with the bodice in the center.
Take one neckband piece and slip it into the shirt (right side out, now), so that the right side of the neckband is touching the wrong side of the bodice. Clip in place matching, quarter points. Take the second neckband and align it on the right side of the bodice, RST. It can help to add extra clips here to keep all 3 layers of fabric together.
The final step is to topstitch that neckband. I used my coverstitch and made sure I was encasing the seam allowance. Now, ENJOY!