You guys know how much I love my basics. Basics make up about 99.9% of my wardrobe. But sometimes they can feel a little flat. A little mwa-mwa.
So when the Indiesew girls asked if I wanted to take part in their Great Tank Bonanza I had to veer myself away from going for my usual simple basics approach. Instead I leaned hard into… ruffles.
I know, who am I?
But hear me out.
I thought ruffles might be the perfect antidote to my flat wardrobe. They’re trendy. Super easy to sew. And there’s heaps of ruffle-y patterns around. Plus I ‘cheated’ a little and used gathers – ruffles’ more sedate cousin. A bit less trendy maybe, but a little easier to wear I reckon.
I really liked the simplicity of the Ruby tank. It’s really casual, with a high yoke and gathers at front and back. I was really excited to make this as it looks like the kind of simple style I generally go for.
It’s ideal for lightweight fabrics, like viscose or double gauze. I made this up in a cotton blend. It’s not as drapey as I would like, but I think it holds its shape well.
I cut a size 6 based on the finished measurements and the fit is exactly what I was expecting. I also did a sway back adjustment following this really helpful tutorial. Generally, I don’t make adjustments, but sway-back is so easy and (I think) makes a real difference to how clothes sit.
I really liked Rae’s instructions for making the Ruby. She has some really helpful tips for working with gathers – like to sew with the gathers on top to make sure the gathers don’t get too bunched up. Which was genius.
I’ve been wearing this a lot with these Hudson-Emerson trousers. But I’m still working on the volume of this and how to integrate it better with the other things in my closet. I think it will work better with more structured skirts and shorts.
The View Ridge pattern has lots of options, including a gathered peplum style ruffle. I went for the cropped, high-low hem which looked really interesting. It’s more constructed and structural than the Ruby tank, and almost a statement piece in its own way.
I made it up in a lightweight cotton-type shirting, but I think it would look equally great in something less drapey, like linen.
I followed Kimberly’s instructions for doing a sneaky FBA, which involved using different sized pieces base on upper and full busy measurements – using a size 0 for the back and shoulder pieces, and a size 6 for the rest.
It worked well enough, but the lines down the centre front (from the shoulder to the hem) don’t quite run straight – they flare out after the front yoke. It’s not a total deal breaker, but it does bother me. I’ve seen that Kimberly’s versions all look similar, so it’s not just me. Still, I might be tempted to play around with the sizes next time to help the lines run a bit straighter.
I’ve been wearing this with more high waisted skirts and shorts, but the high-low hem really helps me feel covered, even after eating all the cheese and frites in France (in case you were wondering – this sadly isn’t my backyard). It’s definitely a subtle statement piece and I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve enjoyed wearing it.
The instructions were great – full of lots of detail and tips. Definitely perfect for beginners or sewing nerds like me that always like to learn more.
I’m really tempted to make this again in linen, adding another 1 – 2″ to the front hem so that I can wear it to work. I know I’ll lose that sweet high-low hem, but I think it would work really well as a work top.
In the end
So all, in all, this was a really interesting foray out of my comfort zone. It helps that the two patterns were really simple and came with really excellent instructions.
I’ve surprised myself with how much I like wearing the more statement-y View Ridge which makes me think it might be worth a few more forays out of my comfort zone.
Truth be told, I’m a bit lost at sea in this land of non-basics, so do shout if you have any pattern suggestions or any tips on how you’ve broken out of your comfort zone.
I only ever share products and people I think you’ll like as much as I do (because sharing is caring). The pattern for this was kindly provided by Indiesew (they’re nice like that). All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.