Friday, 4 March 2016

SEWN: THE BOTANICAL TANK

There's not actually much to say about this tank. But there is a story to tell about how it came about.


First, the tank. You'll recognise the fabric and I'm so very happy I had just enough to eek out this top! It's another Grainline Studio Tiny Pocket Tank (sans pocket). I started with my small bust adjusted pattern from last time and made a few changes.


I raised the neckline by a further inch (my first version was raised by 2 inches) to bring it up a grand total of 3 inches!!! I know I'm not a huge fan of deep scoops (personally I don't find them altogether flattering for a small bony chest), but man that original neckline would be around my belly button. I'm so happy with where it sits now.


I also lowered the bust dart point a little when I noticed that my last adjustment left those darts points a little high. I think I should probably have moved the dart point back a teensy bit too, but meh, there is always next time.

Front armscye gaping
As an aside I found out the hard way that raising the neckline considerably also has the effect of making the upper bust area smaller. The ease, and the capacity for those straps to sit comfortably across the upper chest/shoulder, is partly due to the lack of fabric between them in a lower cut neckline. Raising the neckline 2 inches kept things fitting beautifully - raising it another inch has left that upper bust snug and the front armscye strains out away from the body. It's actually not obvious all the time, but grrrrrr. I'll have to sort out a fix for the next one. I do like this basic tank.


But why this top? Why now? Well a couple of weeks ago my closet rail literally, completely, collapsed. Let's be clear, I didn't have a ridiculously large amount of clothes and I know that rail was flimsy and about 35 years old (dodgy old wardrobe), but I felt like the universe was sending me a pretty clear message. I was being ninja'd - it was a ninja KonMari intervention!! Decluttering may not always be the most fun thing to do, but this collapse presented the perfect motivation.

I went nuts. Completely, decluttering nuts. I took a leaf out of Rachel's book. Rachel recently decluttered and estimates she got rid of about two thirds of her wardrobe using some pretty simple but incredibly effective criteria such as...
  • Was the piece worn in the most recent season?
  • Is there something just not quite right: the colour, fit, fabric, length?
Pretty simple, right? It all comes down to joy in some ways - does this item spark joy (a cornerstone of the KonMari method)? I was ruthless. I really did have a whole heap of RTW clothes in particular that never quite fit, were not the right fabric/colour, would not suit my current or future career and everyday life. There were even a few me-made items that did not make the cut. And I really was ok with that. Every last piece (unless it was actually worn out) was donated to a local charity shop. So it will hopefully go to a new home where it will be happily worn and spark joy in the new owner.

How incredibly liberating. I really paid attention in my decluttering and those decisions now inform my every clothing decision.

Like: I don't really like wearing knits. Which is totally weird as I happily wear a knit cotton (uniform) t-shirt to work everyday with lycra on the bottom half. In context that stuff is ok, but I would not wear it in my non-work life (Except when I'm training. Dammit this is really not going in my favour!).

I like wovens, plain and simple. I typically feel most comfortable in tops with a loose, swingy silhouette. For separates I like prints mixed with denim. My wardrobe was now comparatively bare of tops and I had to toss my ancient denim shorts as they were both ill-fitting and horribly worn out.

Hence, I made a woven, printed tank and I'm wearing it with a newly purchased pair of denim shorts.


Yep, RTW shorts. I have a love/hate relationships with shorts - they never fit me. And life is too short to undertake a me-made pair with all the inherent fitting woes for something I consider slouchy clothes. I bought this well-fitting pair with no regrets. They also cost a ridiculous amount of money. But I don't care because rather than several pairs of ill-fitting cheaper shorts making a home in my wardrobe that are grudgingly worn, I have this one perfect pair. Win! And one pair is all I need.


To wear with numerous lovely, me-made, swingy, woven summer tops.

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