Sunday, July 31, 2011

Butterick 5618 - The Tank Dress

As you know most of my sewing is work-related.  However, the three quick pieces left on my sewing list are really casual pieces.  I sew alot on the weekends but I still attend family functions and get together with my friends to see a movie, go shopping or have dinner.  I've been wearing the same couple of skirts & RTW maxi dresses all summer so these last three pieces (ruffled skirt, tank dress & tank top) were made to add some additional pieces to my casual wardrobe.

I chose to try the tank dress from Butterick 5618 because if it worked, I thought I could make quite a few of them out of a variety of fabrics for next summer.  Our family has planned a family cruise and of course I'm thinking ahead...its hard not to since I have to hand in a check every month! *smile* 

Anyway, here's garment number 2 - the Butterick 5618 tank dress on a hanger because all of my photographers are out of the house.  I promise to update with some pics on me later.


lightweight linen from Vogue Fabrics
Strips of print from one of the trendy rayons from Fabric Mart

Ltwt. interfacing from Farmhouse Fabrics
cotton/poly bastiste from

Pattern Alterations:
None.  I started with a size 24 and added a center back seam to the tank dress.  That was it.  This is a very simple pattern to sew.  So simple that I didn't even use the pattern instructions.

After I washed and dried the fabric it shrank...quite a bit.  I was already starting with a short piece and this did not help my case at all.  After laying the pattern pieces on top of the fabric, I determined that I was about 3" short.  So even though the front and back pieces are suppose to go on the fold, it just wasn't happening.  The first thing I did was add a 5/8" seam allowance to the center back piece.

The second thing I did was to dig through the fabric collection looking for a piece of white linen to add a band to the bottom of the dress.  But as I was digging, I found this blue/lavender floral print and realized that if I added it to the dress it would give it an entirely different flavor...less plain...more fun and casual like.  So I pulled it to use with the dress.

Another thing, the violet linen was see definitely needed a lining or interlining.  When I originally thought about constructing this dress, I was going to have a free floating lining...only connected to the dress at the neckline and the armholes. 

Once I decided to add the band to the bottom of the dress, it changed my lining thoughts.  I went with underlining the batiste to the fabric pieces and sewing them as one.  I think the underlining deepened the violet color of the fabric too... 

I added the print to the neckline (bias binding) so that it would be in two places on the dress.  The armholes are finished by turning under 1/8", pressing and then stitching flat. 

Finally I like the way it looks with the purchased cardigan and I have a great casual dress for weekends or Casual Fridays at work.  This would have been a quick and simple sew if I hadn't had to improvise because the fabric ended up being a bit shorter after prewashing. 

Now I'm working on the green dress...I'm not sure that I will finish it up today...I don't feel like we shall see. always, more later!


  1. Pretty! I love the addition of the floral print--it gives this tank dress a lot of pizazz!

  2. Carolyn, I'm curious about the armhole fit of this dress. No alterations needed? Whenever I make a sleeveless dress, I get the gaping armhole because of sewing the size to fit my bust and then having an armhole too large.

  3. Love the two fabrics together!

  4. Carolyn, I love your casual look! So cute with that coordinating print.

  5. Love the floral binding. Great idea!

  6. I think I need to see this on. Where are the pictures??? I wonder why I sometimes can't comment on your blog(and others)? Probably a Blogger snafu?

  7. knitmachinequeen, some blogs I have trouble posting comments on. It seems I have to click quite a few times before it will register the comment and give me the word verification to type. Don't know why this is so. But it doesn't happen to me on Carolyn's blog.

  8. Cute and simple and cool summer tank dress!!!! I like the floral trim, it adds just a little something else.

  9. Do you ever sleep? You sew more on a weekend than I manage in several months. Oh wait, you aren't renovating!
    Great work around finding yourself short of fabric.

  10. Love your dress. Your choice of fabric is great! we'd love to post your photo and link to your blog on our Facebook page: Please let me know if we may do so. My email is Thanks, Carolyn


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails