Vienna Tank Tutorial

Got an Itch to Stitch? Then this pattern may just be for you! Itch to Stitch pattern company has designed a great summer tank perfect for hot weather. My attention was brought to this pattern because of the extra ruffle around the collar and the tie strings at the neck. The front seam adds interest too, away from the blaazay blaazay tank world that everyone has. Here is a sneak peak:

Itch to Stitch Vienna Tank

Sew here we go! I went on-line to Itch to Stitch and perused their catalog of great patterns and decided on the Vienna Tank. Their patterns are very reasonably priced, PDF downloads, with tons of tips and tricks on their website, a blog and more! Sew…. I go to the download after purchase and along with the pattern comes the most comprehensive detailed instruction BOOKLET that shows you step by step how to assemble this top. I cannot tell you how impressed I am with this company. Their sizing chart was also spot on for me. They explain everything from step to step starting with the description which tells you that you can use either knit or woven fabric for the bodice but to use woven fabric for the yoke. They also recommend if you have larger than a B cup, it’s better to use knit to give you that extra give and flow.

I chose to go with a woven cotton batiste throughout the entire garment. Looking back, I probably would have had a better fit with a knit, but I wanted a super cool summer top I could wear in 100 degree temps. I purchased 2 yards for this venture. I printed out the PDF on my printer and went to work taping it all together. There were only 13 pages so not too bad. For pattern adjustments I lengthen the top by 1 1/2 inches. My belly likes the coverage. Itch to Stitch uses a 1cm (3/8″) seam allowance which is not printed on the pattern pieces, but they do tell you in the directions.

The first step is to sew stay stitch the yoke neckline and then sew the yoke pieces together at the sides armhole area.

Next caught me a little strange until you get further into the garment construction, but you now finish off the armholes on both the front and back BUT you leave the last 2″ unfinished. OK. If you say so.

Now I basted two rows of gathering stitches on the upper edge of the front pieces and a set of basting/gathering stitches in between the dots on the back piece. YOU REALLY NEED TO PAY ATTENTION to the directions here. They tell you which yoke piece is the INNER YOKE and this is super important! You need to sandwich your front piece in between the yoke pieces at the shoulder ensuring that the WRONG SIDE of the front is against the INNER yoke. Cinch up the gathers to fit the shoulders ensuring you get that front piece up against the yoke armhole seam. Sew it in place. Do the other shoulder the same way.

Now roll those front pieces up and tuck them into the inside of the yoke to get them out of the way and grab your back piece. Sandwich the back piece in between the yokes ensuring the WRONG SIDE of the back is against the INNER yoke. Cinch the gathers to the back fits perfectly in the yoke. It will look similar to how you just did the front pieces. Don’t forget to get the back piece right up against the yoke armhole seam. Now clip your corners, trim and grade your seams and turn it right side out. Looking good! Go ahead and baste the yoke neckline together.

Sew your side seams and finish them how you like. Me personally, I did French seams on my sides. To sew a French seam, put wrong sides together and sew a scan 1/8″ seam from hem to armhole. Turn inside out and press that seam. Sew again a 1/4″ seam from hem to armhole and Waaalaaa! no raggedy seam allowances can be found! It’s magic. See below:

Go ahead and finish those armholes nice and neat.

Finish armholes. Also gaze at that beautiful French seam.

Now lets get to the neck band and tie. Sew the two pieces together at one end and at the other end, just press over the seam allowance.

Now fold it like bias tape (the directions will show you step by step) and press.

Bias tape?

Grab your neck ruffle piece and sew it together at one end. Press that seam open and then fold it in half with right sides together and sew each of the ends. Turn right side out and press. Sew two rows of basting/gathering stitches and then set it aside for now.

Basting/gathering stitches

Let’s finish the front of the shirt before we move on. You should have two marks showing the center of the shirt. It’s about 1 1/2 inch in from the edge. With WRONG sides together, start at the top of the collar edge to the DOT, sew a basting stitch. From the DOT to the hem sew a regular stitch all the way down. Now take an iron and press the seam allowance over both edges. Pin in place as seen below and sew it down close to the edges.

Now lets grab our ruffle again, and pin it in place on the WRONG side of the collar edge, cinching the gathers to fit. Baste it down.

Now this one threw me for a loop for a second or two. Grab your tie strip and open it up. Place it over the ruffle so the first fold is along the edge of the ruffle, and sew it in place down the center fold. Again, their instructions and pictures are fairly good, but since this was a new technique to me it made my mind hurt. Once you have sewn it down the center, trim your seam to get rid of the bulk, but don’t trim too close to the ends because you will be sewing them together. You’ll understand once you get moving on this one. Now turn it over and pin in place and sew close to the edge to secure it. See below:

GOSH OH MY ! It worked! Who would have thought that! Now hem your top and wear it in style!

Since we have come to closure on this I will say, Itch to Stitch designed this top to be knit fabric on the bodice and woven contrast on the yoke, ties and ruffle. I can see how using a knit in the bodice would give a much nicer lay to the top, however I used a woven throughout. I’m OK with the Batiste I chose, but it does not drape as nice as a silky woven or knit would have. My loss. So give your fabric desires good thought before you choose. Here are the final pics for your viewing.

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