Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Trying The Double Tier Tank Top Pattern + My Key Layer Sewing Tip

Today I've got a triple whammy - news on a brand new sewing pattern, my experience sewing it and a key tip that'll make layered tops you sew look awesome.

For this month, Jenny at Seamingly Smitten wanted to feature her newly released Double Tier Tank and Crop Top Pattern.  When it came out this weekend I couldn't resist and bought it for myself, then instantly made one.  I liked that it offered lots of variation - single tier tank, double tier tank or even a crop top with an optional high/low hem so there are 8 different combinations.

It gets crazy humid here during the summer, so I wear a lot of tank tops.  Being able to whip up more as needed sounded good and the tiered looks would give more style options.

I literally made this as soon as I bought the pattern - I'd planned to make another top over the weekend, but bumped it because I wanted to give this a go first.  Since I've been a good girl with resisting buying more fabric, I shopped my stash for some fabrics to make my first one.  I settled on an olive green knit for my bottom tier and a floral lace for my top tier.  FYI - I did the straight hem version.

The neckline is exactly where I want it which is key when I make tops for myself.  So often I have to redraw it because I've got narrow shoulders, but this was perfect.

Because I'm small and the bottom knit I had wasn't very drape-y, I took in the sides of the bottom tier quite a bit - about 2 inches each and gave them a bit of curve so it would be more fitted.  If I use a lightweight jersey or a silky with stretch next time, I'll leave the side seams straight.

I did assemble it differently than instructed and thought I'd share how I did mine.  As I was using lace, I didn't want it itching me under the arms or at the neck if it was turned under so I used a technique that's usually for attaching linings to outers.  It worked like a treat with this, so here's the 411 on how you can too.

Instead of stitching the shoulder seams of the front & backs together right away, leave them unattached.

Then layer the tiers so that the wrong side of the bottom tier is facing up and the wrong side of the top tier is facing up on top of it and pin along the arm areas and necklines.

Stitch 'em together (I use a triple stitch so there's a bit of stretch) then trim down & grade the knit.  

I use pinking shears to make this quick & easy.  

Pull it all through so that right side of the top tier is facing out.

Now here's the crazy, but critical bit.  Put a hand between the layers, up through one shoulder piece of the front and reach through and grab the corresponding shoulder of the back and pull it through so the one shoulder is within the other and that first side you reached through is now inside out.

Match up the seams of the raw edges and pin.  You should have what looks like a tube:

Stitch these together all the way around like you would with a cuff.  Trim off the excess and repeat with the other side. Then carefully pull the right sides through the shoulder.  It'll look and seem crazy at first, but it totally works.

Now the top is layered, but all the raw edges of the neck and armholes are contained in-between.  Finish the rest according to the pattern directions.

I'm pretty pleased with my initial version and plan to make some more with some cuter fabrics.  Maybe even be bold and do a crop top, but add a long trim to it.  I think my new system of making myself use fabric I've already got for my first versions and then treating myself to some pretty new fabrics for the next one seems like a good plan.  

If you want to get the Double Tier Tank and Crop Top Pattern for an amazingly low price, hurry over to Seamingly Smitten ASAP.  Through tonight (5/27/15) there's a discount code for 50% your entire purchase.  Just use SAVE50, so you can be like me and snag this pattern for just $3!  

Seamingly Smitten is a paying featured advertiser at Sew Can Do.  I purchased this pattern to try myself.  The opinions are completely my own, based on my honest experiences using & purchasing patterns from this shop.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this. I saw another about a month ago, and keep wondering about making one for myself. My only issue is that I usually see it on smaller-topped women, and I'm not that. I would love to see other (larger!) versions! Thanks for the sewing tips too. I might have to raid my stash too.

    1. Glad to share it and fyi - Seamingly Smitten always posts lots of photos of tester & customer made versions of each pattern on it's Facebook page. That really helps me get an idea of how a pattern looks on real people in all sizes & shapes.

  2. Thanks Amy. I'm looking forward to making another with some "picked for the occasion" fabrics.

  3. Cute top with pretty fabric/color combination. Your sewing tips are very helpful, too!

  4. Oh what a cute top! I love all the variations this pattern offers.

    1. That's what drew me in too - got to have versatility in a pattern!

  5. I love your tank top. It's the kind of comfortable top I like to wear. Casual with a little bit of chic and feminine details.

    1. Same here - definitely a step up from the basic rib knit tanks I used to wear all the time.

  6. I'm exciting to try this, it looks like magic!
    I saw a top in a shop just today that was double layer like this and I was very tempted but it was a little bit pricey. I'm glad I didn't succumb and buy it now, I think I have a perfect excuse to try making my own - I need to try your clever trick!

    1. It kind of is Julie and makes things so much easier & look like it's store bought (minus the hefty price tag!).


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