Last week, I felt like a celebrity. One of my blog posts was featured on a really nice website that I follow (without my prompting the blog owner to please-please-pretty-please feature me) and I was selected as a tester for a new pattern from an indie designer called 5 Out Of Four patterns. My husband pretended to be my paparazzi and took all of these pictures of me. They came out great!
I’m new to sewing and the sewing world, but I am immersing myself in ALL THINGS SEWING so that I can meet my personal goal for the year. I began “following” all sorts of sewing pages on FB. The pages that I follow were recommended to me by fellow sewists (yes, that’s a legit thing… errrr… person… errr… group of people) as being great for beginners. That’s how I found 5OO4 Patterns.
Jessica, the designer, put out an all call for people willing to test her newest pattern. I jumped at the chance. I, honestly, didn’t think that I would be chosen since I’ve only been sewing for about a month but I applied and sent her some pictures of my creations and I was so elated when I got the response that I’d been chosen! Seriously. I felt like a cool kid being picked first for the Dodge Ball team. If you know me, you know that I’m not the person who is chosen first in sports. Haha! Mostly because I’m not really good at sports (event though I’m quite competitive).
Anyway, back to the pattern. This is a valuable pattern. It’s a tank top AND a sports bra! I made three tank tops and one sports bra. One tank top is more sporty (I made two that were exactly the same except that they were different sizes) and the other tank top is one that can really be dressed up. These tops were pretty easy and quick to sew. Which is saying a lot since I’m a slow sewist.
And I learned some things:
- I may need to complete full bust adjustments on my tops to get them to fit the way the designer intended. I did my first ever FBA (using this method) on this tank top and bra. It was a lot to wrap my brain around but I did it! The tank itself is very forgiving so depending on how you like your shirts to fit, you may not need an FBA. For the bra, I also did an FBA. I’m an M cup (…yeah… 30 M to be exact). A very irregular size. Thanks to breastfeeding and just generally being busty but also having a pretty narrow under bust, my bras are always super expensive. Like around $100 each.
- The tank top and bra have bound necklines and armholes (I don’t know the sewing terms for those places). Up until this pattern, I had never completed any sort of binding. I’m happy to say that, now, binding is my preferred way to finish shirts! It comes out looking so clean and professional! The finished look makes the detail- oriented perfectionist in me very, very happy. And, the binding looked better with each try:
- Fabric choice makes a HUGE difference in fit and comfort. And, when it comes to sports bras and workout clothing, the fabric makes a difference as to whether or not my breasts will be trying to escape the bra and give me a black eye or whether they’ll be happily contained. When I made the sports bra, I did not have the material that was suggested in the pattern.
- Jessica also wrote a very insightful post about supportive fabrics for workout clothing. I chose to be kind of frugal and use cotton/lycra for the outside of the bra and I repurposed a pair of Nike running pants and used those for two inner layers inside of my bra.
- I like a good challenge. This pattern is NOT challenging. Not even for a newb like me but what was challenging was figuring out about the full bust adjustments and how to determine my base size. I asked a million and two questions and the ladies in the testing group and the pattern designer were so gracious and understanding and explained things to me so, so thoroughly.
I made the size medium contrast tank and bra. Both shirts had a curved hem. One the white one, I hemmed the bottom edge using Wash Away Wonder Tape. On the black tank, I hemmed using the overcasting foot that came with my machine.
Shirts and bra-
- Both shirts-1″ FBA using the pivot and slide method.
- I used 1″ elastic for the bra instead of the 3/4″ that the pattern called for because that’s what I had on hand.
- I graded the hips down from a size medium to a size small. I later decided that that was not a good decision and I kept size medium for the black tank.
Fabric: I got the solid fabric from Purpleseamstress on Facebook (she also has a website). She came highly recommended as a reputable source for cotton lycra solids at a very affordable price.
The teal fabric is from a pair of palazzo pants that I purchased on clearance from Target.
The green fabric is ponte de roma from Girl Charlee*.
- You can dress the tank up or down depending on fabric choice.
- Two patterns for the price of one. But it’s actually more than that when you consider the choice for the high or low neckline and the banded, straight or curved hemline.
- Very detailed (ILLUSTRATED) instructions for sewing ease.
- I like the bra because it comes up high enough over my chest that it keeps my breasts contained. I took it out for a test drive and did a little wogging (walking/ jogging/ running) with my pup and it held up remarkably well! I put a tight fitting camisole over the top of the shirt (like I always do) but there wasn’t a need for me to wear two sports bras! I’m excited to make more bras using the pattern from the Resolution Tank and Bra using more supportive fabrics and see how much of a difference it makes. I mean, I can save myself a crap ton of money if/when I learn to make these things for myself. Even when I use the more expensive fabrics. I mean, $70 for a sports bra is a lot of money and that’s how much I usually end up spending so I’ll keep you posted on that venture.
- There are lots of tips in the pattern including a mini tutorial about binding, suggestions for finishing the top (such as optional top stitching).
- LIVE links are included in the tutorial so that you don’t have to scroll through when using the pattern.
- LAYERS! So you can just print the size(s) that you need.
- My “cons” don’t have anything to do with the pattern…
- I’ll never have to purchase workout clothes again!!! Wait… I don’t think that’s a con.
- The tank and bra are only on sale until January 26, 2016. You don’t have much time to decide that you do in fact need some Resolution Tanks and Bras in your life.
*If you choose to click the link and sign up for a Girl Charlee account and purchase some fabric, please consider using my link so that I can earn rewards from referring you. =) You know, I’ve got to feed my habit somehow.