Fashion Sewing

Leopard Truck Stop Top

May 23, 2013

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I sewed up this top over a month ago and I’m just now blogging about it. It’s been a bit quiet over here on the blogging front for a bit. Life, work, and the shop have all been keeping me especially busy lately. But I’ve still been finding a little bit of time to sew!

My next “Sewing With Knits” adventure led me to the Truck Stop Top by Pamela over at The Maker’s Journal.

I’ve been curious to try out this tank for awhile now. I liked the look of the top, but wasn’t sure if the style would suit me, so I went digging around in my fabric stash and came up with this… RAWR!


    (Yep. This happened.)

Pretty sure it’s some kind of poly/spandex blend from a 1.99 sale at fabricmart or that I purchased back when I first started really getting more into garment sewing a few years ago. Normally I don’t purchase animal prints since I always feel more cavewoman than sexi siren in them, but it was suuuper cheap, so I probably figured, “” and then “hey, why not??!”

Although it’s not the type of print that I wear everyday, it sure makes for a mighty fierce workout tee!

Truck Stop Top

This tank was super easy to construct! It probably took about 30 minutes to stitch up. I used my serger for the entire construction of this tank, but it probably wouldn’t take too much longer using the zigzag stitch on your regular sewing machine.

Truck Stop Top

The neckline and the armholes are constructed using a different method than I have seen in any other knit pattern. You basically cut strips of the knit fabric and work with the natural roll of the knit as you sew it on. You can also leave the hem unfinished as well since knits don’t tend to fray. The style sort of reminds me of an old, loved, re-fashioned rock band t-shirt. The cool thing? It’s actually really easy to do, makes the construction process super quick and easy, and gives it a neat look!

Truck Stop Top

The size chart on the pattern is listed in Australian sizes 6-14. This is a bit different than US sizing. I converted the measurements on the back of the pattern from cm to inches and determined that I should cut a size 12. After I stitched up the shoulders and sides, I took one look at it and thought that it might be waaaaaaay too big. The armholes were really droopy and hanging way below my armpits, the neckline was bordering into dangerously low territory… but I decided to sew the on the neckline and armhole binding and see how it turned out.

Truck Stop Top

It was a good choice! Adding the arm and neckline bands helped to wrap everything together and neaten everything up. It added a bit more fabric to the neck and armhole areas of the tee. If I wanted a tighter fit, I probably could have cut a size 10, but since the tee is supposed to be casual and loose fitting, I think that going by the actual body measurements on the size chart is a good place to start.

Here are a few quick construction pics:

Truck Stop Top Rolled neckline and armbands.

Truck Stop Top

Rolled bottom hem.

Overall, I really liked this pattern. It was quick and easy to sew. If you are familiar with knits, you could easily whip up quite few of these in an afternoon. In fact, right after I made this one I cut out a second one. Right now I’m trying to decide if I should play with the pattern some more, lengthen, and color block it out to try and make a cute little tank dress, or if I should keep it as is. Here’s a quick peek:

Truck Stop Top

There aren’t a ton of diagrams or sketches in the instructions, so I am hesitant to say that this is a good beginner pattern. However, it doesn’t promise to be. It does state that it is for “an average sewer” on the front of the pattern booklet. So if you’ve sewn a tee or two, I think this would be great. Also, Pamela has some tutorials over on her blog that are full of photos and tips for construction techniques included in her patterns, so you can definitely check those out if you have any questions during the construction process. I found her tutorial on the neck and armband finishing to be particularly helpful since I had never seen that particular technique before.

Even though this wasn’t the original purpose of the pattern, I think that it makes a great “going to the gym” layer tee if you don’t want to wear something skin tight. You could wear a racerback sports bra and/or a sporty tank underneath and then one of these on top and you would have a comfy and fun outfit!

What have you been sewing lately? Do you have a favorite sporty tank, tee, or workout pattern?