Welcome to the first post in the X-Press Tank Sew-Along Series!
One of the best things about this pattern is it’s versatility. Depending on the fabric and options you choose, you can make a date night worthy top or the perfect tank for a run…all with less than a yard of fabric!
Sew Alongs are a bit of work, so I only host them for my favorite patterns, and this one certainly falls into that category! You can check out my previous versions here, here and here– you know you have a winner when it shows up in 3 blog posts and counting!
Before we dive into the details of the pattern, I want to thank Greenstyle Creations and So Sew English SewAlongs for facilitating this event- Sew Alongs are always a great way to connect with people and I am really looking forward to this one!
If you’re new to Sew-Alongs, here’s how they work:
I will be breaking the pattern steps into daily tasks, with one each day from 3/29-3/31/18.
Day 1: Sizing and Cutting Fabric
Day 2: Shoulders and Fit
Day 3: Hemming (tips and tricks)
Each day, I’ll post a video and/or blog tutorial with that day’s tasks, and you will comment with any questions and your progress for that day, so we can all keep each other motivated. At the end, I’ll be choosing winners for a FREE PATTERN from Greenstyle and a fabric credit to So Sew English based on the final entries.
Sound awesome? It is! (check out my other sewalongs HERE on the blog)
Ready to get started? Let’s check out the options:
The Xpress has three views:
Pointed (open) back
My personal favorites are the top two, but I’ve seen some killer pointed back options as well!
The Xpress is drafted for a wide range of sizes 3XS-3XL (bust 31-47 inches), and is pretty flexible in the fit. I’d say your bust measurement is the most important here- but I’ll go into detail about choosing your size in my first video coming later this week, so just take your best guess for now.
Regardless of your size, the Xpress takes less than a yard of fabric. So it’s pretty much guaranteed you have something in your stash that would work, but if you need an excuse to buy more fabric (and who doesn’t?!), here are some great options.
Whatever you choose, you’ll need to have 50% 2 way stretch- so 4 inches of your fabric should stretch at least to 6 inches along one direction. Four way stretch is totally fine though, and you might be able to get away with slightly less stretch as well- this tank doesn’t have significant negative ease.
- This stands for interlock twist yarn or double twist yarn. The fabric is usually polyester/spandex in content, and has a lightweight, silky feel. The orchid example above is made from ITY, and will be perfect for the hot summer months!
- Rayon Spandex/Bamboo
- I’m putting these in the same category, because they both are generally lightweight, with good stretch and recovery. Bamboo even has some antimicrobial properties, making it a great fabric for working out- many high end workout tops are made with this stuff. Rayon spandex comes in many pretty prints, and would also be an excellent choice
- Cotton Lycra
- Has less drape than the previous options, but is easy to work with and holds it’s shape well (perfect for the pointed back option!)
- Tri Blend
- I LOVE my tri-blend xpress tank- it has the pressing and sewing ease of cotton lyrca, but tends to be thinner and gives a nice airy feel!
- Double Brushed Poly
- Always a crowd favorite for its super soft brushed texture. Comes in many attractive prints, and is usually pretty lightweight. Great for a casual tank!
- Athletic fabrics
- These differ in weight- for a tank, you’re usually going to want something lightweight, with wicking capabilities. Athletic brushed poly, circular knits, etc. are good choices here.
- MVC (micro viscose cotton spandex)
- I picked this up from So Sew English specifically for this event, and am looking forward to trying it out- it seems like the perfect compromise between cotton lycra and rayon spandex. I’ll post my version soon!
Looking for an excuse to buy some more fabric? Here are a few of my favorite bundles from So Sew English that would be great. Buy them before I do! Bundles ship quickly, and there’s usually left over fabric- maybe you could create a mini-capsule!
Don’t worry though, you don’t have to use SSE fabric to participate in the SewAlong- you’re welcome either way! (Note: Per SSE rules, finished items do need to be of SSE fabric to be eligible to win the prizes).
Here are some other supplies that will be needed/useful:
- Rotary cutter and scissors (I love my Gingher pair!)
- Sewing Machine
- Matching thread, and a contrast for topstitching if desired. Polyester thread is recommended.
- Pattern weights (I like to use metal washers!)
- Pins and/or clips (I like to have both on hand for different purposes)
- Tape measure
If you don’t own the pattern yet, you can find it here. Use the code “ssesal” for 25% off through Friday!
Questions? Thoughts? What version are you planning on making?
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