Continuing on with trying to sew for the upcoming season, I grabbed the Marbella tank pattern from New Horizons Designs recently. The lace back options caught my eye a few months back when the pattern was released, but I was deep into winter sewing at the time, and couldn’t imagine exposing enough skin to the cold to justify a pattern with no sleeves and a fancy (and breezy!) back.
With the first official day of Spring this week (and a quick tease of some sunny days before the clouds came back again to dump more rain), I finally felt up to sewing the Marbella. I have quite a bit of wide stretch lace in my stash, purchased in the hopes that I’d get up the gumption to sew a fancy bra. So far, that hasn’t happened, but it did mean I had plenty of options to look through and pair with my jersey fabrics.
In the end, I chose Option 1, which is, (in my humble opinion) the easiest of the lace back options to construct, since it only has one piece that you cut from the lace as a mirror image. It also looked to be the most compatible with wearing a regular bra (hallelujah!). I also love the look of Option 3, but I wanted to make sure I could wrap my head around sewing the lace before I ventured into smaller, more fiddly work.
In case you’re wondering, the yellow striped fabric is a double brushed poly leftover from an unblogged Union Street Tee, and sourced from Sly Fox fabrics. One of my recent sewing goals is to use my scraps/project leftovers productively, and it was really gratifying to get this small (but usable) piece out of the scrap bin and into a piece that will be well worn (and loved!).
The pattern instructs you to assemble the front an back of the tank, and then turn down the arm and neck edges to hem. Even though I was using a fabric that’s usually pretty stable (double brushed poly doesn’t tunnel as badly as, say, bamboo) I could tell this wasn’t going to work for me- it felt messy, and I was afraid that in the process of pulling it on or off, or pulling down to nurse, that my narrow hem threads would snap, since getting the tension right on such a thin layer was a challenge.
I decided to rescue the top by adding a narrow binding. I love this technique, and I have a full tutorial on it here. This method added a bit of structure and recovery to the neckline, and allowed my cover stitch to hem the front edge beautifully. No adjustments to the top were necessary, since the binding doesn’t add width, and I serged it on with a 3/8″ seam allowance- the same as I would have used for turning under per the pattern.
With this small modification, the Marbella top rocketed to the top of my summer pattern list- the back is nicely feminine without being too “girly”, and the shape is fitted, but not overly tight.
In fact, I made another one right after I was finished, which is pretty much the sign that I’ve found another favorite- so I’ll be sharing that soon!
If you’d like to pick it up, you can find the pattern here (aff link).
I was provided the Marbella pattern free of charge in exchange for my honest review- all opinions are my own (as always!).
Until next time- keep sewing and stay warm!