Today we are going to be sewing through the Key West Tank together! It comes in women’s and girl’s sizing and did I mention that this is one of our free patterns!?
The Key West Tank is designed to be used with fabric with at least 35% stretch. Cotton Lycra, Jersey, Poly Blends and Rayon Spandex are good ones to name just a few. The fabric for bands and binding need at least 50% stretch and excellent recovery.
Before we cut out that beautiful fabric, we need to choose options. The Key West comes with a standard back (brown line) and racer back (orange) and three fit options. The Crop Top (red) and original version (purple) are both loose and flowy. We also added a slim fit (green) option to the pattern that is perfect for a casual tank; it is not too tight or too loose. In the pattern directions you will not see the slim fit option mentioned because it was added later.
For all of the options you will need to cut the following pieces; front bodice, back bodice, 2 arm bands/binding, and 1 neckband/binding.
You will sew all three options the same way, the only difference is between the bands and the clean finish binding.
First you will place the back bodice and front bodices pieces right side together aligning at the shoulder seams. Clip in place and sew with a 3/8” seam allowance using a serger or stretch stitch on your sewing machine.
Your shoulder seams will look like this after the are stitched together.
Neckband and Binding
Attaching the neckband and clean finish binding starts out the same way. You will fold your neckband piece in half lengthwise right sides together and stitch along the short end.
Now fold the neckband in half widthwise with the wrong sides together and press in place. Quarter your neckband and set aside.
When quartering the neck line start with the center front and back. I always use a blue clip for the back of the neckline so I don’t accidentally put my neck band on backwards. You can now use the center front and back to find the quarter points. (Note they are not at the shoulder seams)
With the right sides together and the raw edges aligned line up the quarter marks on your neckband and neckline. Clip in place. Stretch the neckband in place making sure to stretch only the neckband and not the bodice. I always clip more than just the quarter points to keep everything lined up better. Stitch in place using 3/8” seam allowance.
Here is where the neckband and clean finish binding are different. If you are doing the bands you are done and can skip ahead to the side seams. With the clean finish binding you are going to fold your binding toward the wrong side of your bodice, pin and top stitch in place. The photo is from the wrong side of the bodice.
With the right sides together line up both side seams, clip, and stitch in place. (Note the pattern does not have quite this much curve for the waist to hip but I graded out per my hip measurements)
The arm bands and bindings are completed exactly the same way as the neckband. Fold the arm bands in half right sides together stitching along the short end. Then turn your armbands wrong sides together pressing in place and quartering your band. Next quarter the armholes and line up the quarter points on your armband. Stitch in place and repeat with the other side. If you are doing the clean finish binding fold your biding pieces to the wrong side of the bodice and topstitch in place.
The final step to the Key West Tank is the hemming. Fold the bottom of your tank 1/2” to the wrong side of your bodice and edge stitch in place using a cover stitch or a stretch stitch on your sewing machine. If you are having trouble with the curved hem on the slim fit option we have some great tips in this blog post on curved hems.