Rebecca Page Bralette and Tank Top
I recently got to sew up Rebecca Page's new Women's Bralette and Tank. This is a great pattern with a lot of options: a crop top or basic lined bralette with a sports bra band or exposed elastic band, a tank with a gathered/ruched side seam (this options works great for a maternity or non-maternity tank), and a tank with a pleated "skirt". All choices have an optional pocket in back for a cell phone, which is amazing.
Ruching Detail - Ruching is used to gather and create volume, texture and interest to a garment. It is created by gathering a piece of fabric that is longer than the fabric that it is sewn to, causing it to "bunch up" in a particular area of a garment. I have seen it frequently used on the side-seams of maternity tops to allow more room for a pregnant belly, but it can also be used on non-maternity tops to add fun detailing.
Exposed Elastic - Exposed elastic is sometimes used as an alternative to an elastic casing or folded over sewn-in elastic. It is often used in the RTW waistbands for pajamas and boxers, and it is super-easy to put in. You just have to sew the soft elastic together with a zigzag stitch and then serge it on (remember to disengage the knife on the serger so you don't cut the elastic!)
Techsheen - techsheen is an antimicrobial nylon/spandex 4-way stretch fabric used in athletic wear to wick moisture away from the body. As such, it is often used in linings for bralettes, activewear, and swimwear. It gives support to the garment while remaining breathable. I got mine from Phee Fabrics, and used it in both of the garments that I made.
The Logic - Putting it all together
I needed to adjust this pattern (and realistically every other pattern I make for myself) for height. I am 5'3.5", and most RP patterns are drafted for someone who is 5'6". On this one, I took off 1.25" from underneath the armscye (as instructed in the tutorial) to reduce height and didn't change the height of the skirt at all. This brought the band of the bodice (bra) portion right where I prefer it to be and still gave me enough length to cover the top of my pants.
My first sew was the bralette version with a band made from white techsheen with 1" elastic inside. I took a little wider seam allowance on the side seams of te bra, because I wanted a little more support than the pattern was designed for. (I wanted to be able to wear it without another bra underneath for working out).
I paired the bralette with underwear from RP's Bianca Underwear pattern. I didn't change the basic shape at all, but I added bands to the top and legs out of the same techsheen that I lined the bra with. The underwear doesn't have any elastic in the bands...just the techsheen. To make the bands, I measured the finished opening and made them 90% of the length of the opening. The waistband was 3" wide, and the leg bands were 2" wide. I also lengthened the front of the gusset liner in the undies, serged the edge, and left it lying on top of the sewn front gusset seam.
Overall, I really like this bralette and tank. My makes are super-comfy, and I have worn them so frequently since I finished them. Plus with the licensed star wars fabric from JoAnns, I can match my (predominantly boy) family! And it is amazing to have a pocket in the back of my tank when I am wearing leggings, or something else without a place for my phone to go :)
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