Here’s the illustration from the cjpatterns site, which is, as usual, pretty but not useful. The tank, in particular, has a lot more shape in execution than you’d ever guess from the illustration. It looks blocky and puffy in the drawing, but in reality it’s actually got a nice, body-hugging shape.
This tank isn’t meant to be reversible, but I decided that’s what I wanted, per my wardrobe plan. I used a print/solid combination; here’s the print side, with the V-neck worn in front:
I made the solid side an inch and a half longer, so that it would show under the print. Part of my wardrobe plan includes a matching print skirt, and the line of the combined pieces is one long, unrelenting, bright print, so I liked the idea of breaking it up a bit. Here’s the V-neck version of the solid side:
(Yeah, my dummy lurches to the left. I probably should compensate for this when taking pictures, but I never remember to.)
This is a super-simple pattern with nice shaping, and the simplest of construction techniques: It’s meant as exercise wear, so Jonson just has you turn the edges down by 3/8ths of an inch and stitch them in place. To make my reversible tank, I just used a 3/8ths inch seam on my serger. No trimming was necessary; the narrow seam and the stretchy spandex fabrics worked well together, and made this one fast project.
The top can easily be worn backwards or frontwards, although I don’t think Jonson points this out, and the instructions don’t offer the reversible alternative, but if you chose to line the top and turn it around at whim, you’ve got lots of wearing options.
Here’s the print side, worn with the round neckline at the front:
When you make a reversible top, one method involves sewing the hems together, so that they are exactly the same length. I’m not wild about this; it seems to constrict the flow of the garment and make its movement less “natural”, unless the fabrics involved are weightless. On the other hand, if the two hems float freely, it’s difficult to keep them lined up perfectly so that the underside doesn’t show when you don’t want it to. Making one hem intentionally longer solves this problem.
Here’s the round collar side of the solid tank:
Whether you make the hems the same length or not, a useful tip is to sew a small snap at the lower edge of each side seam, inside the garment, between the layers. This allows you to keep the tanks aligned, but without constraining the fabrics unnecessarily. If you’re traveling, this also allows you to separate the layers for faster drying if you’re rinsing your garments out in a sink, and hanging them up to dry.
Rather than make an FBA, I cut between sizes at the bust, which was lazy and (ahem) not too bright, especially since I failed to take the armhole back to my proper, smaller size. This made the top gap along the armholes above the bust. I considered running elastic thread along the edge between the layers, but ended up using double strands of thread, hidden between the layers and run between the edge stitching and the edge of the garments along the relevant parts of the armholes. The resulting fix isn’t perfect, but made the top wearable.
Every now and then, someone asks “What’s the point of reversible clothing? You probably want to wash it between wearings anyway, right?”. Well, yes. But a tank like this makes up most easily if lined, so why not make the lining a wearable, different color? And, of course, a reversible tank might give you the option to go from day-to-evening by just turning the top around, which might be a bonus when traveling, or staying out for the evening after work.
This is another piece in my Christine Jonson/Threads wardrobe plan.
Making a Reversible Tank
Threads Wardrobe Storyboard
Christine Jonson Princess Dress 1117
Christine Jonson BaseWear One Top 622
Christine Jonson Skirt 1219
Christine Jonson BaseWear One Leggings 622
Tunic/Tank Dress from BaseWear One Pattern 622