Monday, May 24, 2010

Sewing 101: Yoyo Tank Tute Part 2


Welcome to Part 2 of my Yoyo Tank Tutorial!  In this section we will make the body of the tank and attach it to the yoyos.  We'll also go over a gathering technique for the neckline of this top.

Part 1 is HERE.

Tank Body 
(Not photographed) Get your bodice material right sides together and sew using a 1/2" hem.  Once the sides are sewn together, you need to get your neckline ready to gather.  If you're making a double layer tank like I did, you'll need to put the lining and the front together and gather them as one piece. 

Set your machine on the longest stitch length and sew 3/8" from the neckline edge (If you click on picture, you'll see that I'm sewing both layers at the same time).

Now sew another line halfway between the neckline edge and the first sewing line.

You'll have two stitch lines.

Now, this is how I gather short lengths.  If I need to gather something longer, like the top of a skirt, I do it differently, but I find this easiest for me for shorter lengths.  Knot one end of the neckline.

Grab two threads from the other end and pull to gather your neckline.  I gathered mine to 13", but you should get your yoke, put it on, and be sure your tank is as wide as you'd like it to be.  Take bra straps into consideration and also allow for your arm hole seams (coming up).

Leave 1" flat on both sides of the neckline.  This is for your armhole seams.

When you've got the right neckline width, set your machine stitch length back to normal (my longest stitch is a 4, I set it back to 2).  Sew along the gathered neckline to set it in place.  This will keep it from wobbling around when you have to secure it to the yoyos.

Armhole seams
There are two ways you could do this.  You could make a narrow hem, folding over 1/4" and pressing or sewing it down, then turning it in again 1/2" and securing that down.  I could have done that, but I was majorly hating on this fabric by this time, so I wanted to deal with some regular non-stretchy fabric.  I did the following:

I got some of my tan bias binding leftover from who knows what.  (Pretend I did the right thing and actually unfolded it before sewing it.)  Unfold your bias binding, pin the raw edge along the armhole to the right side of the fabric, and stitch a 1/4" seam.

Turn the binding to the inside of the tank and sew along the edge of the bias binding.  Using a zipper foot to do this would be good, but I love my presser foot because it's got the thin tooth on the right that makes sewing in tight spaces easier for me.

Now sew another line between the edge of the armhole and your first stitching line.  I always find this keeps armholes from rolling out, but this is not a have to step.

Now put on your yoke and tank and pin them together.

Get your needle & thread again and whip stitch around the edges of your yoyos.

If some of your neckline gathering stitches peek through, that's OK.

When you've stitched the edges of the yoyos down, turn the top over and whip stitch along the neckline.

The front and back are pretty similar, but I know that I have a "front" and a "back", so I made a little tag.  I got some lace & stitched it on to mark the back of the shirt.

All done and ready to give to my girlfriend!!!

So give this little top a go!  I was able to make it all in a couple of evenings with a gnarly monster cold, so it's a nice, easy pattern.  Let me know if you make any and I'll put up your pictures!!



  1. So going to make this. Great tutorial! Thanks for writing it up!

  2. Ohhhh, pretty, pretty! I love this! The colors are so awesome!

  3. this is so cute. thank you for taking the time to document. the yo-yo's remind me of a bed throw my granny made up for me when i was a kid. i do wish my parents had kept that. will definitely give this a try. keep 'em coming :-)


Hi there! I love comments and will be more than happy to answer any questions here! I'll also respond to your comments, so be sure to check back or select the "Subscribe by email" link right below the comment box. xoxo!!!