Sometimes I'm not in the mood to hem, or I want to use a fabric that requires a little more patience. When that happens I skip hemming and add a band instead! I knew I wanted a Blade Tank in Malone honeycomb, but because of the texture of the fabric it can be a little more finicky to hem so I decided a band would be a perfect way to finish my tank.
When the NSCS released I added a band to the bottom of one of mine so I could show off more of the print I used. For that one I did not make any adjustments to the pattern pieces: you can read about it on my blog post. This time I decided to shorten my bodice pieces from the bottom so that the finished length was about the same as my hemmed options. Because I did not need to adjust the length of my pieces to account for my torso length I simply cut my front and back bodice pieces a little shorter.
I use a projector to cut my patterns out so I used a long quilting ruler to shorten my bodice. I shifted my fabric to reduce waste, laid the ruler down, using the pattern hem as a guide, then cut. If using a paper pattern you can fold your pattern piece up by how much you want to shorten or shorten after cutting (but that creates more fabric waste). You can also leave the pattern unaltered, but that will create a longer top. I shortened my pattern about 2.25"
Next I sewed up my Blade following the instructions, omitting the hem. Once I was ready to band I lad my tank flat and measured across the bottom to determine how long I needed my band to be. I didn't want my band to be super tight so I cut my band at 88% plus seam allowances. My tank laid flat was about 26", so when I used my calculator to subtract 12% and add in my seam allowances (.25 x 2) I get a little over 23" but I rounded down for easier cutting. If I wanted a more fitted band, which would be beneficial for using the this pattern for swimming, gymnastics or other activities where you want the bottom to stay put.
If I wanted my tank to be exactly the same length as my hemmed ones I would need to figure out the height of my band by doubling the amount I shortened my bodice pieces by and adding in seam allowances. I shortened 2.25" and since there are 3 layers in a banded seam I would need to add my seam allowance 3 times. (2.25 x 2) + (.25 x 3) = 4.5 + .75 = 5.25. I decided I didn't need my tanks to be exactly the same length so I just cut a band as tall as my ruler, which is 6". I cut my band on the fold 6" tall by 23" wide.
Next I put the short ends of my band right sides together and sewed. After that I folded my band along the length, wrong sides together and found my quarter points. I also found the quarter points of my tank bottom. The front is slightly narrower than the back, so do not use the side seams as quarter points if you want your band even all the way around. Pin or clip the band to your tank opening, right sides together, then sew or serge around. Fold your band down and topstitch if desired.
Now go show off your fancy new Blade Tank!