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Blade Tank: No Keyhole?!

The Blade Tank arrived just in time for a heat wave so of course I needed to make myself a bunch! But I wanted to switch things up a little so I got to thinking about different ways I could adjust up my next tank. I decided to try to eliminate the keyhole for a closed racerback option. I love the keyhole, because I can show off all my fun sports bras, but sometimes it's nice to have a solid back too: I am thrilled with the results! For this top I used Raspberry Jersey Moss: Jersey Moss is one of my absolute favorite fabric bases for tops for all occasions and activities so I just had to make a Blade Tank in one. Raspberry is sold out now, but Cherry is available and another great bright pink option!

I apologize in advance for the variation of lighting in my pictures. I sewed this one up at night and I had a lot of trouble getting consistent pictures under all of the different lighting.

Because I use a projector for sewing now I pulled my pattern into Inkscape (a free software that is great for manipulating patterns once you used to it). I learned about Inkscape through the Facebook group Projectors for Sewing: I immediately downloaded it and played around in the software while listening to a few YouTube videos shared by a group member.

In the picture to the right you can see what I have done to my pattern to eliminate the keyhole cutout. My pattern is in purple, my adjustments are in red. I used guidelines (in blue) to determine where to draw my new lines. I wanted the tallest point to remain the same and I wanted to continue the curve that was started below the keyhole. There are different ways to do this in Inkscape; it depends on your comfort level with the program. I used the Draw Bezier then adjusted the lines by adding nodes and moving them a little until I was happy with the curves. You can achieve the same result on paper patterns before cutting out using rulers and/or freehand drawing your lines.

Once I was happy with my lines I saved the file and re-opened in Adobe so I could get cutting. I cut out all my pieces except the keyhole binding because it isn't needed for this. I had two (mirrored) back pieces, one front piece, neckline and armscye binding pieces. Construction is very similar to the tutorial: instead of binding the keyhole opening you sew up the extended back seam.

The pictures to the right show my projecting and cutting process up attaching the armscye binding.

After attaching all the binding it's time to gather the back before attaching to the yoke. I sew my gathering stitches just a smidge wider than my binding so I can use that as a guide for pinning to the yoke. I gathered until the back was a little less than half as wide as I started. It was pretty tight, but not enough that it impacted the binding or wanted to curl my fabric.

Then I pinned the the back to the yoke (yes, I pin heavily, I didn't want my gathers to shift or slip) using my gathering stitches as a guide. Then I sewed in place with a triple stitch on my sewing machine. I did one line of stitches right up against the edge of the binding on the yoke, and a second towards the edge of the binding. Then all I had to do was hem and try it on.

Note: If I had used my cover stitch I would have stitched on top of the cover stitching lines to camouflage the stitching, but I didn't have enough cones to match my fabric nor empty bobbins to wind so I did all of my topstitching with my sewing machine.

It was time to show off my new tank!

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