Capsule Challenge Week 1 - Tops, Tees, Tanks

Updated: May 31, 2019



This week we are focusing on tops, tanks, and tees. So let's talk first about different types of tops.


When I first started sewing, I didn't understand the basics of the different kinds of tops I could make. Even now, I wouldn't call myself an expert... but I'll share what I know now


First - there are three basic sleeve types. Inset sleeve, Raglan, and Dolman.


An inset sleeve is what you’ll find in your basic tee shirts. The sleeve is attached at the shoulder seam and around the armscye. The inset sleeve is a classic look that doesn’t go out of style, so it’s perfect for building a casual capsule look!






Here are a few of our favorite inset sleeve (Classic Tee) patterns:


ABB Tee - DIBY Club

CYOA Fitted - Rad Patterns

Easy Tee - 5 Out Of 4 Designs

Green Tee - Greenstyle


A raglan is a sportier look that has more ease in the shoulder because the sleeve is attached from the collar to the underarm. Think classic baseball tees… There are tons of ways to dress up a raglan, I love using a bold print for the sleeve with a coordinating solid for the bodice!





Here are a few of our favorite raglan patterns:


Traveler Tee - Winter Wear Designs

Men’s Ryan Raglan - 5 Out Of 4 Designs

Women’s Hooded Raglan - Seamingly Smitten


A dolman top is something it took me some time to understand. I heard the word over and over but couldn’t quite grasp why they were different. Typically a dolman includes the sleeves as part of the bodice in one whole piece but what really defines a dolman top is the width of the arm hole. Dolmans are wide at the arm and become narrower at the wrist (you might see this called a batwing!), which makes these tops super comfortable with a lot of movement.






Here are a few of our favorite dolman patterns:


All Seasons Dolman - Annelaine Patterns

Cloud 9 Tee - Striped Swallow Designs

24/7 Top - Ellie And Mac Patterns


Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about tanks.


Tanks are pretty simple as well, you have your basic tank, the racerback tank, and of course camisoles and halters.


The basic tank is essentially a tee shirt without sleeves. It sounds funny to put that into words but really the bodice construction is exactly the same. You typically have a full armscye from shoulder seam to underarm and full coverage on the back. What separates a racerback from a basic tank is that the racerback has a T shaped back that exposes the shoulderblades. These are designed to give ease of movement in sports, however I just prefer to wear racerbacks because I really like how my back looks!





Here are a few of our favorite tank patterns:


The Bonnaroo Tank - George + Ginger

10k Racerback - Pickle Toes Patterns

Althea Tank - DIBY Club

Chloe Cami - Rebecca Page

Mountainside Tank - Annelaine Patterns

Muscle Up Tank - Greenstyle


Now, I’ve only covered the basics but there are so many ways that pattern designers add personality and design to their pieces. Flounces and peplum skirts, bows and ties, cut outs and more! Don’t be afraid to try something new, something fun and bold. Play with prints, add coordinating (or contrasting!!) solids and have fun!


Don't forget to join our Facebook Group to participate in the Capsule Challenge, and see all of our sponsors!

190 views2 comments