The Blade Tank and Core Tee are seriously my perfect summer staple tops. Not only are they great in athletic fabrics (and for athletic uses), but they’re amazing in non-athletics too or just doing your normal everyday tasks. I did have one hack I just had to do as soon as it was brought up during testing: mashing the two tops together. It was an exciting challenge that I was eager to take on and I just love how it turned out! Majestic Triathlon Tricot and Burgundy Mesh look great together and I knew they were exactly what needed to use to sew up this top.
Most of my other hacks from the Athleisure Collection have been done by manipulating my patterns in Inkscape, and while I did successfully mash these patterns together when I started trying to put my process into writing it was too much. I am happy to discuss the process in the ALD Facebook group or in Projectors for Sewing on Facebook. Alternately there are tutorials on YouTube that may help you understand the software better.
Print and tape together both sets of patterns but do not cut them out, we will be cutting specific sections for tracing as we go. If you need to make any grading or height adjustments do them before moving on to mashing. Because the Core Tee is longer than the Blade Tank tape an extra few inches of paper to the bottom of both bodice pieces.
Starting with the back bodice pieces, cut out the bottom and side of the Core Tee. I used one of my windows to layer the Core on top of the Blade Tank. I placed the fold line at the inner most point of the swayback and had the top of the side seam end at the armscye of the tank. I checked the grain line of the tank against the fold line of the tee to make sure my pattern pieces weren’t twisted (they should be parallel to each other). I taped the pieces together, then traced the cut edges of the Core onto my Blade pattern piece and extended the back seam to meet the bottom line. The green lines are my new pattern lines. The collage bellow shows the side seam cut out on the left, using a quilting ruler to line up my pattern pieces using the grain and fold lines in the center, and the new lines on the right.
I repeated the process with my front bodice pieces. These were a little easier though, because I could just line of the fold lines of each piece and slide the Core until the top of the side seam was at the armscye. Make sure to transfer your pattern markings over, especially if adding the pocket so you know where to place it! The collage below shows my pieces lined up along the fold on the left and the new lines drawn on the right.
Note: this will yield a more fitted top, if you would like yours more relaxed you can shift your Core pattern pieces away from the fold or back seam edges of your Blade pieces OR size up the bodice pieces of both patterns but use the neckline and yoke you measure in to.
Side Panel Adjustment
I did not want to have the drop in the armhole that the drafted Core side panel has, so I used the Blade pattern pieces to help redraw the top and raise the top of the side panel piece. Alternately, you can leave the side panel as is and have a deeper armcsye. You will need to recalculate your binding piece because it is a bit longer than the Blade.
Cut out the pattern along the armscye of both the front and back Blade Tank pieces. Now, using a window or lightbox mark the end of the original side seam, the new side seam, and the grain line. I did this because I need to flip the pattern piece over to make adjustments to that side of the Core side panel and it will help me line everything up better. The collage below shows the original armscye cut out on the right, and the wrong side of the back bodice piece marked.
Take either the front or back Blade Tank bodice pieces and lay them over the side panel: make sure to place the front bodice on the front side of the panel and the back towards the back. Leave about 1/4” of the side panel visible over the top of the tank piece. Put your new side seam line on the inside curve of the side panel. The reason we leave a little point visible is for the seam allowance when sewing the panel into the bodices. Trace the armscye of the tank from the original side seam to the inside curve. Repeat for the other side. You can see my new pattern lines in dark green. The collage below shows the pattern placement on the left, using my quilting ruler to make sure the grain lines are parallel in the center (you can see the grain line of the lower pattern piece at 11.75" on the ruler) and the new line on the right.
There will be a gap, which you will need to connect and smooth out. I did so in red. Now, if you add too much you may need to recalculate the long binding piece. If your binding fabric has a very high stretch percentage you may not need to add length, but if it either has excellent recovery or just meets the pattern recommendations I suggest adding length to avoid puckering or difficulty attaching the binding. Honestly, I didn’t get too specific on this: I was using an athletic fabric with a high stretch percentage so I just added an extra inch to my amcsye binding piece knowing it would be enough. Now it’s time to get sewing! The collage below shows the new lines drawn on the left and them connected on the right.
Cut out your new pattern pieces, plus the Blade Tank yoke and binding pieces. Cut out your fabric, making sure to mirror your side panel pieces. This was so fun to sew, the hardest part was deciding what to sew first! I decided to sew the side seam and bind the keyhole, then the side panel to each side of the front bodice piece. I used my coverstitch to topstitch the side panel towards the bodice. I did this for two reasons: to keep the seam from flip-flopping and so the seam wasn’t visible through the mesh up close. The collage below shows my new pattern pieces cut out on the left, using my projector to cut out my pattern in the center (see, it is possible in Inkscape), and all of my pieces cut out on the left.
Next I sewed the back bodice to the side panels, again topstitching the seam towards the bodice (below on left). Then I attached the yoke and bindings and sewed the keyhole in place on the yoke. I prefer the look of the gathered sides at the top of the keyhole, so I did that here as well. The last think I had to do was hem and I was ready to go! The picture below (on the right) shows my Blade/Core mash layered on top of my Banded Hem Blade tank to show the fit of the two. If you remember, earlier in the blog I mentioned that this mash is slightly more fitted. If I wanted the same fit as my other Blade Tanks I would need to make on of the two changes to the width I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
I made this top as part of a set, paired with Cadence Tights which I hacked to create a little peekaboo mesh accent and I absolutely love how they look together! I adore how the mesh accents allow me to have fun and stay cool, especially in the summer heat. I couldn’t wait to wear this outfit out: it was seriously the perfect confidence boost.