This is actually a make from this year, but, it’s not on my Make Nine. Pfft, that doesn’t matter, it’s only March, still ages to go to finish that list!
We have had a warm summer this year and I really wanted something tank top style to wear. I have umpteen dresses and also my Ogden camis, but I was looking for something with a bit more cover. Cue the Ready to Sew Jilly Top. To be honest, I can’t remember how I found this, but I think I was just browsing for recommended tank patterns in Google and this was on a blog post recommending. I’d not heard of the company or the top before, so thought I’d do a bit of digging around. There are not many in the wild and those that are are mainly the tie front versions, which I didn’t want. Oh well, let’s go for it, the mad part of my brain said!
The company, Ready to Sew, is French, but they have instructions in English too. There may be a couple of phrases which seem strange, but nothing completely untoward. The pattern is described as a “cropped tie-front top. Jilly is fitted at the shoulders and falls into a relaxed fit below the bust. Wear it during the day paired with high-waisted jeans or make it in a beautiful crepe for an elegant evening out.”
Perfect for what I needed. I had a crepe remnant which I wanted to use and thought it would work a treat. I decided to use some scrap fabric to make up a muslin and that is where it all turned to custard… I wasn’t happy with the muslin, the darts were all wrong and there was gaping around the armscye, so I decided to do an FBA. I happily did everything I normally do and the whole thing just drowned me! What a complete disaster! I know it says relaxed fit, but quite honestly this was about six sizes too big. I ended up curving the side seams slightly, and taking them in by about 3-4 inches total at the hips.
I’d lengthened it slightly and due to the lack of fabric, I ended up having to piece the hem band lining. Fortunately I had enough to ensure at least one side of the hem band wasn’t in multiple pieces.
The facings for the neck and armholes are all in one piece. I’m not completely happy with how these sit and I think to be honest I’d have been better with a neck facing and finishing the armholes with bias binding. They just don’t lay flat and also I find they are really obvious with this fabric.
I ended up unpicking so many seams on this top. It just took way longer than it should have done and now quite frankly, I’m not completely happy with it, probably due to the problems I had. I don’t think the fit is still that great either. It’s quite low under the arms and it’s still too big, but then it might be different in a more structured fabric, such as a linen. For a relatively simple tank top, it took far too long to make up. I unpicked and restitched so many seams. It’s had a reasonable amount of wear since I made it about a month ago, mainly because it’s useful and it’s cool for hot days. It also works under cardigans and looks relatively nice for work, but I definitely won’t be rushing to make another.
Fabric: Sky blue viscose crepe, a remnant from the Fabric Warehouse in 2018.
Notions: Thread and interfacing
Pattern: Ready to Sew Jilly Top, size 44. Version 1 without the hem tie.
Changes made: I did a 1” FBA, then took in the pattern by around 4” at the hip. I also lengthened the top by around an inch, I think
Another one/recommendations: Mm, I like the hem band which adds a bit of interest. But I’m not over the moon about this top. It will get wear, since it’s a great colour and is cool for hot weather, but quite frankly after the hassle I had making it up, I’m not interested in making another just yet. I’d rather try another tank top which I don’t have to alter so much. Perhaps I may feel better by next summer when I’ve had a break from it.