Club Wiksten

The Wiksten tank has been one of the most popular sewing patterns I've ever seen. Do a google search and you will find literally hundreds of bloggers praising the amazingness that is this simple pattern. Some ladies have quite extensive collections. Well, thanks to my summertime goal to sew more for pure enjoyment, I finally joined the club!

I'm not so sure how enjoyable it was, though. I had to walk away from this project many times to prevent full-on melt downs of frustration. It's probably a combination of stiff fabric and a curvier body type, but this simple shape looked like a tent on me. I had ideas of what needed to be altered to make it more fitted, but executing that was another story. Darts were put it, torn out and repositioned too many times to count. But with sheer determination, and slightly obsessive compulsive behaviour, I ended up with something wearable. I was thinking that maybe it would be an around-the-house top, but I gave it a test drive in public last night and decided that I actually quite like it. It might even get packed for the trip. So there ya go.

My modifications included bust darts as well as two back darts. I don't know how to put in darts properly, so this process was long and tedious. I don't think the back darts are perfectly even, but at some point you just have to give up. The thing you need to remember with darts is that they actually add volume, so once those were in, I found I also needed to size down the entire garment, from small to extra-small.

These alterations involved detaching all of the binding and ripping out all of the seams. Are you starting to understand why I was considering self mutilation via straight pin? Which brings me to another valuable lesson I learned through this whole saga: test the fit many times throughout the process, but especially before finishing seams or adding any facing. That simple practice would have saved me many hours of seam ripping. A muslin would have helped heaps as well. I guess I'm just too lazy. Or too excited. However you want to look at it, it only ends in tears.

When all is said and done and hard work considered, I've come to accept the fact that I won't be sewing a collection of these like the ladies before me. I would like to give it at least one more shot with more of a drapey fabric, though. I have a feeling that my choice of quilting-weight cotton caused a lot of the fit issues. It also comes with a dress option, and we all know a belt can hide gaping like nobody's business. We shall see.

By the way, this beautiful fabric is called Rhythm Stripe by Felicity Miller and I bought both it and the pattern from Needlework. I have some scraps leftover — what should I make?


De Facto Redhead said...

Your tank will be a good multi-wear item for the trip, especially under your new cardigan!

Kathryn said...

Oh my gosh! The same thing happened to me when I tried to sew mine! And the same outcome… Many seams and bias ripped off and darts put in! I tried again recently… but no joy. It's just not for me!