My family likes to wear patriotic things all year round, but especially on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. Back in April, I came across a shirt from an online boutique and I thought it would be a perfect addition to my patriotic attire.
As you all know, we live in sunny Arizona and because of that, I usually avoid layers in the summer. But this top really needed the layers so I wanted to use a lightweight fabric that I knew would allow me to breathe, even with two layers.
I found a 150gsm solid red modal for the cami. I ended up ordering two different fabrics for the blue tank, a modal Ponte and an ITY. I wasn’t sure which I would prefer with the red modal, so I got both. When my package arrived, I didn’t care for the feel of the modal ponte over the red modal and I ended up with a different fabric instead of the ITY. The fabric I got was an almost exact weight to the red modal, and I’d say it’s either a lightweight modal or a rayon spandex. I chose to use the mystery fabric because it had the perfect drape I wanted for the stripes and didn’t cling weird to the red modal. So blessing in disguise 😉
I knew the perfect patterns for the two tops would be the Cross My Heart Cami and Essential Tank, both from Patterns For Pirates. Both tops have several options so for my recreation I went with the high X front and regular back on the cami. For the Essential Tank, I chose the full back, curved hem, with bands. I wanted to have my front neckline lower to show off the front X a bit more, so I just cut a lower “V” and blended it into the original neckline.
I recalculated the neckband by measuring the new opening and multiplying it by 90%. I kept the original neckband width, and when sewing the band on, I let it smooth out the V so it wasn’t as pointy.
I made no other changes to the patterns and sewed up both before creating the design on the Essential tank. I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted the placement to be so I waited until I had made it and tried it on to determine.
Once made, I tried it on, and marked with two clips where my waist hit. I didn’t want the lowest stripe cutout to be lower than my waist, so the two clips were a simple marking tool.
Then came the fun part, the Stars and Stripes. I did some internet searching and came across a free star printable from First Palette. I used their various sized star template and picked the smallest ones on it. They are about 1″ in size. I needed to print two sheets, to have enough for the design I wanted, and I just cut them out and placed them on the back of the tank.
For the stripes I used the remaining pieces of paper, and cut out 1″ strips, three at 4″ long, one at 7″ long, and the last two at 8.5″ long. I placed the strips about 3/4″ apart and all lined up on the right side.
Once I had the stripes and stars in the placement I wanted, I used my marking chalk and roughly chalked the outline of each.
To cut them out, I used my small 28mm Fiskars rotary and my favorite Kai scissor (7100) thread snips.
I started with the stars and found that it was easiest to cut the star out by creating a tiny snip in the center first. Then I cut out to each inner point, which allowed me to just cut out to the outer point and the remaining V.
For the stripes, It got a little tricker since the shirt was already assembled. I ended up bunching up the front of the shirt towards the neckline, almost as if I was turning it inside out. This allowed me to lay the back portion flatISH on my cutting mat. Starting at the bottom stripe I cut the top and bottom horizontal lines with my rotary and straight ruler, then using my kai snips, I cut up the two sides. I worked from bottom to top to have more room and avoid rubbing off my markings.
Once I had finished cutting it all out I noticed the stripes didn’t have as much drape as I wanted and the stars were a little too nice looking for what I had in mind, so I tossed it in the washer. Not only did the washer give it that little extra I was hoping for, but it also removed all my markings for me. I gave both tops a good press and was done.
As I was cutting the starts and stripes out, I really had feelings of apprehension and like I had lost my mind 🤣. Making a shirt, only to cut it up, was a whole new experience for me.
Patterns are the Essential Tank from Patterns For Pirates and the Cross My Heart Cami from Patterns For Pirates.
Fabric is both from So Sew English, the Red 150gsm Modal is here, the blue is not on the site.
Star printable is from First Palette.
💙🇺🇸Thank you to all who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice. 🇺🇸♥️