Strand Halfmoon Tank - Bonus Post
Do you ever feel like some material is more meaningful than others? I sort of hate to say that because it would make me so sad to think that some of my fabric was less loved than others, but I do have my favorites, especially the ones with special memories attached. With my fabric collection, which is what it's becoming, certain pieces remind me of specific places, people, and experiences, like one of the fabrics used for this top.
When I was working on the dress version of this pattern, I remembered a beautiful fabric I had in my stash that was purchased from a local fabric shop with a dear friend from out of town, the friend who got me back into sewing years ago. When she comes to town, we love to hike and walk through antique stores, but our favorite thing is to go fabric shopping together. There's a great fabric discount store not far from my home with racks and racks of material from quilting cotton to fashion fabrics. One of the best sections is where the fabric isn't on a bolt but instead laid in stacks of flat folds. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of yards of cloth piled in rows and rows. When visiting this fabric store, it's easy to lose track of time while looking through all the beautiful material and even easier to end up with a cart full. I've found some of the most beautiful and interesting fabrics there and often score vintage material at a bargain.
The last time we were there, we found this beautiful double-gauze that was greyish on one side with off-white little squares, and on the backside, it was off-white with greyish squares. It was a unique fabric, and we both loved the texture and colors and ended up splitting up the yardage so we could each take some home. That was a little over a year ago, and I've been admiring the material folded nicely in my sewing room ever since, waiting for the right project to come along. And when the right project comes along, sometimes, you just know it. That's what happened with this make, and when the idea popped into my head, I knew it was finally time to cut into that treasured material.
This is only my second time working with cotton gauze; it's a very delicate fabric that can snag easily; I usually opt for something a little less fussy and a little more wearable, like the linen from my dress version of this pattern. But when you fall in love with a fabric, sometimes that love lends to more confidence and less worry, and I knew it would be perfect for a summer top with classic linen pants. I think what also made the idea come to life was first working with the lightweight linen from the dress and realizing the color was so similar to the gauze, that it might look interesting if they were used together. I placed the fabrics next to each other and loved the combination, which is when I decided to use the linen for the straps and gauze for the body. I also really loved the selvage on the gauze, so I ended up placing the pattern pieces against the grainline so that it could be used for the hem.
I couldn't be more pleased with the way it turned out and am so excited to wear it as the weather warms. I have a few notes and tips for this version of the Strand Halfmoon Dress/Top pattern by Meghann Halfmoon that I'm sharing below.
Sewing Notes & Tips
For general Sewing Notes & Tips, see the original post on this topic in the Strand Halfmoon Dress/Top series.
If you'd like help with sizing for this pattern, see my post on Choosing a Size.
Working with Double-Gauze Material
When working with gauze, I found myself being more gentle with the fabric than usual so I could avoid snagging or damaging it. Several things that are important when working with this fabric include serging the edges before washing, or it could end up quite the unraveled mess, and making sure to add staystitching around the armholes, which you can see an example of in the Sewing Notes & Tips post.
One thing to note, if you choose to make your top or dress from gauze, I'd still recommend using a more stable fabric like linen or cotton for the straps and yoke. For the straps and yoke on this top, I used the same linen as the dress version, Purl Soho's Watercolor Linen in Rock Salt.
For using the selvage along the hemline, I decided to go against the grainline so I could place the hemline of the pattern right along the selvage. Another way to use the selvage for the hemline would be to align the body pieces with the grainline according to the pattern and attach the selvage to the hem as a separate piece. I did this with my Array Shirt Dress Hack, and if you'd like instructions for how to do that way, see the Array Shirt Dress / Hack Tutorial.
Our final post in the Strand Halfmoon Dress/Top series is an interview with the pattern maker, Meghann Halfmoon. - Emily