For 3 days in a row, I was wearing my new Frankie-Tankie designed by Vanessa Hansen Studio. That’s probably the best endorsement that a new pattern can get since I wouldn’t take this tank off. I wore it until my husband started complaining about the odour from prolonged wearing. Then I reluctantly removed it from my body and put it in the wash.
Vanessa kindly and generously offered me to try out her new pattern, and it’s a simple design with some very clever details. First, the adjustable shoulder ties give this tank its unique stamp. The ends of the ties curve into the shape of teardrops, and this feature provides the roomy and boxy top its feminine lines. I feel girlish and coquettish with these ties swishing around my shoulders. They also accentuate them, and give the garment visual interest.
There’s also the option to make it reversible by changing up the facing for a full lining. I didn’t shorten the lining by removing the 1cm at the hem as instructed. The hemlines ended up matching quite well even when I reversed it. That’s the only minor alteration I made to the pattern.
There are 3 cup sizes to choose from: A, B and DD, and the sizes run from UK 6-24. The smallest size caters to a 76cm bust and the largest for a 134cm full bust measurement. The tank is drafted for an oversized look, and the armholes have a deeper cut. I made a size 8 in the B cup, and I think I can make the size 8 or size 6 in the A cup and still have it fit.
I made my version with some tie-dye treasured fabric scraps that I have been saving up, and this was the perfect project to show off these treasures. I really really like the reversible version because it means I can wear it multiple times and not get tired of it. Reverse it and the tank can give you a different look. There are also options included in the instructions to hack the tank into 2 dress styles – one is a lengthened version of the tank, and the other has a gathered skirt.
All in all, this was a very joyful sew – stress free, quick and easy. My daughter loves the design and she wants a version for herself. She immediately gave me directions for how to tie-dye hers with her chosen colors. I reckon she is the bossy one in the family. I would have to draft out a size for her, and it’ll be fun to create another mother-and-daughter twinning fashion look. Perhaps we will make more Instagram reels together.
Anyway, I took the opportunity to dye up some fabric in preparation for her request and made a tie-dye video in the process:
It’s also the next video that I promised my YouTube viewers in my last episode. The Shibori tie-dye featured in the video show in full detail how to fold and bind the fabric to create a hexagonal pattern. It’s one of my favourite techniques. In addition, the tutorial shows the tie-dyeing that is done with the help of squirt bottles. This enables more than one color to be used in the dyeing process and provides for more control and manipulation with dye application. This Shibori technique is the same one that I used for my DIY Gathered Tiered Dress, which I wrote about in my last post here.
So here’s a confession: I’ve been feeling some burn-out these days from sewing, blogging and posting on social media. My body was feeling it but my mind was in some kind of denial about it. Is this even possible? – I kept asking myself. How can something that gives me so much joy suddenly feel like a burden. It’s probably the first time I’ve felt it so strongly since I started this journey 3 years ago. And I guess it happens at some point or other in the making process. I was feeling a bit like I created some kind of Frankenstein that was suddenly running my life. My Frankie-Frankenstein felt difficult to handle, and it felt like I was being swallowed up by this “monster”. I decided to take a few days to just take a break from it all.
But then Vanessa reached out to me with her Frankie, and that fed me some energy to continue making. It made me excited again. Another thing that lifted my spirits was that I finally received the pair of roller skates that I ordered online with Moxi Skates. They are beauties! My first skating session was done in my Frankie Tankie and my Rainbow Riders. Double Happiness! Now I can’t wait till my Frankie Tankie comes out of the laundry so that I can wear it again. Or I should just make multiple versions so that I will never run out of this wardrobe staple this summer.