In Favorite Projects/ Sewing

Color Block Tank Top with Buttons

Though you can’t tell from my moodily lit photos, it was an amazing SEVENTY THREE DEGREES in Western, NY today. How’s that for an early Spring?! I can’t remember the last time I felt warm while outside and my cats and I were seriously loving it. Granted, it’s only March and New York gets a notorious late Spring snow in April (practically guaranteed). And of course, right at the time I took these pictures, the sun disappeared and that “It’s going to rain at any second” type of wind blew in to erase all photographic evidence of such an amazing record warm day. But! Let’s not overlook the fact that it’s March 9th and I’m sharing my latest sewing project …which is a tank top …and I’m wearing it outside …and I’m not freezing!


This, technically, is a Grainline Studio Tiny Pocket Tank, but with a large helping of modifications. Most noticeably: a color block alteration with a button band in the back. Less noticeably: some Lady Turtle alterations like darts at the back neck, and an adjustment for forward sloping shoulders. Though the bust darts still drive. me. nuts. on this tank top, I’m super proud of how I’ve gotten the back, neck, and armholes to fit! One thing at a time, I suppose.


The fabric is Cambridge Cotton Lawn, by Robert Kaufman, in Moss and Mango. It’s my first time sewing with this specific fabric (if you’ve sewn with a lot of cotton lawn, you know the drape and hand can very greatly between companies) and I love it! The fabric is lightweight but not sheer, the hand is soft but not butter-y slick. It’s slightly more on the crisp, paper-y side and when you wash it, it textures up. A lot.


If you hate wrinkles, this fabric is not for you. If you’re like me and you can’t ever get enough ironing when you sew because you love ironing/pressing for sewing SO MUCH, but then you’ll never touch an iron for normal, non-sew-y things (like looking presentable after you wash your clothes) – then this fabric is definitely for you! I pre-washed the yardage, and then washed the completed garment again before taking blog photos and the result is an allover crinkly texture. It’s a uniform crinkle, which I kinda think I love, so I’m just going with it. No ironing for me!


I read a quote on Pinterest the other day that said “It’s not bragging if you can back it up” so I’m totally not going to brag right now and pat myself on the back for how well I matched up my side seams. “Good job, Rochelle! You’re doing great! Your poor cat is sick and ate a hole through your hand while you were trying to administer Amoxicillin, but hey! You’re still winning this week! …and cleaning up epic amounts of cat barf! But still winning!” (I keep telling myself that like I keep telling my cat that antibiotics are not actually poison).


The color blocking and button back modifications were super easy to do, making this a really quick project but with enough interest to keep it …well, interesting. The Tiny Pocket Tank is one of my favorite patterns ever (though ironically I’ve never actually made a version with the namesake tiny pocket) and I already have plans for many, many more modified versions.


Outfit Details:
Tank Top Pattern – Tiny Pocket Tank
Tank Top Fabric – Cambridge Cotton Lawn
Hat Pattern – Wiksten Jul
Jeans – J. Crew Outlet
(Best fitting jeans I’ve found to date! Totally using these to judge the fit on Ginger when I finally sew them.)
Shoes – Old Navy
Glasses – c/o Victory Optical
(20% off all frames with code LUCKY20)


Well that’s about all I have to say about this project. My next blog post is going to be another Tiny Pocket Tank, in a slightly different variation, because it’s already finished and blog-ready! I shared a sneak peek on Instagram earlier this week.


As I mentioned, I’m not particularly thrilled with the folds and slight awkwardness happening around the bust darts on this top, so I think my next version with have a top yoke and gathers so I can forgo the darts altogether. We’ll see how it turns out! (Note to self: Definitely continue to use bias tape for curved hems instead of the traditional fold-up method. You (I) always get much nicer results!)


If you’re not enjoying nice weather and that itch for Spring sewing yet, I hope it reaches you soon! It does wonders for the soul. …and for the cats. My cats have been rolling and flopping circles around the yard and I probably would have joined them except I didn’t want to get my new tank top all grass stained. Though I guess that wouldn’t have been an issue if I had sewn an all green tank top, but then it wouldn’t have been so color-blocky and Spring-y! …but I digress 😉

But seriously, YAY SPRING!


  • Love the colors and the buttons on this tank! I have to say that I’m super relieved to hear that someone else is driven crazy by getting bust darts right. I’m in the mist of modifying the bust darts on the Willow Tank & I cannot get them right even after numerous modifications!

  • This is so cool! I love the contrast colors and the button band.

  • Great colours!! I love that little back detail too!

  • Maggie Ha

    like your color combinations. Fit looks good. like you I am a bit of a Lady Turtle so I look forward to your alterations. Hope your cat is better.

  • Shout out to the weather and to that awesome tank!

  • Love it! The colors work, and look good on you!

  • Jennifer Hill

    Great inspiration. Haven’t bought the pattern yet but now am tempted and I do need some basic tops so hey! I’m yearning for a simple-ish sew as I’m currently making a Granville for my daughter in a non symmetrical check and where you can’t tell the front from the back of the fabric. Pattern matching has addled my brain! Love what you’ve done here! Jen

  • Barbara

    My father-in-law’s saying was: “He(she) who can brag without lying, let them brag.” You can surely do that! Love the tank. I’ve a couple Grainline patterns in my collection that haven’t yet been made.

  • Its fabulous! I love how the colours work together they really make each other pop! I am not a fan of ironing myself, unless its for sewing purposes so I would totally do the same, especially it looks great like that!

  • I really like the button back on the top. I’ve been wanting to incorporate that into SOMETHING for a while. still trying to figure out what lol

  • sallieforrer

    Such a great top! The color blocking and button band really add interest, yet it’s still a basic that can be worn with lots of stuff! Thumbs up!! And I hope your kitty gets better!!

  • Line / @alleelskeragnes

    Great job! I really like that bottom-part on the back. ?? Here in Denmark we definitely have the feeling of Spring being on its way, but it is still only about 4 degrees (celcius) during the daytime, and minus- degrees at night. Waiting… ?

  • That’s a really cool tank top and what a simple fun project to jumpstart into spring sewing! We have been having absolutely gorgeous weather here in Kentucky, too. I think this is IT. It’s SPRING. Right? It’s official? I will be devastated if this warm weather isn’t here to stay. I’m working on a spring sewing project right now, too, so it better stay nice out!