Learn How SIMPLE
Digital Patterns Really Are!

Sign Up to Receive
The Ultimate Guide to Digital Sewing Patterns eBook + a FREE Skirt Pattern!

The Tank Dress

Added Aug 10, 2011

by Amanda Flynn

Boston, Massachu...






So, ever since Royal Wedding Fever struck the world, I’ve been a little bit obsessed with Kate Middleton’s fashion choices. I love her ladylike style, how she actually wears her outfits more than once, and the fact that not every item she chooses is a designer piece worth thousands of dollars. I especially love all her dresses (the classic sheath is just delicious). Oh yeah, and the nude pumps she wore all through Canada. Want those. :) / This dress was inspired partly by my newfound passion for those one-piece ensembles (I’ve been wearing separates way too much for the past four years or so) and also by one of my favorite summer items – the tank top. When there’s no air-conditioning and the temperature is in the upper nineties, with 100% humidity that makes it feel like one hundred and fifteen (only a slight exaggeration), pretty much the only thing I can stand to wear is shorts and a tank top. Sooo… I decided to take that favorite piece and expand it into something just as comfy and versatile – a tank dress. / Overall, I am pleased with how it came out. The dress is a tad tighter than I’d like and it’s further emphasized by the thin, clinginess of the fabric, but I know that when I try this again I’ll just cut more generously and use a heavier knit. In an amazing color, of course. / This was definitely a fun experiment and the end result feels very ready for tea with The Queen. ;) I can’t wait to try this out with some layers when fall rolls around. Cardigans, jackets and et cetera. Mmm…

Material Notes

This fabric was given to me in a bag of vintage textiles (which included the fabric for my 70s-inspired skirt) and I decided it would be perfect for a test run of my idea. The color isn’t my best (it actually looks kind of green in these photos, but it’s much more grey/blue) which meant I wouldn’t be devastated if it didn’t turn out the way I hoped. I took one of my tanks, folded it in half and placed it on the crease of the fabric. Using that as a very rough guide, I cut out the dress. I was kind of freaked out because I don’t think I’ve ever tried something so completely pattern-free, but I figured the knit would be forgiving. / It was. I sewed the dress together at the sides, hemmed it up and bound the neck and arm holes with bias cut from the leftover fabric. The “belt” is simply the excess fabric I cut from the hemline.




Garment Type
Casual, Classic, Romantic, Vintage

16 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Dscn3843_large

    Aug 26, 2011, 11.17 AMby Dee Durrant

    Such a lovely dress! I can’t believe you made it without a pattern!

  • Amanda_beth_flynn_large

    Aug 25, 2011, 08.24 PMby Amanda Flynn

    Wow, thank you all! :)

    Curly Gurlz, I used a regular tank top as my basic guide for the top part of the dress, and sewed it on a regular machine. The seams don’t fray so I didn’t need to finish them – super easy! ;)

    dilshadburman – I’m hoping to make up another one soon and take pictures as I go. I’ll post an update if I do the tutorial! :)

  • Eb882cf3947765ff90adf9d40522a23e56385a98_large

    Aug 25, 2011, 11.16 AMby gray

    wow!! It inspires me to be more free style! But I must say brave with knit fabric- it can be such a cow!! This looks just fantastic, great job!

  • Pixie_redux2_large

    Aug 25, 2011, 02.14 AMby dilshadburman


    Instructions maybe?

  • Picture_6_large

    Aug 24, 2011, 10.01 PMby Delphina14

    Gorgeous! Great job! This dress looks fabulous on you. I don’t think this is too tight, it fits perfectly. Simplicity 2443 is similar to this style.

  • Missing

    Aug 24, 2011, 04.43 PMby Curly Gurlz

    What pattern did you use for this tank dress? Did you use a regular machine or a serger?

  • 1bestbutterfly004_large

    Aug 24, 2011, 01.51 PMby urdujabee

    Outstanding! This is gorgeous! And very versatile too! Love it!

  • P1010585_large

    Aug 24, 2011, 12.25 PMby lennert

    Beautiful dress! Also love the colour…

  • Amanda_beth_flynn_large

    Aug 12, 2011, 12.54 AMby Amanda Flynn

    Thank you all so much for the kind comments! You’re so sweet!

    I guess the dress isn’t really too “tight,” it’s just that the fabric clings and accentuates everything underneath, like undergarment seams and everything. ;)

    And yes, I cut the skirt so that it flared out a bit at the sides, since I didn’t want it to look like too much of a plain shift. :)

  • Bssquare_large

    Aug 11, 2011, 07.14 PMby marcy harriell | oonaballoona

    this is sooo elegant. i don’t think it looks too tight!

  • Pc310016_large

    Aug 11, 2011, 07.04 PMby peaches2218

    It’s not too tight on you at all. The shape is incredibly flattering, the colouring is elegant, and the belt makes it much more than just a tank top! This one is definitely a keeper! I agree with peaudane that tank dresses with fuller skirts are much more flattering.

  • Img_4043_large

    Aug 11, 2011, 01.14 PMby psychorat

    I love it! You look adorable and the color is great.

  • 5895503519_d42bddbd6c_o_1__large

    Aug 11, 2011, 12.23 PMby nikkishell

    great dress!

  • Flood_large

    Aug 11, 2011, 12.17 PMby ferret-mom

    Gorgeous dress. I love simple classic items like this.

  • 7dddc9613ac57079351f8a4d299e9aece5cf3908_large

    Aug 11, 2011, 07.09 AMby peaudane

    Great dress! I love versatile styles like this, and your dress is different than most tank dresses because it has volume in the skirt. The color is lovely on you.

  • 7dddc9613ac57079351f8a4d299e9aece5cf3908_large

    Aug 11, 2011, 07.09 AMby peaudane

    Great dress! I love versatile styles like this, and your dress is different than most tank dresses because it has volume in the skirt. The color is lovely on you.

    • This is a question
  1. Sign in to add a post

Add to Favorites 63 people added it