Next in our journey through the Peak District and A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabrics is the Winnats Tank, named after an infamous winding vertiginous and narrow road that snakes out of Castleton in the Hope Valley up onto the limestone peaks. It has an incline of 28%! Not for the faint hearted, but plenty of people choose to cycle it!!
The start of Winnats Pass creeps up out of Castleton, past Speedwell Cavern and up towards the peak of Mam Tor.
A versatile tank top has to be another essential of any handmade wardrobe. The Winnats is not just a tank top though, in this one project you’ll learn to:
- make a simple vest for casualwear or leisurewear / activewear or even underwear / nightwear – it’s the perfect layering piece
- make a knee length or maxi length tank dress (ideal for summer holidays)
- add a colour blocked panel to your dress
- finish the neckline and armholes beautifully with my tried and tested method for a folded band finish.
Learn how to sew perfectly neat necklines and armholes.
Photos by Julian Ward © Cico Books
The first toile for the maxi dress version which I wanted to wear everyday in the heat of last summer!
Make a dressed up version of the tank vest in a drapey knit such as bamboo, silk or viscose jersey and team it with the Derwent Trousers. A cotton jersey version will see you through the summer or why not make one for the gym or yoga? If you make a short or maxi length dress in a neutral colour such as black or navy, I guarantee it will become your summer go-to dress.
A few facts about tank tops with which to dazzle your friends…..(!):
- they’re probably named after 1930’s swim suits called “tank suits” usually a one-piece sleeveless garment worn for swimming in tanks or swimming pools (hence the word tank)
- interchangeably called tanks, vests, or less commonly singlets, the origin of all these sleeveless garments was probably underwear
- it’s definitely not a camisole – the difference between a tank top or vest and a camisole being the width of the shoulder straps – camisoles tend to have much finer “spaghetti” straps.
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