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Rachelle from 5 out of 4 Patterns has knocked it out of the park with her newest pattern, the Maria Tank. It’s a twist/cross back tank that looks fairly difficult to sew, but it’s really not. You can choose to use binding or bands and honestly, that is the hardest part of this pattern. You also have the option of tank, tunic, dress, or maxi length and high or low neckline.
I ended up making three Maria tanks throughout the testing process, but not because there were that many changes. It was truly because I love this pattern! I started out with the one above in bulgaree ITY from So Sew English. I chose to do binding and followed the directions exactly as written using a double fold binding. But I should warn you that doing binding with ITY takes a LOT of patience and wash away wonder tape.
My second Maria Tank is out of a rayon spandex, also from So Sew English. I have to say that I don’t love rayon spandex. I can’t figure out exactly why I don’t like it either. It’s fairly flowy and soft, but it stretches out easily, and I always feel like it lays funny on me.
I decided to try out the band option on this one. Since rayon spandex doesn’t have great recovery and is pretty stretchy, I used cotton lycra for the bands. Rachelle did include instructions and different cut lengths if you use a stretchier fabric for your bands/binding. So be sure to read those depending on your fabric choice.
Also note that I crossed the very top of the back again on this one. It does not change the overall outcome of the shirt, but isn’t exactly what was intended. You can also see the gathers a little better in the picture on the right. They aren’t difficult, but be careful when attaching the neck band/binding as the gathers can come undone and stretch out your neck opening.
The last one I made is from a different kind of ITY from So Sew English. This one is slippery compared to the Bulgaree ITY used in my first version. It also has a cool feel to the touch. I once again used binding, but this time, I decided to not follow the tutorial instructions exactly. I serged the binding on using a 3/8″ seam allowance, but that cuts off about 1/8″. I then just folded the binding over to the wrong side and top stitched using my coverstitch machine. After that, I just cut off the excess fabric on the back. So in other words, I did a single fold binding.
I absolutely love the Maria Tank…it’s different than most tanks, but is still super comfortable. It’s a semi-fitted tank which is what I’m most comfortable wearing. I can still wear a cross strap regular bra instead of a racerback bra too, which is a major bonus! I feel like using ITY made it a little dressier, where the rayon spandex was a little more sporty looking. So much versatility!