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Women’s Shorts & Tanks Review by Rox

Women's Tanks & Shorts Reviews

Hello again! I’m the “Rox” of Pen, Seb, & Rox. This time around I’m taking a look at a total of SIX women’s sewing patterns. For the sake of everybody’s sanity I won’t get too long-winded with my analysis but I still hope to give you a good idea of my experiences with sewing each pattern. Feel free to ask questions if you think I missed something!

Who am I sewing for this round?
Rox
Chest – 38″ (high) 42″ (fullest)
Waist – 36″
Hips – 42″ (high) 45″ (fullest)
Inseam – 32″
Height – 5′ 8″

Brassie Joggers
Brassie Joggers by GreenStyle Creations

The pattern in brief:
– XXs-3XL
– 6 lengths included
– Unisex
– Drawstring and front pocket details
– Designed for knit fabric
– $9.00

Check out the Pattern Exam checklist for the pattern.

What size I made: 2XL

Brassie Joggers
Thoughts:
When researching what shorts patterns I already owned I noticed that the trendy cut Brassie Joggers had a cut line for shorts included! Since the joggers are slim fitting in design, the shorts will be as well unless you size up. When making my pair I went for the size closest to my hip measurements and did not add to the length.The pattern has a low-rise and mid-rise option. I went for the mid-rise since low-rises tend to hit me in a weird not-very-flattering-at-all spot. Before adding the waistband I took in the sides slightly because I felt that I had more gaping than I felt that the waistband would be able to compensate for without things looking wrong. I also pinned the elastic in place and tried on the shorts a few times to get the elastic length just right. For the fabric I used a cotton and lycra knit. The tutorial and pattern are very straightforward so the only challenge is tweaking the fit for your own needs.

I knew the given inseam length would make the shorts true to their name but for the sake of experimentation I wanted to see the length in action. Mr. Rox thought that they would be the “cutest” (his word) workout shorts and I agree. The length and fit hit right at that sweet sport where movement does not cause them slide down or ride up. Of course your mileage may vary with the length. This pattern I bought earlier in the year with plans to make myself winter lounge pants, that never happened. After my success with making these shorts I’ll be definitely be giving the longer length a try in the future.

Jocole Skinnies
Ladies Skinny Pants, Capris & Shorts by Jocole

The pattern in brief:
– 00-28w
– 7 length options included
– Knit waistband with 3 options
– Muslin recommended
– $14.00

Check out the Pattern Exam checklist for the pattern.

What size I made: 20


Thoughts:
The pattern really does come with everything you need to get the ideal fit. From detailed size charts to information blending sizes with a few muslins most sewists will end up with a satisfactory fit. I found that I was pretty happy with the size 20 overall with just a few minor tweaks. Keep in mind that most of my read-to-wear pants have a tag that states “16” so this is a good example of how going by the size chart measurements and not the (possibly) vanity sizing on your existing clothing. I used a lightweight cotton for the main body of the shorts and a cotton lycra blend with good recovery for the waistband. I liked the regular waistband height that I picked and thought it provided good coverage with adding excess bulk. The website description for the pattern states that the pattern is a quick sew and the only part that makes it “intermediate” is that a muslin is highly recommended. I completely agree with those statements and think a beginner willing to make a muslin can definitely tackle this pattern. This is version #2 for me and while I’m pretty happy with the fit overall I’d definitely tweak it a bit more on version #3 to get the back just right.

Free Spirit Tank
Free Spirit Tank by Patterns For Pirates

The pattern in brief:
– XXS-3X
– 4 lengths included
– 4 hemline options
– 2 back options
– Designed for knit fabric
– $8.00

Check out the Pattern Exam checklist for the pattern.

What size I made: L

Free Spirit Tank
Thoughts:
With how much stretch/recovery the knit I was using had and the flowing hemline I thought I could stick by my high chest despite the rest of me being slightly larger than the dimensions on the size chart. The bottom skims a bit closer than some examples I’ve seen but I think closer fit is more flattering on my body shape. I’d definitely blend a L/XL if making the tunic or dress length since the shirt length hits right before things start getting extra curvy. With the right fabric and size chosen this top is very flattering!

Hip Hop Tank
Hip Hop Tank by Love Notions

The pattern in brief:
– XS – XXL
– Four views included
– Girls version available
– Some views work with knits or wovens
– $8.95

Check out the Pattern Exam checklist for the pattern.
What size I made: L

Hip Hop Tank
Thoughts:
I went for the Plain Jane view A. Which sounds kind of crazy since the Hip Hop Tank has so many cute options but one thing I struggle with is not having enough basics both in my closet and cut sewing patterns ready to go. Based on the finished dimensions I went for more ease but ended up taking in the side slightly since, like with the Free Spirit Tank, I was using a cotton knit with good stretch and recovery. I’m betting if I had gone with using a woven for view A I would definitely want the extra ease. View A is a cute basic and with all the other look options I can this pattern easily being a staple.


Jersey Top
Jersey Top by LAVitaly

The pattern in brief:
– Xs-XL
– Made in Italy!
– Designed for knit jersey fabric
– ONLY $1.14

Check out the Pattern Exam checklist for the pattern.
What size I made: L

Jersey Top
Thoughts:
Printing and assembly of this pattern is a bit different from most pdf’s I’ve sewn but it comes with a file that explains how you print it properly. The rest of the top assembly is straight forward with help from a photo tutorial. I went by my high bust measurement since the billowy empire cut might make me look pregnant with too much fabric. I really think getting a fabric with the right amount of drape will really make or break this top. The jersey I used was lightweight and makes for a very comfortable summer top.

Double Tier Tank

Double Tier Tank by Seamingly Smitten

The pattern in brief:
– Xs-3XL
– 8 style options
– Petite, regular and tall hem lengths
– No fancy techniques or equipment required!
– $8.00

Check out the Pattern Exam checklist for the pattern.

What size I made: L
Double Tier Tank
Thoughts:
I was all over the place if I’d end up liking this pattern (impulse buy when it was on sale for $3) and it turns out that I do! I used a really lightweight jersey and made the executive decision to serge a contrasting gray edge in lieu of hemming to visually separate the two layers more since I stuck with the same fabric for both tiers. With the bottom tier designed to be “flowy”, I felt like I could get away with making a L. I think that choice worked well for the fabric I used and my body. The top has all sorts of potential with both the style options and depending on your own fabric choices!

Women's Shorts & Tanks

All the tops sewn for the reviews were quick to assemble and sew. The shorts are also quick to make but you may need to make a pair or two to tweak the fit but your efforts will be reward because it’s not like the stores carry bottoms that fit YOU.

Thanks for bearing with me through all the reviews. Until next time!

Roxanne
Roxanne is quite the fan of hat wearing and one of her favorite hats is her "sewing" hat. She learned from her mother who learned from her grandmother. Currently Roxanne is the official "Pattern Mistress" of the Pattern Exam. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, son Sebastian, daughter Penelope, and two cats.

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