Sunday, July 28, 2019

Jalie Michelle tank

Here I am again, sewing a Jalie pattern. This time it's Michelle, another one of the patterns released this year. The pattern has two views, a top and a dress. I'll leave the dress for others - I made the top.

First I made it as instructed in navy linen. The top is supremely simple - it has two pieces and they are not front and back, they are outer and inner layers. The front and back are identical. The inner layer is a long facing with the same upper shaping as the outer layer - it's just shorter. If you are using a sheer fabric, you cut four of the outer layers. In this non-see-through fabric I chose the short inner layer option.

Tucked in
The top is cut on grain. It falls a little stiffly in my linen but is very pleasing and really cool.

If making this on-grain again, I would make a modified piece for the back. I'd cut the neck line higher in back and I would consider making it a tiny bit wider. The straps are cut so that on me, they are pushed out away from the neck. This causes the centre of the piece to flare out somewhat. I'd like it to lie a tiny bit flatter at the back. However it is very wearable as is.

FYI I cut the pattern on the lines for size R through the neck and arm openings and graded out to S at the hip. This adjustment was totally unnecessary, as the top is very roomy.

Bias pattern piece
Based on how this fits I thought it would be fun to try the top cut on the bias but without any other pattern adjustments. I have lots of very light weight white linen which is semi-sheer, so after I made a full piece (tracing another half and taping it to the original at the centre line) I cut out four pieces, single layer.

Some quick on line research indicated that I should cut two layers at 90° to each other. As this site explains:

"When considering the layout of your garment it is important to remember that every fabric has two true biases, each perpendicular to the other. When the front and back of a dress are cut on parallel biases, the dress has a tendency to twist around the body. Instead, cut the front and back biases perpendicular to each other. This results in a balanced garment. If the garment has center front and back seams, the direction of the bias should alternate around the body."
Fusible "facing"

To stabilize the strap-neckline-armscye area, I cut very lightweight fusible interfacing in a facing shape and fused it on the inner layers for front and back. Then I sewed each interfaced layer to an uninterfaced piece, with the interfacing side up so the edges would stretch as little as possible during the sewing.

I made a baby hem on the outside and just serge finished the under layer a little bit shorter.

And the verdict?

The bias cut does not make as much of a difference as I expected to the look of the top. It flows a bit more over the bust, but the back is still forming a sort of fold at CB.

This is a great hot weather top!


  1. Good information. A very attractive top!!

  2. Lovely top. I thought it would be a little more "bias" as well. It still looks great and the back is lovely on you.

  3. Thanks for posting this experiment. I assumed the original was meant to be on the bias, looks surprisingly well draped, considering it isn't.