Back during the big indie pattern inclusive sizing dustup of 2019, a few designers reached out to me for advice on how improve their size ranges, branding, and general inclusivity when it comes to the curvy/plus size market. Allie from IndieSew was one of those people, and I’m so pleased to announce that she has re-released the first of her patterns in her newly improved size range. Though the Kila Tank isn’t the pattern in her line that I MOST wanted to make, I can see how it was a great pattern for her to start with when approaching this project and I was really glad to help her test the pattern.
The new and improved Kila Tank pattern goes from size 0 to 30 in two ranges. Size 0-18 is drafted for a B cup and size 12-30 is drafted for a D cup, which is a great overlap that should work well for a variety of body types. This is my tester version in a size 18 bust- 22 waist- 24 hips, as correlates with my measurements. My understanding is that a few tweaks were made to the final pattern, including some tweaks to the binding lengths (which I typically ignore and just stretch to fit anyways) and slightly altering the straps to better cover bras in the 22-30 sizes.
The only change that I made to this pattern was to remove an inch above the armhole/bust on both the front and back pattern pieces as I am very short above the bust. I find the fit through the upper bust and armholes to be quite good, which honestly is no small feat for a pattern this fitted and covering this range of sizes. For this tester version, I had to make the adjustment after I had already started construction, so the extra length was removed at the shoulder seams. I have now altered my pattern and taken that length out about halfway between the bust and the shoulder, so my next version fit a little better.
I tried this rib knit from IndieSew for the pattern test (a 25% discount was provided for testers), and I find it much nicer than some other rib knits I have tried in the past which pilled nearly immediately. This fabric is also very stretchy, while maintaining nice recovery, which is another thing that other rib knits I have used lacked. They just seemed to stretch and stretch out of shape, and the shirt I made was soon unwearable (hence never making it to the blog on its own, though you can catch a glimpse in my York Pinafore post). I don’t think that company is selling that fabric anymore or I would provide more information.
Suffice it to say, I am very happy with this rib knit from IndieSew, and with the other one that I tried out for a blog post that will be on IndieSew in a couple of days. They are a little pricey, but I did manage to cut two tanks in a size 24 hip out of 2 yards, so I think the fabric estimates are a little generous in the pattern requirements. I find rib knit a super fun fabric to work with; however, if you find yourself a bit intimidated I have two tips for you, but you’ll have to tune into my post on the IndieSew blog on the 15th to catch those!
I have been wearing this tester version of the tank to work at least once a week since I made it a couple of months ago. I wear it as you see here, with my hiking pants (and boots!), but I also layer a long sleeved sun protection shirt over it. This is such a major improvement from what I normally wear to work that I can’t even express it to you in words! I was previously wearing bulkier t-shirts under my sun shirts, which was both hotter and less comfortable. You might ask why I wear anything under the sun shirts at all- well, they fit poorly because they are RTW (I swear I’ll sew one soon), so baggy through the bust that you can see straight down my shirt, but so tight at my hips that they don’t button. Plus the climate in New Mexico means that you often have to change your layering options multiple times a day, making it necessary to have a base layer for quick wardrobe changes. I’ve made two more since testing, so my comfort level in the field has greatly improved and it makes me much less cranky about collecting stormwater samples in the heat of the New Mexico sun.
I’m also looking forward to incorporating these tanks into my casual/non work clothing as well. Clearly they are great for hiking, and I think they will be great in the winter for skiing, under my warmer layers of clothing. I am also brainstorming how to wear them with the rest of my me made wardrobe as this is style that wasn’t previously something I bought in RTW. Finally, I want to offer a big congrats to Allie on her size improvement! I’ve been told all future patterns will be in this size range and that her existing patterns will be getting upgraded as well. Hooray for patterns that fit my lifestyle!
Just the Facts:
Pattern: Kila Tank by Allie Olsen Patterns
Current Measurements: Bust: 45″, Waist 42″, Hip 53″
Fabric/Notions: Striped rib knit from IndieSew, no notions required!
This pattern was provided to me in exchange for my pattern testing services as well as a 25% discount on the fabric.