This post first appeared on the IndieSew blog, however they will sadly be closing their doors at the end of the month, so I am re-posting here on my personal blog to save for future reference. This is my second version of the Kila Tank (and an identical third was made at the same time), I have been wearing all three of my versions constantly since I made them. My first version can be seen here. I wish Allie the best of luck in her new ventures, which it sounds like will be focused on creating more patterns. Yay!
I could not be more thrilled to help Allie out with the launch of the new size range for her Allie Olson pattern line! I first talked to Allie about this over the winter, and I know she has been working hard since then to get all the details right on the launch of her new and improved sizing. I’ve always been drawn to the styles of the Allie Olson patterns. They are practical designs that are great for my casual and outdoorsy lifestyle, so I am looking forward to seeing more patterns in my size in the future!
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. My bust is a size 18, so it is covered by both ranges, but since I needed to grade up to a 24 for my hips, I chose the D cup range. My measurements are 45″-42″-53″. As I am short/petite above the bust, I took out an inch above the bust on both the front and back pattern pieces, and I am very happy with how well this fits under the arm and through the chest.
I am not going to lie, I was initially intimidated by the amount of negative ease (especially through the hips) when we were in the pattern testing phase. But of course, it is just the right amount for this style, which I will mostly be using for layering. It works great under long sleeve shirts used for sun protection. In fact I’ve been wearing my tester version to work (I’m a geologist!) at least once a week, so I am glad to add this second version to my wardrobe.
The rib knits that are in the Indiesew shop (all are 20% off through Aug. 25 with coupon code NEWKILA) are just lovely. I really love the heather grey version that I used. It is so soft and stretchy that it feels almost like wearing nothing, which is perfect for August in New Mexico. In fact, I may need to make a few more Kila Tanks for sleeping in! And for something so close fitting, the rib knit does a great job of not showing every little detail of your undergarments.
I have to say, this fabric is much higher quality than some other rib knits I’ve used, which pilled nearly immediately. My tester version in the 2×2 Blue Black Stripe is still going strong after many wears!
I have just two tips for working with rib knit, otherwise I think it is a very straightforward fabric to sew. My first tip is that even though both sides look nearly the same, under a high amount of stretch, one side becomes slightly shiny due to the high spandex content. Hold the fabric up to the light while it is stretched tightly and you will see which side that is. I use that side as the back. My other tip is not to be afraid to really stretch those bindings as you apply them; the high amount of stretch and negative ease means that it will still look great when worn!
Though I’ve been really leaning into oversized clothing lately, I can’t deny that this tank does a great job of balancing out the volume of my Arenite Pants. This style of tank wasn’t something I previously had in my wardrobe because the difference in sizes between my top and bottom halves mean that it’s a very hard style for me to buy in RTW. I’m so glad to have the Kila Tank pattern in my stash, I think it is really going to open up a lot more styling possibilities in my wardrobe.