I picked up this rather vibrant (dare I say neon! or is it chartreuse?) green fabric sometime last year in downtown LA. The Michael Levine bulk store is a haven for knits and I've been lucky to find a lot of basic solids there. I found this one when I was in the midst of testing the Lou Box Top and snatched it up. I had planned to make a sample and give it to a friend whose skin tone might be better flattered by this color but never got around to it.
I recently purchased a novelty racerback tank. It sports the phrase “I wish you were beer” which I childishly think is hilarious and of course I had to buy it. It’s a little low cut under the arms so I decided to trace it and make an undershirt to wear with it, adding some extra coverage to the armholes. It went pretty well so in a fit of sewing inspiration/madness, I decided to make a racerback swing dress. I just extended the length and made sure there would be enough room for the hips.
Mostly, I’m pleased with the fit of the dress/tank however adding the extra coverage seemed to mess with how the shoulders sit on the body and the shoulder seams pull a little forward. I’m not too stressed about it because it’s comfortable and I see it as a comfortable, weekend wear. So fit perfection is not too much of a worry. However, if I make another racerback I think I’ll go back to another one I traced off an RTW last year.
The construction was pretty quick and easy, just side seams and shoulder seams then binding the neck and armholes. I finished the hem with a twin needle on my conventional machine fitted with a walking foot. I used wooly nylon thread in the bobbin which I highly recommend. It’s a stretchy, multi-strand thread that helps the twin needle stitch lay flat.
I've really come to love the look of a racerback. It used to be pretty exclusively for athletic wear and still feels really casual to me but I love being able show off a little of my back and not feel too exposed. Overall, I'm very pleased with this dress and like the color much more than I initially thought I would. I plan on wearing it a lot on weekends (as I did the rest of Sunday when I took these photos) and even as a nightgown. That said, the weather seems to be turning cooler and I might actually need to get a coat out of the closet. So this dress will need to keep until spring or the next heat wave.
Have you ever traced an RTW garment to create a pattern? How did it work for you?