Episodes - 613

nicole blum

Cute Combo by Nicole Blum

Combine the structure of woven fabric with the stretch and comfort of jersey knit. Embellish the neckline with coordinating hand embroidery for a great fitting garment that's original and easy to wear.


1 yard each of woven cotton fabric (voile or quilter's cotton) & jersey knit

Matching all-purpose thread

Large sheet of pattern paper or kraft paper

Rotary cutting system or shears

Tailor's chalk

Tracing wheel & paper

Embroidery floss

Embroidery needle

Ready-made tank top

Draft It

Fold the tank top in half lengthwise with the front together. Place the paper on a flat work surface. Align the tank fold with the paper straight edge (1).


Trace the tank-back neckline and armscyes. Trace the shoulder and side seams 1/2" veyond the tank edge to account for the seam allowance. Trace the hem, adding 3" for contouring. Add more or less, depending on the desired finished look. If the original tank isn't the desired length, measure from your shoulder to the desired back length and add 1" for the hem.

Fold the tank in half lengthwise with the back together. Align the folded edge with the paper straight edge, aligning the tank with the traced lines. Use a tracing wheel and paper to trace the front neckline (2). Cut out the pattern.


Sew It

Place the pattern onto the woven fabric, placing the pattern center front on the fold. Use chalk to trace the pattern perimeter onto the fabric. Use a tracing wheel and paper to transfer the front neckline (3); cut out.


Place the pattern onto the jersey fabric, placing the pattern center front on the fold, with the greatest stretch running perpendicular to the center back. Cut out.

Unfold the tank front and back. With right sides together, align the tank edges. Stitch the shoulders and side seams using a 1/2" seam allowance. Clip the seam allowances at each corner.

Measure the neckline and armscye length; record. From the jersey, cut one 1"-wide strip across the fabric stretch according to the neckline measurement for the neckline binding. Cut two 1"-wide strips according to the armscye measurement for the armscye binding.

Beginning just beyond one shoulder seam, fold the neckline binding in half lengthwise around the raw edge (4). Ensure that the strip front and back are even; pin.


Set the machine to a zigzag stitch. Stitch the binding with the raw edge running along the zigzag center. Stitch a few inches, and then end with the needle in the fabric. Gently pull the binding and stitch a few inches. Continue stitching and pulling until about 1" before the binding beginning.

Cut the binding end 1/2" beyond the binding beginning. Snip the corners of the binding end, and then fold the end 1/2" toward the wrong side. Gently pull it to overlap the binding beginning. Stitch the overlap and the remaining binding edge.

Repeat to bind each armscye, beginning and ending at the side seam.

Fold the tank with wrong sides together, aligning the side seams. Beginning at the front fold and using chalk, mark a 1/2" line perpendicular to the fold 2" above the raw edge. From the line end, draw a gentle slope, crossing the side seam about 1" from the lower edge, and then continuing to the back panel. True the slope out to the raw edge 2" to 3" from the back fold (5).


Press the lower edge 1" toward the wrong side. Zigzag stitch 1/4" from the fold, and then trim away the excess fabric close to the stitching.

Embroider It

Download the hand embroidery stitch guide and collar template.

Align the collar template with the tank front neckline. Trace the lower edge.

Thread an embroidery needle with six strands of embroidery floss. Embroider the shirt as desired.

Accent a simple shirt using simple stitches, such as cross stitches and straight stitches, along the neckband and shoulder seams in a contrasting color. If using a patterned fabric, embroider it like a coloring book, following the printed motifs.


nicole blum


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