Dressmaking · Pattern Testing

The Lola Tank by Staystitch Pattern Co

I was on the pattern testing team for Staystitch and received a free copy of the final pattern in return. There was no obligation to share and all the feedback below is my own.

Introducing the Lola tank! When I saw that Candice from Sew Bake Make was releasing her first pattern in partnership with Lindsey from the Stitch Fitz I was immediately interested. I love her style and we are not too far apart in measurements so I like to see what she makes!

When I realised it was a knit tank, at first I wasn’t sure. As I’ve written before, despite being experienced with woven fabrics I remain very intimidated by stretch fabrics and have a love/hate relationship with my overlocker.

The Lola tank also seemed very form fitting which isn’t usually my style….but I decided to challenge myself and apply to be a tester. I told myself that this was a great opportunity to force myself to practise sewing with stretch and if I didn’t like the final result I’d at least have a bit of practice under my belt.

Well, I NEVER could have guessed how much I would end up loving this pattern! So much in fact I ended up making 3!

After a year of not wearing bras why would I start now??

Here are my favourite things about this pattern:

  • It has SEVEN seams and a hem. That’s it! This means that not only is it a quick pattern to work with if you want, it also frees you up to really focus on getting the seams even and build up your stretch sewing skills.
  • The shape is gorgeous. I love the cut out shape of the shoulders which looks great on everyone and, although I haven’t gone for the longer cut yet, think that would be beautiful too.
  • It is a great scrapbuster – in my size taking just 60cm of fabric!
  • The instructions are great – Candice and Lindsay have put so much thought into this pattern and the instructions are really clear. I enjoyed the testing process which seemed to really respect the feedback of testers and was a nice way (in the Facebook group) of seeing everyone’s progress.

The hardest part of this pattern would be choosing the fabric. You need to be careful to choose a fabric with the right stretch content and bounce-back-ability. For example, a cotton jersey wouldn’t work but a viscose jersey works really well.

For my first version I used a lovely lurex fabric my friend Meg from Pigeon Wishes gave me from her stash. The stripes look so lovely in the pattern! I had enough left to make another one for my friend Linda who is also my almost-size-twin.

I’ve paired it here with my latest Kew skirt in 4oz denim but this top seriously goes with everything!

I felt so inspired by this first one I marched to my local fabric store A Boeken and picked up another striped fabric, this time a viscose jersey. Viscose jersey has a lovely drape and is a little slippery to work with but came together really nicely for the top, and feels so soft.

My top tips for this pattern would be:

  • look at the finished measurements to help choose your style. From my experience, it is true to size
  • choose your fabric carefully to ensure it has enough stretch. Candice and Lindsey offer great tips on this in the pattern.
  • I chose to sew on the machine first and then overlock my seams. If sewing on the machine, use a walking foot and a 2×2 zig zag stitch

Well, have I convinced you yet? I really surprised myself with this make – once again something I might not have thought of as “me” in a store turned out to be one of my favourite makes of the year!

You can purchase the Lola tank pattern here or check out other tester versions on the #thelolatank tag. Thank you Candice and Lindsey for letting me test this pattern!

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