So, I rolled out my trusty Wiksten Tank pattern, dug around in the sinister recesses of my fabric stash, and managed to produce these two tops in fairly short order.
This first one is made from (get ready for this)...a chambray bedsheet! At the time, it probably cost about $6.00 at the Value Village, and when I bought it, I was originally planning on making a dress (ha!). I had even cut out the front and back pieces, and sewn on the non-functional button band. It was easy enough to cut the tank pieces from the dress front and back, and there was enough extra fabric that cutting the pocket flaps and bias tape was no problem (in fact, I think I have enough to make a sleeveless Archer top, but let's not get ahead of ourselves...).
I didn't make any modifications except the obvious ones: button band and angled pocket flaps, both of which are decorative. In a perfect world, the pocket flaps would actually sit slightly lower, but I didn't feel strongly enough about it to change their position once they were on. And I love the fabric: it's soft and light, but still has a crispness and structure about it that makes it easy to dress up or down.
Now on to this little cutie. The fabric for this actually came from a vintage apron/nightgown thing that I purchased a while back as part of a vintage fabric lot on ebay. I honestly don't recall what I paid for it, but knowing my miserly self, it was likely no more than $20 for the whole bunch. Because it's a vintage cotton that has seen decades of laundering, it's slightly faded, but wonderfully soft. The floral pattern makes me think a little of those old feedsack fabrics, or even some of the less hideous Liberty prints.
The mods on this one are hard to see in these photos, but there is a decorative button placket at the middle neckline (the buttons seem a little lost against the floral print of the fabric). Because I didn't have enough of the main fabric to cut out the bias tape, I used another vintage floral fabric for those parts. I'm not that big on hidden details, and this is about as deep as I like to get into cute territory, but I do think it added a nice finish.
I know I hinted at the beginning of this post that this kind of sewing is more of a non-challenging necessity than anything, but I realized while making these tops that any kind of sewing is an opportunity to hone your skills. I decided to focus on two things in particular while working on these: getting better at sewing in bias binding, and narrowing the margins between edges and stitching lines when top-stitching things like button bands and pocket flaps. It was actually nice that these projects overall were quite simple, because it made it easier to focus on getting better at these skills.
Anyways, I hope to be back soon with some less boring finished project posts!