Friday, August 23, 2019

The Watermelon Joey Tank

I bought 1 yard of watermelon print fabric for the bodice of my watermelon dress. After making the dress I still had over half of that length left - and it needed to be turned into something awesome!

But what can one do with less than a yard of 44” wide cotton? Well it turns out, with careful positioning, piecing, and pattern hacking, one can make view A of the Joey Tank, by Made Again Patterns.

After testing several different pattern layouts on my little piece of fabric, I went with the option pictured above as it allowed the front to still be cut on the fold and required very little piecing. The piecing required, across the top of the front piece, actually looked intentional when all was said and done, so that was a win. I even added some dark green flat piping to highlight the fabric join.

To accommodate my fabric shortage, I changed the shape of the upper back a bit - and I really like how that turned out!

After cutting out the tank itself, I turned all my left over fabric scraps into bias tape. The itty-bitty scraps I stitched together yielded enough bias tape to make straps, but not enough to bind the armholes the way the Joey Tank instructions recommend. Thus, those would need to be finished in a different way, but that was ok, because I had I plan.

The Joey tank isn't ideal for wearing with a normal bra. And I don't like wearing strapless bras. Thus, I decided to add a shelf bra to this tank of watermelon-y goodness.

The shelf bra is made from cotton/spandex jersey with a layer of power net added to the front panel for a little extra support.

I cut the jersey to have the same neckline and armhole shape as the tank itself, then cut it narrower below the armhole so it would be tight enough to be some what supportive. I omitted the bust darts, as those wouldn't be needed in a knit support layer. I cut the shelf bra long enough to go from the neckline to right below my bust. Then I cut a matching back piece from the jersey and sewed up the side seams.

Around the bottom I attached elastic. 

This got folded up and zig-zagged in place, just like you do with elastic on a swim suit.

Once the elastic was securely stitched in place, the shelf bra was ready to be added to my watermelon tank top.

I sewed it in like a facing, effectively finishing the neckline and armholes all at once.

The result? A cute and comfy tank top which I don't have to wear a bra with!!

I love it!! And I definitely plan on making more Joey tanks with shelf bras in the future.

Next time I do this however, I do believe I will go ahead and bind the arm holes with bias tape as the pattern recommends. That will keep the shelf bra fabric from peaking out around the edges while raising the armholes just a touch from where they are on this tank top - which would be more comfortable for me.

So there you go, my watermelon fabric has been used up completely, hardly a scrap was wasted.

And I have wound up with not one, but two fabulous watermelon garments which I enjoy wearing immensely.

Not bad for a single yard of fabric purchased off the clearance rack at JoAnn's!

*I received this pattern free of charge in exchange for testing it earlier this year, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. Very clever of you to make a bra that is perfectly hidden under the top!

  2. I love the watermelon fabric! I often make built-in bras on tank tops, too. Understitching the shelf may help keep it from peeking through. I hadn't thought about using scraps to make up bias binding. I am going to have to remember that tip.

    1. Thanks! I love using scrapes for bias tape and piping and such! I did understitch the shelf bra, so the fabric's not "rolling out" thankfully, it's just visible from certain angles yet :/

  3. What a really good use of the remainder of the watermelon fabric. That tank top looks great. I love your trousers as well - are they RTW or hand made - I wear black trousers to the office most days in the cooler months.

    1. Thank you! The trousers are handmade out of a heavy black linen. The pattern is currently in testing, but once it's released I'll post all about them!