Quilter makes a {tank} dress


This is the first piece of clothing I’ve ever made in my whole life. Making clothes scares me so I’ve never tried attempting it before this week. I had a few mishaps but I think I feel comfortable enough to start making some of my own skirts and things now that I sort of understand the process.

Thank you so much Marisa for your encouragement and help on Twitter! I messed up my first skirt and it was nice talking through the problems with someone experienced.

Smashed Peas and Carrots – Empire Waist Dress is the tutorial I used. I liked that it basically involved me making a skirt and attaching it to an existing tank top. I had several tank tops that I didn’t like the fit of around my stomach so they’d work perfectly for this.

My serger is a Bernina Funlock 007D that a listener (thanks Tracy!) gave to me. I’m still learning how to use it. I signed up for the Craftsy Serger class and I plan on buying an hour of private lesson time at my LQS to troubleshoot some tension issues I’m having with the 4 thread safety stitch. I can thread it though! The three thread overlock I sort of got working. In this photo I’m testing out a rolled hem.

You can do the pattern without a serger but I want to use mine more often now that I’ve freed it from the corner of the room.



My first attempt isn’t half bad. I attached the tank top to the elastic differently than how she did so I think I’m going to try her method next time because I like how it looks when it’s finished better than mine. I still need to hem my dress which is why I was experimenting with the rolled hem on the serger. I want to make this easy and give the skirt some movement on the bottom.  Not sure how short I’m going to make it yet.


Gathering the skirt to the elastic was the most challenging part to figure out how to do evenly.  I felt like I needed three hands while trying to get it to do right.

I have three more tank tops I hope to do this with before my cruise! These will be perfect for summer.



  1. It’s really pretty Katie! I had a dress like that too and loved it (even though I didn’t make it myself) Hope it’ll get good use on your cruise!

  2. No problem 🙂 – you will get a hang of the elastic sewing in no time, just takes practice.

    Love the other fabrics you’ve picked out! Are they knits? I can’t wait to make a few for summer here too – may even experiment with cap-sleeved tee’s I have that have been stained toward to bottom (joys of having a preschooler!). Can’t wait to see the rest of yours put together for your trip!!

  3. Well Katie, looks like you’ve conquered another “demon”. The fabric is lovely. Garment sewing is a real treat – well at least in my opion – and allows one to have clothing that actually fits!

  4. Glenna in TX says:

    Great job, Katie. Good start!

  5. I, like you, am not a garment maker. Since I have started quilting I have discovered that MOST quilters knew how to sew before they took up quilting. They have an advantage over us. I admire your perseverance and your courage to jump in and try new things! I hope you realise what an inspiration you are to all of us! Good job on your tank dress!