As everyone who spends a lot of time shopping for patterns knows, there are a lot of similar patterns out there. I often see people ask about the differences between specific patterns, or which of a few patterns they should buy. It can be hard to decide which is going to be the best fit for you. And even worse – how many of us are guilty of buying patterns that are very similar to ones we own, and yet haven’t even used yet? I know I am!
And so, I took on a challenge to do something about that. I combed through my pattern stash, and I found three patterns that are all for loose flowing tanks, and proceeded to sew all three up within a day — you know, like you do.
The three patterns I used were the Santa Fe Top from Hey June Patterns, the Key West Tank from New Horizons Patterns, and the Free Spirit Tank from Patterns for Pirates. Above, you can see the chart I made, which answers a lot of questions to begin with. The three patterns all have different size ranges, and offer different options and views.
The fabric that I used for all three tops is a slubby jersey knit from Fabricland. I had 3m of it, and I just managed to cut out all of the tanks. Although I had to get creative and piece the back of the last tank I cut. So I’m sorry to the Key West tank for that awkward seam down the back…
I should also note I got a brand new serger for Christmas (YAY!), and these tanks were the first projects I made on it. So I apologize for the puckered side seams and the uneven banding. I’m learning. But I’m so very excited to be learning!
Okay, now onto the tanks!!
I made the Santa Fe in View E, the sleeveless tank with side insets. I made the insets with the same green jersey, and laid crochet lace over top of it. The Santa Fe is described as having a slightly cropped length, and it is the shortest of the three. It also has binding on the neck and arms, as opposed to the bands that the other two patterns have. I made no changes to this pattern, not even the 2″ length adjustment I normally make.
I love the visual shaping that the insets give, and I also do love the options of this pattern. It has a tank view with more narrow shoulders, as well as a dolman t-shirt view, so when I make it again, I’ll mix it up and try a new view.
The biggest pro to this pattern is the different views. The instructions are lain out clearly for each view, and as always, Hey June has professional instructions and drafting. All of the seams are trued on this pattern.
The Key West tank has a couple of options for you to mix and match with. I made it in the tank length with the racerback and added the pocket. The only alteration I made was to cut the back in two pieces, adding seam allowances and a center back seam. Again, I didn’t add my usual 2″ of length. I like the casual shape of this one. The neckline isn’t too low, nor the armpits. There is flare to this pattern, but it doesn’t swallow me up. The pocket is a cute little addition too.
The biggest bonus to this pattern is it’s free with an code exclusive to their Facebook group, so go join the New Horizons Facebook Group and download this pattern.
I made my Free Spirit Tank with the standard shirt length hem and the racerback. I absolutely love the shape of this racerback. It frames my shoulder tattoo so perfectly, and I just love having tops that I know will show it off. This one is the most fitted through the bust, and it drapes nicely through the waist and hips.
The biggest pro to this pattern is the multitude of options. They’re all mix-and-match, which leaves you with nearly endless tank options.
Here is a front view of all three tanks – Santa Fe, Key West, and Free Spirit – in that order. You can see that the Santa Fe is more cropped, and you can also see the difference in ease at the bust here.
A back view – Santa Fe, Key West, and Free Spirit – in that order again. I have to say that I love how the Free Spirit frames my back tattoo. I will note again that the Key West pattern does not have a center back seam, I had to piece it as I was short on fabric.
Although these three are all flowy tanks, that’s about the only similarity they have. They’re all unique patterns, and they offer different features. I think all three are great patterns, and all are certainly worth sewing. Really, it all comes down to personal preference.
So what do you think? Which one is your favourite? Which would you sew?
PS – my affiliate link to purchase the Hey June Santa Fe top is here