I've been mad for tank tops this summer, but I also wanted a simple dress that I could wear in the heat and be comfortable, yet somewhat put together.
My solution is the Loes Hinse Tank Dress Group. It's been out for a number of years, but I just got around to tracing it recently. I sewed it up Saturday and wore it around the house afterwards. I liked wearing it so much that I retraced an improved version and cut out a second dress that night before going to bed. Hopefully, you'll be seeing that one soon.
The first tracing was my usual for Loes Hinse, Medium from neck through armsyces, then Large the rest of the way. It looked a little long in the torso, so I folded out 1" in the chest . When I cut into the fabric, I allowed an additional 1" at the side seams for "insurance." This is an old Sandra Betzina trick, and I did it for a couple of reasons. I'm short waisted and my "hip area" falls higher on me than pattern drafting standards, even for petites. Also, Loes designs with a European fit, so sometimes her patterns don't allow quite as much ease as I feel comfortable with. Nobody needs to know what size I'm sewing anyway--whatever works for me is right...for me, that is. Isn't that part of why we sew? For what it's worth, I wear a 10 or Medium in most RTW.
It was wearable sewn per the original pattern, but I little snug for casual wearing in the desert heat, meaning no shapewear, no pantyhose, just the bare essentials. As a result, I ended up using 1/4" of my seam insurance at each seam (1" total). I also cut off about 10 1/2" of length so it falls right above the knee. I noticed that the neckline was a bit high and tight fitting over the head, but that was my fault. I traced the view with the crew neck, when what I really wanted was the scoop neck. My bad. I also felt that the elastic shirring could be a little higher on my body even though I'd already made that 1" torso length adjustment. My revised tracing takes all of these tweaks into account, plus a little additional shaping in the bust area. I also marked the tank top length so I can use the pattern for those as well.
The fabric is faux batik rayon from JoAnn's. I don't remember when I bought it, but I'm amazed at how nice it is. Nice weight, very drapy, and it has a herringbone weave like Tommy Bahama clothing. I wish JoAnn's had quality like this all the time; it's lovely stuff.
Here's a close up of the necklace. It's one that I made a few years back. Despite its simplicity, it's a favorite and gets worn a lot. You can also see the weave of the fabric.