Tuesday Stitches’ Tropo Camisole pattern is one of our featured patterns for the Extras and Accessories section of the Curvy Year of Sewing. It is a simple but very useful style that is basically exactly what I’m always trying to find in stores. Will it live up to Erin’s Every Day Dress Up promise?
The Tropo Camisole comes in a decent size range. In fact I’m usually towards the end of the standard size range, but in this case I was towards the middle. Erin recommends picking a size by your high bust, so the range is 32/25/35 to 52/45/55. Then there are 3 cup size options (A/B, C/D, and E/F) to choose from depending on the difference between your high bust and full bust measurement. The Tropo also includes 5 different neckline/shoulder strap configurations including nursing. (Where was this pattern when I was nursing?!?!?!) It also includes an optional shelf bra.
For my first run at the pattern I took my measurements (37.5 high bust, 42 full bust, 35 waist, and 47 hip) and blended between the 12c/d bust, 16 waist, and 18 hip. I was right on the edge between c/d and e/f, but decided to start on the smaller end.
My first version of the tank was made from a medium weight cotton jersey with a swim lining shelf bra and I used 1 inch FOE (fold over elastic) for the straps. And I like the fit pretty well right out of the pdf though I definitely felt the bust was a touch too tight. My side seams were straight, so my bust wasn’t pulling obviously or anything. It just felt like the fabric was working too hard.
I did love the shelf bra with its free floating bra band. I really hate when shelf bras are only in the front and attach at the side seams. The seams are always pulling to the front, but this shelf bra is only attached at the neckline and this provides better support.
I also had some pooling at the small of my back. Needing a sway back adjustment is pretty typical for me, so I wasn’t surprised to see excess fabric at my back waist.
Tropo was an easy camisole to construct. It relies on a regular sewing machine so I barely touched my serger, but if you have a coverstich that could be useful. Erin has posted a few tutorials on her site, so if you get lost there is a helping hand available. After making the first version I only needed to refer to the directions to check my elastic measurements.
For my second version I went up to the E/F cup size and I like the fit a lot better. You can see this version in some sort of athletic poly seems to maybe pull a tad at the bust, but that might be partly my mega boob enlarging sports bra underneath. I also substituted fabric bands for the straps and neckline binding instead of FOE.
Still pooling at the back. I think I might need more butt room in this tank because it it pulled a bit over my backside even though my fabrics had plenty of stretch.
I really like the Tropo Camisole. It has some great features like the cup sizing, shelf bra, and inclusive size range. Erin has really been working on making clothes that work for a variety of body shapes and I really admire her willingness to listen to the needs of her customers and design with those challenges in mind. Most designers seem to design for their own body type, but Erin is showing that a good designer can design for others as well.
However even though I admire Erin, there are a couple things I don’t love about the Tropo Camisole. For the C/D and E/F cup sizes there is a dart. That is great for getting a good fit, but its not a feature I want in a simple knit tank. I wish she’d found a way to incorporate cup sizing without the dart especially since the dart is also in the shelf bra. For my workout top I used a lining, power mesh, and the main fabric which meant 3 layers of darts for a tank. It’s kind of a lot and as I move the darts shift a bit so you can see all the layers.
The other thing that I don’t like is the narrow straps. I used wider FOE than suggested and you can clearly see my bra in both versions. This is not a deal breaker. I’m planning to wear these for pajama tops and work out tops and I’m totally fine with my bra showing at those moments, but I don’t like my bra to show for my everyday wardrobe. Totally a person preference, but I know many of us wear pretty hefty bras to support our heavy busts.
Even with my minor quibbles, this is a fun and easy pattern. Over a weekend I managed to make 2 tank versions and 2 nightgown versions so this pattern has already been well worth the price*. I kind of want to make a whole sleep wardrobe based on the Tropo Camisole!
Size Range (1-5) – 5, remember the bust goes by your high bust measurement
Instructions (1-5) – 5, so easy!
Construction Process (1-5) – 5, goes together smoothly
Final Fit (1-5) – 4, not enough butt room and straps are a little narrow
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation – 4.75, such a great loungewear staple
Tuesday Stitches was kind enough to offer up a Tropo Camisole to one very lucky CSC reader! Comment on this post by June 24th at 11:59pm PST and I’ll draw one winner who will receive the Tropo Camisole for free. Thank you Erin!
*I bought this pattern and fabric with my own money. All opinions are mine!