Gemma Sewing Pattern is HERE!

Gemma sewing pattern
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Gemma is here!! I’m so excited about this tank pattern, and clearly many of you are as well! It has a clean, sleek cut, beautifully fitted shoulders and bust darts, and an attractive curved hem. This is one of those garments that we can put in the “staple” category, but there’s something about Gemma that’s more special than that. It’s so versatile and comfortable and flattering; I’ve been wearing my test versions constantly this summer, and I’m sure I’ll layer them under cardigans for all the cooler months too.

Gemma is the second of my “Presto Patterns” collection. The idea behind Presto patterns is that they are simple and easy to make, drafted and tested with the same level of care as the rest of my patterns, but include more abbreviated instructions and only one view rather than multiple views (read more about Presto patterns in this post).

Gemma is available as a PDF sewing pattern, which includes print-at-home pages as well as copy shop files (in both A0 and US formats), just like the rest of my women’s digital patterns!

I’ve put together a Gemma Page where you can find all of the blog posts and related tutorials (coming soon!) for Gemma.

In the shop listing, you’ll find additional photos, plus all the charts for sizes, finished measurements, and yardage.

I’d love to see what you make with the Gemma Pattern! Please use the hashtags #gemmatank#madebyrae, or #raemademedoit on Instagram and Twitter to share your photos, or post pictures of your finished pants to the Rae Made Me Do It pool in Flickr and see what others have made! I also have a Made by Rae group on Facebook now, so if you’d like to join and be a part of the sewing community there, please request to join!

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Gemma Photoshoot

Gemma tank sewing pattern / made by rae

gemma tank

Gemma Tank Sewing Pattern

Gemma tank, back view

Gemma Tank

Gemma Tank sewing pattern

Gemma Tank sewing pattern

As we put the finishing touches on the Gemma tank sewing pattern (update: now available here), I thought I’d share some photos of two tanks I made for Melissa, my ridiculously good-looking studio assistant. Doesn’t she look amazing!?

Pattern notes: These two tanks show the updated (and slightly narrower) shoulder that I mentioned in the Chambray Gemma post, just in case you are interested, with the gold tank showing the higher jewel neckline, and the peach tank showing the lower scoop neckline.

Fabric notes: The gold tank, which could use a bit more pressing (oops!), was made with solid Cambridge lawn from Robert Kaufman. I really love working with Cambridge lawns, which are really lightweight and have an almost silky sheen to them, and RK has a ton of color options now as well. You can see a few of the other colors they sent me in this pic. The peach triangle print was designed by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics. Art Gallery’s quilting cotton is also a bit on the silky side and is smoother and a little lighter than some of the other quilting cottons on the market, so it works well for a summer tank.

Pattern coming soon, I promise!!!

UPDATE: Gemma Sewing Pattern is now available! Buy Now

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Gemma in Zephyr rayon

Zephyr Gemma Tank

Here’s another Gemma tank I’ve been wearing this summer! This one is made with Zephyr rayon (in colorway gust midnight) from Cotton + Steel, designed by my friend Rashida Coleman-Hale. Rashida can really do no wrong when it comes to me, I just think all of her designs are amazing. This one looks like it was brushed right onto the fabric. Fun. Also fun with turquoise flats, right? Bonus points for you if you can name the other post where I wore the turquoise flats without googling.

Gemma Tank

made by rae gemma in zephyr

My original vision for this tank was that I would wear it to a wedding this spring with the highlighter yellow pleated skirt, shown below (that I did not make, by the way. It’s from JCrew; I have my limits, people). It didn’t end up happening because it was so cold the day of the wedding that I wore the skirt with a cashmere sweater instead; but here’s some pics of the outfit anyway. Oh well!

made by rae gemma in zephyr

I find rayon challis to be surprisingly easy to finish with bias binding (see also: this rayon Washi maxi dress, whose binding also came out splendidly, if I do say so myself). It lays flat and behaves quite nicely compared to some other substrates, some of which can be downright tricky. *Coughs* Double gauze, I am looking at you.

made by rae gemma in zephyr

Rayon is quite flowy and comfortable to wear, making it a great choice for Gemma!

made by rae gemma in zephyr

Pattern coming soon! Yes, I am being a terrible tease.

UPDATE: Gemma sewing pattern now available! BUY NOW

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Gemma Yardage and Fabric Recommendations

made by rae | gemma tank sewig pattern

The Gemma Tank sewing pattern is coming so very soon now here!! Here are a couple of peeks at it:
Chambray Gemma Tank
Coming Soon … Gemma Tank

Many of you have asked me about the yardage so you can get ready to sew Gemma; here’s what you’ll need:
made by rae | gemma yardage chart
Note that these yardage estimates are intentionally generous to allow for space between pattern pieces and estimated fabric shrinkage, plus, in the case of the sizes where the pattern front and back can be placed side by side across the width of the fabric, we added an extra 1/4 yard for the bias strips. It is entirely possible that you could get away with using less fabric (in some cases, as little as 1 yard!!!) if you get creative with your cutting layouts! I just want to be careful because some fabrics shrink a lot width-wise, so it’s best to be conservative on the yardage, especially when something takes as little fabric as this tank does!

Recommended Fabrics: lightweight woven fabrics such as voile, rayon challis, shot cotton, shirting, double gauze, lawn, broadcloth, silk, viscose, and chambray.

Optional: This pattern has instructions to cut your own bias strips for the binding, but if you prefer to use prepared bias tape, you’ll need about 2.5 yards of 1/4″ double fold bias tape. If you prefer a hidden binding, get the single fold variety.

One more thing that I’m very excited to announce: Gemma will come in NINE sizes! We’ve added an XXS, and now there are three plus-sizes. You’ll see that size XXL isn’t on this chart, so if that has been your go-to Made By Rae size, I’d recommend trying Size 1.Made By Rae | Presto Pattern size chart

Just like my Beatrix and Josephine patterns, there are two different front bodice pattern pieces to fit either A/B or C/D cup sizes, and the pattern has clear guidelines for choosing your size. So don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into one of the sizes in the chart (for instance, if your bust puts you in a larger size than the rest of your measurements); you’ll have help once you’ve taken your measurements and you have the pattern in front of you!

Ready to sew Gemma? Buy the pattern here!

Any questions? I’d be happy to answer them. I hope you found this post helpful!

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Chambray Gemma Tank

made by rae gingham gemma

I’m so thrilled with the response to the Gemma preview last week!! It’s really fun to know that so many of you are excited to make this tank. I always worry when I put something out there that no one will like it…or think it’s too basic…or…you name it. Introducing a new pattern can be hard, and I wish I could say I don’t care what anyone thinks but that’s not true, so it was really nice to have such an encouraging response. I think this pattern is going to be super versatile for everyone and I can’t wait to show you all the things I’ve been doing with it.

made by rae gingham gemma

Update: Gemma sewing pattern is now available HERE!

As we get ready to launch the pattern (if you could see behind the scenes, we are smoothing lines, checking yardage, adding labels to pattern pieces, double checking darts and seam lengths, and writing shop listings!!! It’s BUSY!), I want to show you some more of the Gemma tanks I’ve been making.

This one is made with a chambray and has the scoop neckline (the pattern will have two neckline options, scoop and jewel, which is higher). I purchased this chambray at IndieSew; it’s similar to the Union chambrays from Robert Kaufman, but doesn’t have quite as much stretch as those. Chambray is a great fabric choice for this tank, especially if you can find a lightweight one with a bit of stretch. I really do recommend the RK Union Chambrays if you’re looking for something similar. Chambray matches absolutely everything, and it’s on the mark with the all-denim-all-the-time trend that seems to be happening right now.

made by rae gingham gemma

I wasn’t super careful with the neckline binding, so it ended up a little wobbly along the neck  — see how it looks like it’s rotating a bit along the seam? That twisting is caused when the front of the binding isn’t even with the back of the binding, and it’s easy to avoid if you pin carefully as you go. I’ll be sure to show you how I like to attach bias binding to make it look flat and beautiful, soon!! There are a number of other fun things you could do with a basic solid tank, including a contrast solid binding, or even a binding with a print, wouldn’t that be fun?

One thing we did change about the pattern after this tank was sewn was that I decided I wanted the armholes to be bigger, which narrowed the straps a bit and also opened up the armholes to make it more comfortable. I’ll post pics of that soon.

made by rae gingham gemma

More tanks and a pattern, coming soon!!

UPDATE: Gemma sewing pattern now available! BUY NOW

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