Today we’re going to sew the ruched tankini front panel on View B of the Grace Tankini. This is the part that gets the most questions, so we thought a photo tutorial would be helpful. It’s worth it to make the ruched panel on View B…it’s many people’s favorite part about this view!
Cut out the front panel. As suggested in the Grace Tankini pattern, do not cut it out on the fold, but open up your fabric, cut 1/2 of the piece, flip the pattern piece over and cut the other half.
After sewing the gathering stitches on the sides of the ruched front panel, gather it. It is helpful to lay out your side piece to see how far to gather the front panel. Start the gathers at the dot, below the notch where the top of the side panel goes.
As stated in the pattern, you can concentrate the ruching wherever you want to! More ruching=minimization of that area. Try to keep the gathers even from side to side so they don’t slant diagonally across your body. End the gathers 1/5” above the bottom of the front panel so it doesn’t sag down across the bottom. (Apologies for the blurriness of this photo. It’s the only one I ended up with!)
You can see how I’ve pinned down my side piece to keep it from moving as I gathered the front panel. When you are finished gathering, the bottom of the front and side will line up. The top of the side piece will be at the notch of the front panel.
Once the front panel is the same length as the side panel (from the notch to the hem,) pin them right sides together. Gently curve the shape of the front panel and the side piece to match up.
Sew the front panel and side piece together. We’ve found it more helpful to have the ruched front panel down against the feed dogs to help pull the gathers along evenly.
There you have it! Continue with the instructions to make the rest of the Grace Tankini.
Fabric used in this tutorial is from CaliFabrics.