Shibori Kila tank

I was inspired by my class with Cathy Moon to play with more shibori and indigo dye, and by Katherine of Bloom’s Endless Summer to try the Allie Olson Kila Tank. The Kila Tank is designed for stretch knits. It has a slight racerback design with neck and armholes bound with either the same fabric or a contrasting knit. It has a lot of negative ease making it perfect for working out.

I started with an old tee shirt that had belonged to my son. In retrospect it didn’t have the right amount of stretch, but I had already cut it out. I put the front and back together and wrapped them onto a pole before dipping into my indigo vat. This is the result; the inside piece is paler than the outside piece, as you might expect. .

Please note that I had already joined them at one shoulder and possibly should have unpicked that seam but I like the light front and darker back.

As already mentioned, the tank has a lot of negative ease, so mine is quite tight as it is not stretching at all.

I dyed white rib knit for the neckline and armholes and it turned out quite pale, but blends in perfectly.

I’m not sure this is my favourite tank, it makes my shoulders look huge and I have a bit of a problem with my bra strap which I have to fiddle with to hide; something I hate having to do.

I kept the original cover stitched hem which made the making process really quick. I made the top a bit long though, but I’m sure I can live with that!

I then thought I’d make another one from some fabric I had in my stash. This one has plenty of stretch and is a heavy knit. I did shibori stitched resists before the indigo dyeing. I did some circle resists and the blue wren which I am finding myself putting on everything. On the back I stitched a diamond shape resist.

I’m wearing it here with my Stokx Rock made from recycled jeans.

Here are closeups of a couple of the shapes, just for interest. I used pieces of the same knit for the bands, so the colour match is perfect.

I had to sew this tank inside out as I finished up with big patches of darker indigo on the correct side. I can only put it down to the fact that I hadn’t scoured the fabric before I dyed it. Luckily the resists still have enough contrast to be effective but they aren’t as good as the other side.

My shibori/indigo experiments will continue so stay tuned!


4 thoughts on “Shibori Kila tank

  1. The dying turned out really well! The fabric for the first top came out looking like water with the light shining on it – really pretty. The motifs you’ve done are really effective too, and the wren is super cute!

    1. Thank you, I was so pleased with the first top and very relieved that it fitted me. It does look like water now you mention it. I am besotted with the wrens!

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