Description from Knitty, Summer 2007:
Coachella is hot! The dry heat of the Coachella Valley desert in Southern California inspired this cool racerback tank. Knit in a slightly looser-than-specified gauge, the construction of this tank beats the heat with a draped neckline and a mostly bare back. A perfect look for basking by the pool in Palm Springs or for rocking the Coachella Valley Music Festival down in Indio.
The placement and shape of the armholes distort the front of the piece when worn to create a curved, draped neckline. The front edge of the armholes should fall at approximately the middle of your armpit on either side. I designed this garment to accommodate a halter bra; you might also be able to find racerback bras that fit under this top without showing.
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Extra pattern notes from the designer:
I thought I might give a couple notes for people who are interested in the pattern. I’ve noticed a couple recurring themes in people’s emails and comments and I thought I might address them here.
Fit: I want to say that I really think it could look good on people of a lot of different shapes and sizes. I wrote the pattern for a wide range of sizes and even added short row shaping to the largest sizes. If you are blessed with a large chest, I am sure you have thought a lot about the issues involved in your particular body geometry, and feel free to modify the pattern as needed. I really like the book Big Girl Knits-- it has a really good intro section that I read when I was writing this pattern and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Also: I am wearing a bra in every one of those photos. It isn’t one of those useless strapless bras either, it is a standard convertible halter bra. I’m surprised to read people lamenting that they can’t wear a bra with it. I designed this pattern specifically, from the beginning, around the requirement that I be able to wear a bra.
Yarn substitutions: I have to say I didn’t know there was so much anti-nylon-yarn feeling among knitters! I love this yarn, and I’ve had it in my stash for a while looking for the perfect project for it. I thought it was especially good choice for a published pattern since it is widely available. If you don’t feel the same as I do about Berocco Suede, there are so many other yarns that could work and substitution should be super easy. I will say this-- I definitely recommend knitting a little looser than the recommended gauge for the yarn you choose. If you knit it loose, the edging will roll less and look nice, and the drape will be better. If you knit it at the recommended gauge or tighter than recommended, the cloth will be less drapey and the edges might roll too much.
Last, like any piece of clothing it’s all about your individual style and styling it with the rest of your wardrobe. I have worn it with a white tank underneath it, and it looked pretty cool. I wore it once with a contrast color scoopneck t-shirt on underneath, and it looked pretty good though that wasn’t really my style. Obviously if you have bra issues and don’t want to buy a halter bra, don’t want to show your brastrap, and don’t want to go braless, this would be the way to go.