... sometimes you receive an answer! I emailed the Alabama Chanin company last night with my querulous sleeve query and got a prompt response from Natalie Chanin herself - there will be sleeves in their next book which is due out Spring 2012. Hooray!
But my shoulders might get cold during the winters between then and now so I have taken matters into my own sewing hands. This morning I cut out and sewed the basic tank top from Alabama Studio Style. I used some cotton knit yardage that I bought a while ago - these garments take up a lot of fabric and there wasn't enough in the purple top that I had hoped to 'upcycle'. I cut the pieces out using a rotary cutter - so easy! Using the cutter you don't have to handle the fabric so there's no slipping around under the pattern pieces. I did use my overlocker for the sewing which I think was a good choice for the first effort because I was able to alter the seams very subtly to get a good fit.
Then I went to my old t-shirt stash and cut a sleeves off a few of them. I'm going to pin the sleeves into the tank top and see if any of them fit well. If one does then I hope to be able to use the sleeve as a template. Think and sometimes you can receive inspiration!