Since I am not sure how really to do a sew-along let's not worry about that. BTW I am shutting down the FB page and we can just run this here in our familiar place in the blog and on Instagram where you can find me @bemodi
I had this idea that if I also ran a Facebook page people could post pictures of what they were making, which no one did which was fine with me because well it's summer and I am sure you are all very busy. Just reading about what we are focusing on is probably enough for most of us, and these thoughts can be filed away for when they are needed.
So swimsuits, bathing suits, all those garments that are meant to be worn in the water, are pretty interesting to make.
And these days there is no reason you can't make exactly what you want in exactly the same materials, or better, than you can get in the stores.
Interestingly enough swimwear is one area of sewing to where there is a lot of money to be saved. This is based on my own observation that the more vulnerable a person feels in a garment the more she will pay for it even if it is made of very little materials. So with that great physiological insight and the little bit of math I have I figure you can make a really great swimsuit for less than half, more like a third of what a similar unit would cost to buy.
Then there is fit.
Fitting in swimwear isn't really that hard. There are not a lot of seams to work with but there is length. Length is such a powerful element in swimwear.
Short people suffer from baggy swimsuits when the bathing suits are too long, and that bagginess just gets worse when wet.
Tall people, like me, suffer from body strangulation in regular length swimsuits, and all the riding up and tugging that goes along with something not being long enough for coverage. I can't begin to describe to you how nice it feels to be able to add the 4" I need to body length to a bathing suit and as a result to actually feel my shoulders aren't being forced down or that my legs openings aren't creepy up creepily every time I move.
As I have made swimsuits for my daughter and the girls this summer as well as myself I have been so interested to see that each of us needs that same 4" added whatever our size- like it's a family imprint or something.
For the purposes of this sew-along I am going to be working on, or have just completed, three different swimsuits.
The first one, a sort of retro version by request, for my daughter, is from Halo Fabric Addicts fine fabrics (yes I know I am using a lot of their stuff this summer, and it has not been my cheapest option, but the quality is just so outstanding). Here is the Jalie pattern we are using and here is the fabric, lining and cups (they come in sizes which is nice) all from Halo:
For myself I am making another, my third version this season, of the Diane swimsuit pattern Jalie released this spring, in some random yellow fabric and yellow parrot print I got locally last year for the little girls who didn't like it because it was neither pink nor purple.
Over the year I have been able to persuade myself it is age appropriate for me. If you don't think so I would appreciate it if you didn't say anything, since it did take me an entire year to warm up to it. I went ahead and cut out the cups from an old bra for this suit, and stitched them in (a friend told me this would be a good idea) before I found out about the better idea Halo swim cups that are actually designed for the water. My recycled bra cups really aren't although they do give my profile a familiar look.
I already tried this old bra concept on another swimsuit and although they look fine dry they sort of hold the water when wet which requires a bit of discreet chest pressing every now and then. Sometimes going cheap is less than classy. However they are in the lining of this suit now so we are going to stick with, it and besides I have that chest pressing move more or less down on automatic now:
Finally I am going to show you what went on when I made my daughter-in-law a maternity swimsuit. I used Rad patterns First Crush pattern for a maternity suit which is really a maternity version of the standard First Crush pattern, which comes in an amazing range of variations:
|Standard pattern as well as maternity options|
We will have words about the instructions for this pattern later but the basic shapes are very interesting. I used this fabric and a particularly wonderful black lining from Halo. The pattern has a sort of built-in bra in it:
So that's me. Now those of you who are sewing along what are you making.