Results tagged “swimsuits” from Fabric.com Blog
Last month I was enjoying a nice day at my parents' house. You know those rare days where the grandparents want nothing more than to take your child away so they can spoil her and you get to kick your feet up and relax without someone asking you questions so fast you are answering one asked 3 min before. Well, it was one of those days and I was reading Coastal Living, just a few pages in when I came across a product spread. As I sighed dreamily, thinking "Wow, I really like that $165 bikini and that $300 summer dress, but that will never happen," it occurred to me that I could or had already made these items. Well, not exactly like them but close enough that with some detail changes and fabric choices these coveted items could be in my closet and all the $ would still be in my bank account or spent at the toy store (I am a sucker). So I set about searching for fabric and details that would make my dreams come true.
Leather Detail Bikini: You guys have already seen my Kwik Sew bikini. Well, all we need to make it match our expensive bikini are some strips of leather or vinyl and some instructions for braiding leather. You can modify the bikini pattern by omitting the top straps, widening them and attaching the braided leather then the wider straps. You can modify the bottoms by adding the braided leather as a detail on the waist band. I love this so much better than the tiny leather detail and feel more confident of the bathing suit staying place.
Long, Ruffle Strapless Dress: This is the same as my modified project for Earth Day from Sewing Green by Betz White but with added length and floral fabric. We can get the same look by adding 20 in. to the length and using Liberty of London Poplin or Lawn. The colors and floral patterns used by Liberty of London perfectly mimic this look.
Blue & White Market Tote: This is a very simple bag to sew up because the seams are on the outside (use French Seams to give it a neat look) and so are the gussets. I recommend two 12 x 15 in. rectangles cut from Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush and then add some of our Leather Bag handles in dark brown for the perfect duplicate.
Ombre Tunic: Stay tuned on Monday for my blog post on doing your own Ombre Tunic. I made a linen tunic and using some Jacquard Dye-na-flo Fabric dye, I added a super easy and super chic Ombre effect to my tunic. It is too die for (no pun intended).
Memorial Day seems to be the official start of summer, AKA Swimsuit season. If you are anything like me, finding a swimsuit to fit your body is somewhere on the list of un-favorite things to do behind cleaning the bathroom and changing poopy diapers. One of the reasons I detest swimsuit shopping so much is that my body is not standard and is even less so since having a baby. My bust and chest ratio is not available off the rack. And if a 2 piece is not sold by the piece than that ain't happening either. I often wonder why tops are not sold in bra sizes because just because a lady is a medium across the chest does not make her a medium in cup size. And don't get me started on bottoms!
Alas, we are the lucky ones because we can sew so we can custom fit and design a swimsuit to not just fit perfectly but also to highlight what we like, disguise what we don't and add any details that are hot right now. So with all this in mind, I set out to make a great suit for me and I started with Kwik Sew's Swimsuit and Wrap Pattern (KP-3330) because #1: I really liked the skirt option and #2: I thought the top would be easy to modify to fit me well. To begin I tried on all my swimsuits from past and present to see what design elements I like and which I did not. I found that the halter style gave me the support I was looking for but I liked thicker straps that those in the pattern. This was easily fixed by widening the top of the cups. Right where the top of the cup reaches 2 in. across I extended it up to make 2 in. wide and 15 in long straps. I installed the elastic as stated in the pattern but continued the hem all the way up the strap. I also made the under bust strap into a tie as well for a better fit and extended the tie 5 more inches on each side but kept the elastic the same sizes as stated in the pattern. For the bottoms I left off the waist band because I found the elastic to give a slight muffin top effect. I may modify it later with more elastic or a smaller waist band but I am still waffling. I am also considering taking the waist band and putting it on the skirt so that the skirt is removable.
Now for the venting: there are few things more slippery than elastic on swimsuit fabric. It takes some practice to anticipate how it moves and where to position it on the sewing machine. I recommend using long, skinny, SHARP pins too. The long ones enabled me to keep them in the fabric until the last possible moment and then pull them out so my fabric would stay together. Because and try on your top as you make it. The darts can be tricky, if you don't curve them a bit you will end up with points, which is not a good look. You want a cup shape not a cone. Also, you will need a walking foot, a seam ripper, patience and a good drink (coffee or wine, depending on the time of day). The drink is for when you are just about to hurl your project out the window, take a drink and a deep breath and get back to work. It is worth it in the end to avoid dressing room lights and look good at the pool.
I have made the skirt and added the waist band to my bottoms. I recommend both but without the waist elastic. I originally had the elastic in my waist band as instructed in the pattern but it definitely gave a muffin top appearance and I feared I would have to suck in the whole time at the pool. So I ripped the waist band off and took out the elastic and it looks so much better and works just fine. This suit has been pool tested with a 2 yr old and it stays in place and looks great. I love the skirt: it is just long enough to add coverage without looking old fashioned.
To answer Anns question- There is no elastic at the top of the bottoms without the skirt as pictured above, only a fold over and then zig zag stitch. I don't think you need the elastic but if it sits too low or you want added insurance, add the waist band. It looks great and stays in place without elastic. You could definitely make the band wider to create more of a hipster look or more tummy coverage but I think you will see from the skirt picture that it does come up quite a bit so try it as is first with your muslin and then adjust as needed.
When the weather gets warmer, the sun hotter and the grass turns green, there are few things more inspiring than a day at the flea market. You begin planning an escape to the beach or pool. And you dare to dream of a picnic. Summer projects are the most fun because it is an excuse to be bold and bright. Christmas has a hold on traditional, Easter is home to pastels and fall is decked out in jewel tones. Summer is for letting loose. Summer is for new bags, swimsuits and fun, light fabrics is bright colors and daring patterns. For example my summer project list consists of knit dresses, seersucker for my toddler, a new knitting bag in a vibrant pattern and maybe, just maybe I will attempt a swimsuit (With plenty of advice my pal Stacy). Of course, I am partial to fickleness so my list will change. I have been perusing the creativity Headquarters much of late and the Cookout Couture has really caught my eye. My picnic table out back is sorely in need of a dose of summer. So much so that it is more often used for potting plants than eating corn on the cob. I am thinking this Burda pattern for chair cushions (I love to knit out there but am only comfy for about 15 min) with this fabric. I love the texture of burlap and the terracotta color is bright without being neon. Next I need some placemats, napkins and this crazy chicken is a beachy print. I think this Robert Allen print (please refer to my Dad's day article for more ideas) would look so chic on the chicken and placemats, very PB. I could also go for them in this fabric by Premier Prints; the black and white reminds me of the Hamptons (I say that as if I have been there). I also want plenty of pillows for the porch swing, lounge chairs and for reading books in the grass.
My bag list is LONG but earmarked as 'must-makes' for this summer are1) Sophia Bag in this fabric (it looks very retro knitting bag, doesn't it)
2) Swing Bag (I have wanted on for years) in Linen
3) Favorite Things Billfold. I know not technically a bag but I really need a new wallet so it's in. Made from oilcloth for 2 reasons a) diaper bag proof b) I love the retro prints.
Now should I attempt to make a swimsuit it will definitely be from this fabric but I haven't narrowed down a pattern yet. That is due in large part to the fact that I am still talking myself into make one. I will let you know how the internal argument turns out.
Fabric.com's Facebook page has been lighting up with great summertime projects. I want to highlight some of our customer projects. Thanks for making out Facebook page so summery!
(Picture Above) Jenn Teer was caught by the sock monkey bug. Check out her great summer bag
Theresa Geer-Whitman used Amy Butler Laminated Cotton to create this inspiring apron
Vanessa York Piccorossi's summer bag is so darn colorful!