Massive swimwear sewing session

I have had a massive swimwear sewing session, completing 6 sets of swimmers, two rashies and some men's briefs!

First up, the boy swimmers.  This boy always has a lot of fun choosing his fabric from Funkifabrics.   He loves the bright colours and wild designs.  These are pretty bright, which made it easy to pick what lane he was in during a recent carnival.

Last time I made some of these, I promised Sofie a photo of how I make his pattern.  I start with Jalie 2563.  I combine all the pieces, adding the gusset to the back leg.  The I cut off the boy bit at the front and cut it on the fold with a lining.  I add a drawstring, for security when diving into the pool.

Here is a second pair for him, in a shark print.

My teenage daughter is after more fashionable prints than fun prints these days.  Again, this fabric is from Funkifabrics.  I adapted her pattern from Jalie 3673.  I combined all the pieces of the front.  For the back, I combined the pieces, but also reshaped the side bit of the back and the curve more to her liking.  It was a bit of a hack, so I can't give you a good picture of my pattern manipulation.

I made a matching rashie for her second swimsuit, in the hopes that she will wear it when she goes to the beach with her friends.  Fashion is more important to her than sun protection at the moment, so I can only hope.  The rashie was made with Jalie 3668.  She wanted something longer than the cropped version and shorter than the full length version, so I started with the longer version and cut it to length.  (The cropped version is tighter fitting around the midriff.)  I was struggling to fit the sleeves on my fabric, so they are finished with a long cuff.

The matching bikini top is a mash up of Jalie 3672 & Jalie 3247.  When I bought patterns 3672 and 3673 from their latest collection, I was hoping that they had interchangeable top and bottom pieces, for the leotard and unitard, but unfortunately they don't seem to.  They each have a similar shaped seamline separating the top and bottom parts of the pattern, but it appears to be in a different location for each.

Making my niece swimmers for her birthday has become a tradition.  This next pair is based on Jalie 3247, with modifications to the neckline to match the higher necklines that are fashionable at the moment.  The bikini bottoms are based off a RTW pair I traced off several years ago..

This next project was a bit of fun.  My brother-in-law loves doughnuts, so I made him these briefs from the leftovers of last year's swimsuit for my niece.  The pattern is the boxer briefs designed by Joost of Makemypattern.  I haven't actually seen them on, so I can't make comment on the fit, but they have been worn and I haven't heard any complaints!

The next swimsuit is mine.  It is based on the Lily Sage Splash Swimsuit.  I made a couple of changes.  Initially I was only going to change the straps by crossing the neck straps over at the back and looping them through a loop where the side strap would attach and tying it at the CB.  This was so that I wouldn't have a tie at my neck, which always gives me a headache.  

Then I was worried about being so pear shaped.  I could easily choose a different size for the top half and the bottom half, but being high-waisted, I thought the small top on the full bottom might not be to my advantage.  Then I took inspiration from a Mara Hoffman swimsuit, which is very similar to the Splash swimsuit, but has smaller cutouts and a different back tie.

Here is how I changed the pattern.  I lengthened the pattern, possibly a tad too much.  I really need the length in my bottom half, but I added to the top half instead to do some more pear balancing out.  I extended the sides.  I got the angle of this a bit wrong, forgetting that side seams are sloped and not straight up and down.  The fold in the pattern below is what I probably should have done.  The photo below is for the lining.  The gathered outer pattern was a little trickier.  I nearly eliminated the gathered pattern and went to use the lining as outer, but because I was using a plain fabric for the top half, I thought the gathers would add a bit of textural interest.

I also added a shelf bra to the pattern, shown in the photo below.  It is okay, but it would be better if it was 1 cm longer and I pulled the elastic tighter.  For the facing behind the loops, I used a non-stretch lingerie mesh, to give some lightweight support to this area, as well as neatening up all those loop attachments.  The Mara Hoffman suit is reversible, so her loops are neatly hidden inside two layers.

The straps are not the neatest.  

This is what it looks like on.  The top half is not as taut as I would like, but if I shortened the bodice and adjusted the pattern as outlined above, I think I would get a better result.  You would not know how pear shaped my measurements are from the back view.  

All up, this suit was a lot of work and it has not ended upas  my favourite, but it is good to mix things up from year to year.  The flamingos are fun.

Next up is a rashie for me.  It is not the most flattering photo, as you can see that the waist elastic in my swimsuit is too tight, but I wanted to talk about it all the same, and this is the photo I have.  The pattern is Jalie 3668 again, with a square shoulder adjustment.  The most interesting bit is that the fabric is a thermo lycra from funkifabrics, with a fluffy underside for insulation.  I have always been a wuss for cold water, and my years living up north haven't helped.  The September holidays are always too cold for me to swim but we often end up at a beach anyway.  This thermo fabric really worked.  It kept me warmer in the water, and even better, it kept me warm when I was already wet and standing only knee deep in the water to watch the kids swim.

I got a lot done in my swimwear sewing marathon, but I didn't get everything made that I wanted.  The boy and the girl each have fabric for one more suit and I wanted to sew the girl a new leotard at the same time.  I love the funkifabrics, but they don't last especially long, so it might be better to sew their third suits mid-swim season anyway.  My oldest child has swimming for PE this term and doesn't own a swimsuit at all, but he doesn't like to wear my sewing, so I will just buy RTW for him.


Stylearc Evie Top an an unusual SBA

The Stylearc Evie top was a freebie with one of my other pattern purchases.  I thought I would sew it up to compare it with my other tank patterns. 

The last few Stylearc patterns I have sewn have benefited from SBA.  This pattern doesn't have bust darts, and I often have issues with the front neck gaping, so I tried a different approach.  I slashed from the neck down to the waistline and overlapped the pattern pieces. 

It's not a great photo, but here is the finished top.  No gaping at the neck.  This fitting technique seems to have done the trick.


Another scrappy running tank

These scrappy running tanks are probably my most worn items, and given that they are made from scraps, cost per wear is pretty minimal!


Vogue 9258 loose tank top, twice

It is so long since I made up a Vogue pattern, but Vogue was my original pattern crush, and even holding the paper packet in my hands sparks a glimmer of excitement to this day.  I still buy the designer Vogue patterns, but I rarely make them up because I don't really have a designer Vogue lifestyle.  Very Easy Vogue is more where I am at.

Vogue 9258 is a simple tank top, but the diagonal seam lines, front and back, and flared design really appealed to me.

My first version was made from two white remnants, both from Tessuti.  Well, one was a remnant when I bought it, but the other was leftover from a top my daughter sewed herself in the holidays.

I thought those seam lines were just screaming out for some entre-deux.  I used the selvedge of one of the fabrics to hem the top. 

The fabric used for the side panels was a cotton voile, with a textured dot.  It seemed a bit lightweight for the other fabric.  I looked through some other white fabrics, but I liked the texture of the dots.  One of my other fabrics was a double gauze, which gave me the idea to quilt the Swiss dot voile to a piece of linen.  It doesn't really show up in the photos, but I quilted the two fabrics together in vertical rows at about 5 cm intervals.  

You can see the dart in the front panel.

I made a few fitting changes when I traced off the pattern.  As I traced the pattern, I reduced the seam allowance for the binding down from 15 mm to 6 mm.  I didn't take any of the seam allowance off below the underarm, which effectively raised the underarm by about 1 cm.  The underarm is still on the low side.  I squared the shoulder seam a little.  I made a narrow chest adjustment.  I added to the width of the back by sewing the seam of the diagonal back seams at 6 mm instead of 15 mm.  It seemed easier to sew a Size 12 with a broad back adjustment than a Sz 14 with a small bust adjustment.

This was a really enjoyable sew for me.  I had spent the previous fortnight sewing swimwear, so it was lovely to switch back to well behaved cottons and take time with the details (the quilting, the entre-deux and top-stitched seams, the hem, the binding).

My second version was made with double gauze, from Miss Matatabi.  This was my first time sewing with double gauze.  Clearly, it wrinkles!!  This top was ironed before I put it on for the day.  The fabric has a cute, wavy stripe running through it.  I thought about stripe matching my side seams, but then opted to go conservative with pattern layout, so that another garment could be sewn from my fabric.

I cut the main panels and side panels on different grains.  The fabric must have a looser weave in one direction than the other, because none of my seam lengths matched when I sent to sew them.  Also, my armholes ended up lower on this top than the first version, which is okay for a casual summer top, but I wouldn't want them this low normally.

I love the sorbet colours of the print, but in hindsight, the fabric designer probably intended for this fabric to me made into baby wraps.  

I haven't put the pattern pieces away, so there might be a third version yet!  It is a great summer basic.


Ottobre Draped Jersey Top

This is another pattern from Ottobre design Summer 3/2017.

When I showed my daughter the photo from the magazine, she was not keen because she says that these draped tops never sit how they look in the photos.  I went ahead and made it up anyway, and it actually looks the same on her as is does on the model in the magazine.

The pineapple print fabric is a viscose lycra knit from EmmaOneSock.  It has a lovely drape, and combined with the drapey pattern design, has the perfect fluidity for a comfy tee.