19 July, 2011

My get out of jail card

The next time I get in trouble for something, be it as minor as not hanging out the wash, or slightly larger like not doing my taxes on time, I will simply say "well I'm sure I'm very sorry but did you know I sewed a bathing suit?" and the person will apologise profusely and leave me alone.

Bathing suit


I used the pattern in Ottobre 3/2009 and amazingly, Hazel was size 116 for all the measurements, instead of just height and a smaller size for everything else. The pattern's not perfect, if I do it again I'll curve the front legs a bit higher and make the bum less high-cut and more covering.  I had to put in a bit more of a waist, I guess she's not as straight up and down as she used to be! I added the ruffle because her old suit had one and she thought that was the best part of it. The fabric came from Global Fabrics and I'd love to have a bathing suit made from it too, but that would be a bit naff. I ended up making the stripes run horizontally, despite the fact the bows are now sideways (am hoping it's not that obvious) because the stripes were too wide for such a small item, it's obviously scaled for adults.

Bathing suit


It was surprisingly easy to make - I'd been imagining the fabric snagging or running or stretching, but it was lovely to work with and very tolerant of seams being unripped or changed. It's fully lined which makes it a fairly robust garment! The only problem I'm having is with the seams on the straps, when Hazel tried it on the double needle stitching broke and unraveled. I've had the problem a lot on very stretchy things like the bottom of leggings, or tshirts, and I don't know how to stop it. I use wooly nylon in the bobbin, I alter the tension, everything I can think of short of getting a cover stitch machine! Suggestions gratefully received. I'll zigzag and hope that works, though it's been just as prone to breking in the past too. I was particularly nervous of doing the leg elastic but it turned out fine. This video was very useful, although I couldn't get the fabric to roll over the edge like he does, I think the two layers were too thick. The legs look a bit wavy but when it's on they're fine - possibly a skosh too tight but she's not complaining so I'm not going to point it out!

19 comments:

  1. oh wow Jacqui! I'm so impressed! You did an amazing job.  :)

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  2. These are just gorgeous!  You tell that tax-man.

    I have a coverstitch machine, but mostly I end up just zig-zagging the straps, with regular thread.

    Given that Hazel likes the ruffles, you could also try another method for the straps, shown  here on my blog (not normally one for self-promotion, but you may be interested)
    http://sewblooms.blogspot.com/2010/12/childrens-swimmers.html

    You will also see that I happily wear swimmers from the same fabric as my daughter,...just not at the same time...so go on, make yourself a pair.  You can have the stripes the other way.

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  3. Oops forgot to add...wavy elastic often happens when you have stretched the fabric more than the elastic  ie for that bit, the elastic is longer than the fabric.  The front legs don't look wavy, so that probably compensates for the length, which is why the elastic is not too loose overall.

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  4. Thanks! Will I be seeing you at Chloe's this weekend?

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  5. Thanks :) Are you going to be doing swimsuits in your knits series? I was thinking that this morning actually, there's not a huge amount out there on making them.

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  6. Thanks for the advice and the link! Those are very cute straps and inserting the elastic into the straps like that gets around them having to be stretchy on their own. I'd have to go and get some more fabric to make a swimsuit for me, and then I'd have two - I've never had two lots of togs at the same time! Well not since I was 16. :) I have a pattern for a tankini in one of my Ottobre for women magazines, but I'd hate to ruin the good fabric trying it out, it's so much harder to fit an adult body!

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  7. I had a feeling I was stretching the elastic a bit too much, but I must have been doing the fabric as well I guess. I had thought of sewing a casing and inserting the elastic, which would probably be better in the long run, although I quite relished the challenge of doing it this way. How do you do yours? I noticed you mentioned the Kwik Sew instructions - I loved a man's shirt pattern I made of theirs because it had great instructions and I liked the way they did the yoke, is it worth getting one of their swimsuit/leotard patterns for that reason?

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  8. lovely! well done. :)

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  9. yep. see you there. And I nearly always try to have two swimsuits on the go - sometimes 3. go for it. then you'll just have to go swimming more often!

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  10. Awesome, love this.... definately one to add onto your sewing accomplishment lists, and I love this fabric.... My mum has told me about Global Fabrics.... it was actually after we both walked out disheartened from spotlight ( couldn't give us bags for our purchases either... they had run out? ).. must go to global fabrics next time I am up in auckland..

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  11. Spotlight has been bag free for several months now. They have a card you can get stamped everytime you bring your own bag (like you have an option!) and you get $10 off for every 5 visits I think. Or maybe $5. Anyways, worth doing! Give me a yell when you come up next and I'll give you a personally-guided tour of Global Fabrics :)

    --- Sent from my iPhone ---

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  12. Oh! that explains it... wish they had told us that... they just said they had run out! Have to remember next time....mind you next time I probably just take you up on your offer :)
    Oh and forgot to add I received your parcel this morning, again thankyou so much... I should be able to get a few more nappies out of those..

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  13. Rachel at Stitched in Color HaJuly 24, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    I adore your plan!  No, I have only to sew a bathingsuit and some of my sticky situations lately are sure to go away =).  Really, I give you props.  It looks lovely!!!

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  14. The swimsuit looks great!  I am wondering what method did you use to attach the top front binding?  I see it is coverstitched to finish it off but how did you attach it initially?  I always have trouble getting lycra to do anything!  I would like to make a suit with contrasting binding.

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  15. I did the binding the way the Ottobre pattern said and it turned out really well - no coverstitch needed! The binding is a long rectangle, I can't remember how wide mine was, maybe 3-4 cm? You take the binding and sew it along the edge, right sides together, then fold it up and over the edge to the wrong side and topstitch from the front with a double needle (or coverstitch). You then trim the excess off at the back close to the stitching. It does leave a bit of a raw edge, but since it's on the inside it's not very noticeable. I used a walking foot for all of the regular machine stitching I did, it makes a huge difference working with knits and worked well with the lycra too.

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  16. I'm sure most people would look at me like I was nuts and say "why didn't you just buy one?" so I'm glad to know there are people out there who understand about making one. The trick is to make sure they're in positions of power and authority! :)

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  17. Yes - you sure are one fearless rock n roll sewer!
    I love the fabric and the little frill!

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  18. I'm sure most people would look at me like I was nuts and say "why didn't you just buy one?" so I'm glad to know there are people out there who understand about making one. The trick is to make sure they're in positions of power and authority! :)

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