Saturday, September 26, 2009

sewing with knits

For all those who wanted to know more about the sewing of the bathers, I did a post on my other blog with some info about sewing with knits. Happy to answer any questions!

Friday, September 25, 2009

new bathers modelled

new bathers modelled, originally uploaded by Soozs.

Thanks to Ellen here are some photos of me n my new bathers that I can bear to look at! Dry and wet.

Monday, September 14, 2009

before -> after

before -> after, originally uploaded by Soozs.

Another refashion from a classic fat garment to something a bit more stylish.

The photos aren't great, but I raised the shoulders, shortened the sleeves from elbow to mid upper arm and the length from almost ankle to mid-upper calf, added pin tuck detail to front and darts to back.

The whole job took less than an hour, was very quick and easy and has taken a classic sack to a nice dress. Still a little boring though. I may yet do some kind of embellishment on the front...

Friday, September 11, 2009

swim shorts

swim shorts, originally uploaded by Soozs.

So I think the shorts are going to be great. I haven't trialled them in water yet, but they feel great and meet all the criteria I had in mind before I set out. I think a big part of their success is that the lycra I used is really thick and hangs well in the non-cling way. Hemming without a coverstitch machine is a big ordinary, but I'm hoping they will settle with wear.

This lycra is actually inside out - the 'right side' has white dots and while they look cute, I think the shirt has plenty enough going on. But the reverse side has an interesting texture where the dots were printed and change the properties of the fabric.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

in the swim of things

I'm so seventies, originally uploaded by Soozs.

I know, I know. Summer time means dealing with swimwear. Few things fill me with dread quite like the annual reality check like no other.

Pass the choc chip cookies while I have a sigh and maybe a cry...

For years I did my best to hide in a black one piece, but it's always been hard to find a suit I liked and which fitted me and didn't squish my boobs down to my navel.

I can't remember when I sewed my first suit, but it was a long time ago and a move motivated by sheer desperation. How hard could it be? I thought to myself and set out with cotton lycra and lots of time. No pattern, just winging it.

Those early suits were really quite OK once I had recut, re-sewed and altered for a day or two. I tried making my own patterns, but since no two pieces of lycra are the same a healthy amount of fiddle is always required.

And then five or so years back I discovered the tankini and I was pretty happy to stay there. Nice boy leg black pants in chlorine resistant lycra and a tank top with an in-built shelf bra. I'm not saying I looked like a model or anything, but they were comfortable and serviceable.

But as the tank began to age and the straps began to loosen, the cleavage got a little deeper than I was comfortable with. In bathers as in most of my clothes I like firmness and any possibility of a wardrobe malfunction does not assist in relaxation.

So the tank remained in circulation, but wasn't really what I wanted. I was also increasingly finding it hard to avoid sunburn and was thinking perhaps it might be time to seek a little more coverage - a rash vest and board shorts were the next additions.

I don't know if it is just me and my shape, or whether this is a universal phenomenon, but I find board shorts really uncomfortable. I like the sun protection, but they seem to be loose and flappy and extremely unflattering at the same time as restrictive and tight whenever you are trying to move.

And the big black rash vest is eminently functional but somehow unsatisfactory too. Hopeless for feeling remotely summery or attractive and when sun isn't a big problem, unnecessary levels of coverage. Plus I really can't get over the need for a dedicated swim bra.

So now I find myself with no less than 5 pieces of swimwear, pretty much all of which are a compromise in some way or another. Now that I am spending a good slab of time living at the beach, swimwear is a daily reality.

Armed with a load of lycras in interesting prints I am setting out to remake the swimwear wardrobe. I'm boldly going away from black because I'm tired of it.

This is the first of the items I had in mind, a short sleeved rash vest. I used the same pattern that I use to make most of my T-shirts. After a trial wear this morning I decided it needs a bit of shortening and I might hem the edges instead of leaving them overlocked, but otherwise a much more pleasant garment to wear than the old rashie.

Next up, some hybrid bike/board shorts. I want something that looks more like regular shorts (ie less clingy), but has the stretch and comfort of lycra. I'm planning on using the jazz pants pattern I used over here.

After that I'm going to make a new tank and perhaps even a one piece just for the hell of it.

So how to you deal with swimwear? Do you make or buy? What kind of swimwear do you like? Where do you get it?