Saturday, July 31, 2010

I See Cardigans in My Immediate Future.......

I'm definitely not a fan of cold weather! So I try to refrain from even thinking about the upcoming fall and winter and will go as far as putting off my cold weather sewing until the very last minute. Yeah, as if that will prevent the impending Fall or Winter. Fortuntely I live in a subtropical climate which makes it easier for me to have this case of denial/procrastination.
   However I ran across a great cardigan pattern and actually became quite excited about the cooler weather. At the very least I can wear it at my place of work NOW which is always freezing to me!!! It's McCall's 6084 and I soooo love it! I'm sure everyone has this pattern by now. Isn't it too cute!!! I'm raving about this pattern. It just goes to show you how much of a simple girl I really am!!! LOL! Hey I'm all about cute knits!!!
So I started looking for fabric. I have a plethora of knit fabric but will only use a thin and  knit jersey that drapes well.   Well I was at Wal-Mart earlier this morning and saw a bin of fabric containing several bolts. Upon further investigation I noticed that each bolt contained 5 yards of fabric for $5. And what did I see? The perfect knit fabric for my cardigans. So needless to say without even blinking an eye I bought 6 bolts of a variety of colors. So 30 yards for $1/yd.  And I only need 2 yards max of each color for the long sleeve cardigan.  After that I'll have enough leftover fabric to make tops, dresses, etc.  So here's the fabric I bought.....Plum, Maroon, Deep Purple Tan, Charcoal gray, & Teal.  Seriously, I could have a cardigan in every color imaginable. But I'll try to maintain some control! LOL!

So I'm excited I have the perfect fabric for the job. Normally I don't like to use such a thin knit when making dresses but for a cardigan it's absolutely perfect!!! And with this pattern being 1 hour or so (which it says on the envelope), I hope to begin making a few in August or September. BTW, the last of my goodies also came in the mail today. Here they are....
I received The Sewing Answer Book and was suprised that it was such a tiny book. I've thumbed through it and my first impressions is that it's a great book for beginner sewers since it seems to answer basic sewing questions. I haven't really ran across anything I didn't know just yet, but I haven't read the whole thing, Hey if I get a few new tips that would be awesome. But I do think it's best for beginner sewers!!! I definitely may recommend it to some of my sewing students.
I can't wait to watch the Beautiful Sheers Simple DVD. Again, I've sewn with sheers (chiffon, georgette, etc) but I'm particular about the techniques I use. I'd like to see how the experts do it and see if they've got some great tips and shortcuts I haven't heard of. Plus, I've been eye-balling this Burda pattern and can't wait to make both looks (especially the one on the left) sometime next year in a cute sheer fabric!!! It's so Bohemian chic!
Well that's it for now. I've got a Burda top I need to finish sewing, a dress I'm making for a client (I'll blog about that soon) and a few client alterations. Things have been picking up and like most of you I've been busy, busy, busy. Until next time, Happy Sewing:)  BTW: You can watch the new episodes of Project Runway Season 8 online, if you were to busy to catch it this past Thursday. Just go to!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Project Runway Season 8 premieres tomorrow!!!!

Oh my goodness, it's like it came out of nowhere!!! I was floored when I found out that Project Runway Season 8 premieres this week (July 29th at 9pm) on  Lifetime. What's worst is I haven't seen one commercial, but then again I don't watch Lifetime. I'm excited nontheless!!! The earlier time means I can catch it before bedtime!!! Also, rumor has it that the episodes are 90 minutes. I don't know if that's just the first or all of them. Hey the more Project Runway the merrier. Get more info HERE. I hope this is a good season!!! Enjoy.......

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Sewing Book & DVD

Thanks for all of your suggestions for a clothing label production company in my last post. I can't wait to go through the list and make comparisons. If you've still go more info please feel free to pass it on. Speaking of passing on's a few sewing resources I just purchased. And BTW, I'm not receiving any kickbacks for listing these two products. I only wish I were that special! LOL!

It's been a while since I've made a sewing book or DVD purchase. My library is pretty well stocked and for the most part I have most all the books I need. But I ran across two resources which I felt I couldn't pass up. A couple of days ago I purchased this book from
I first noticed this book when Carolyn offered it on her blog as a giveaway item. Ironically after I entered her drawing I checked my inbox and noticed that sent me an email about this book. Hearing about this book on two separate occasions within minutes of each other was quite the coincidence. I took it as a sign from God!!! LOL! Ok, that may be a bit of a stretch, but the coincidence definitely peeked my interest. There weren't any reviews on the website but I have a gut feeling that the book's a good one. And fo $10, I couldn't pass it up.  I love learning about sewing and the more I learn, the better I sew. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. It should be here tomorrow or Thursday. I'll definitely give you a full review afterwards.

I also purchased this DVD today.
I have a great deal of sheer fabrics in my stash and have been itching to sew them up into some beautiful numbers. FYI: You can pretty much convert any pattern requiring a woven fabric with that of a sheer fabric and appropriate lining.

Ok, I have to admit this was more of a fun purchase instead of a necessity. I have more than enough books that cover sewing with sheers, and I've sewed with sheers on a number of occasions in the past, but I'm curious to hear what Peggy Sagers, creator or Sihouette patterns has to say on the subject. It just so happens that I own most of her videos (all but 2) and since they're pretty helpful, I wanted to add this one to my collection.  Plus I'd rather watch the her handling the sheers and see her demonstrate how she cuts, sews, and finishes her sheers. I can compare it to what I know and expand my own knowledge. BTW: I met Peggy at The Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in Atlanta several years back. She was doing a workshop on pants fitting and called me and several other women out of the audience to critique the pants I was wearing and how they fit. Talk about up close and personal. But she was a real sweetheart!  Ok, I digress. I was going to wait later to get the DVD, but picked it up today since it's the last day to catch the pre-sale offer which saved me $10. I can't until I get my hands on this as well. I'll give you the 411 on it then.

As a side note, I'm also keeping an eye on the following DVD:

It's by Clair Shaeffer, the woman who brought us this book which I also have in my library.
I like the book ( I need to look at it again because it's been a while) but I'm not absolutely sure I'll purchase the DVD since alot of the information may already be in the book and I have a few other books on couture sewing. I am interested in couture sewing techniques though! I've been eyeballing this book for quite some time....

...but this puppy is about $75. I'll have to try and track it down on Ebay or other sites. So I'll just hold out on both of them until I can get them on sale.I never pay full price for books. I love books and If I did, I'd be broke. I always manage to get them 40-50% off when I buy them used (ebay, amazon,, etc). I'm in no rush. I'll just wait and see.

How about you, have you bought any new sewing books or DVD's lately????? If so, please share!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Need to Buy Personalized Clothing Labels??? Any Suggestions???

I can't believe I've been sewing for all of these years without my own personalized sewing labels. Actually I've been thinking about it (and collecting information) for years but I held off on getting some because I was waiting to establish a logo for my business.  Well the longer I wait the more clothes I sew that go label-less. Besides, I'm working to  increase my client sewing so I definitely want to provide my clients with a finished garment containing a professional sewing label. So I've decided to go ahead and get some labels. They probably won't have an official business logo, but I might add an image or either just go with my name. I'm tired of waiting and  have to do something at this point. My garments just don't seem complete without a label.

I've looked at several different companies and would appreciate your input. So far I'm sold on World Wide Label whhich seems to have the best deal of 300 labels plus design and words for $44.95. Has anyone worked with them? Do you know of another company that does great work? I would appreciate all of your input!!!
Well I've got to hop to the task of designing my label! I've designed my business cards which turned out really good so hopefully I can produce a decent clothing label. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for all of your input!!!

Simplicity 3867......One more time....

You've seen this top before. I made it in a great mustard yellow color HERE. Well it turns out that I bought a red version of the same embroidered cotton fabric. Since I loved the yellow version so much, I figured it would only be right to make it in red fabric. So here it is. It looks way better on me then my form (that's a first!!!)LOL!!!  It's made the same way as the original with the exception of a few changes. It turns out that I read the instructions wrong and flipped the tie up (instead of down) which made the waist tie look too high------ oh, silly me!  So I've got to take a small part of the zipper apart to flip the waist tie down. I also used a polyester lining since I ran out of fabric. BTW,  I seriously boycotted the hook and eye. I hate those little buggers!!!! I'll probably add a button and loop instead. Needless to say a repeat of a pattern always spells love for me.  I soooooo love this top and plan on making it for years to come.
  (Front View. Excuse all of the wrinkles, I wore it all day yesterday)
  (Back view: Notice how the waist band looks high. The band should be flipped down instead of up. I'll fix it later this week.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Are you a LONG or SHORT Distance Sewer?

Ok, so I've been downstairs in my sewing studio working on  Simplicity top 3867. I've been working on it off and on this week to have it ready to wear to church on tomorrow (I'll review it tomorrow). I've had the usual interruptions this morning (the little one needed juice, preparing breakfast for the family, etc) but after being in my sewing room for the last 3 hours, I've realized that I've lost some steam and have to get out and try to accomplish some of the other things on my to do list (steam clean the carpet, relax my hair, do laundry, etc) before I return to finishing up my top.

It's not that I'm exactly all that excited to do my "chores" but in the last few years I've noticed something about my sewing (or the way that I accomplish tasks in general). I'm truly a Short Distance sewer!!! It's funny, because in a way it sounds sorta bad but trust me I always (for the most part) finish my tasks but only in short spurts instead of long stretches of time. I'm no good working on the same task for 8 hours at a time. My brain is too busy and I get mentally distracted too easily. Then I run the risk of "over-thinking" what I'm doing, making costly mistakes, and ultimately suffering burn-out.  I work better and more efficiently within shorter blocks of time. It's kinda similar to the concept of "circuit training" in workouts--multiple movements in shorter periods of times. That's probably the worst analogy and I don't think I'm thoroughly explaining it but you'd have to be kinda like me to understand.

 I've learned in life that the best thing is not to always change things about yourself but to make them work for you. We've all got our idiosyncrasies!!! So since I know how I am, I try not to push myself beyond my concentration limits---even with something I love as much as sewing. And since I'm a pretty time conscious person, when I know I plan to spend only 2-3 hours sewing I'm more focused on accomplishing certain goals.  This is part of the reason why my 10,000 Hours of Sewing challenge goals of 3 hours of sewing or sewing related activity a day actually works well for me. But I have to admit that I admire all of you Sista's and Guys who can sew an entire garment in one night--I mean 5-8 hours of straight sewing.  Trust me, I know people like this!!! What endurance. That's indeed a unique gift!

So here's my question to you. What kind of sewer are you? Are you a Long or Short Distance Sewer and Why? How are you able to make it work for you?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Jumped on the Retro Patterns Bandwagon!!!!

Ok I feel a little bit late in doing so, but I finally went and bought some Retro patterns. Although I'm not the biggest fan of retro garments, those beautiful dresses worn in yester-years, I've always admired the clothing of those periods and the femininity they embodied.

I never really thought of buying retro patterns because, as silly as it sounds, I didn't think they would look all that good on me. Now I know you're laughing about now, but trust me I'm being serious. Just follow me on this. Is it just me or do most of these patterns look like they're made for women with the tiniest waistlines? I mean, almost every pattern by design cinches in at the waist to show off a coke-bottle figure, which was a big commodity during that time period.  I have a decent figure, but one thing I don't have is a ultra small waistline. And on top of that my waistline is almost nonexistent since I'm short-waisted. The most figure flattering clothing for people like me are clothes that don't focus or define the waistline. One's where you raise, lower, or get rid of the waistline altogether. So believe it or not, "the tiny waistline requirement" has been the deterring factor for me buying Retro patterns all these years. And just recently I've realized I've had the wrong impression of these patterns.

 More and more I'm  noticing  that these types of patterns look good on a range of figures, provided you alter and fit them well. So you don't have to have the "smallest" waistline to look good in a retro pattern.  I know isn't the case for all of them (some you really do need a tiny waist to pull off), but I feel pretty safe with the 3 I picked. I'm glad that I jumped on the "Retro Patterns Bandwagon". Yayyyyyy!  Now if only the PERFECT occasion arose that would warrant me making such a dress. I'm already thinking fabric possibilities. A girl can dream, can't she????? LOL!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Simplicity 3503.......Maxi Dress version #2

Since my sewing goals for July & August are to stock up my closet with summer clothes, I warned you Guys that you may see a few repeat patterns. I forgot to mention that I'll be going on vacation for a week and have another Research trip to Alaska at the end of August. So my goal is to crank out some quick and cute clothes.
So here's another version of the Simplicity 3503 Maxi Dress sewn the very same way as the first. I absolutely loved my first version---the bright green circle printed dress HERE. This dress isn't as exciting as that one but I liked the bold white floral designs on the black background. This Simplicity pattern is definitely a keeper for me. In the future I want to make a few more maxi dresses as well as some of the other views but I'll wait to I get my hands on the right fabrics. Don't laugh at me, but these maxi dresses are so comfortable I could wear one everyday!!!! The two I have will be great when I go on vacation.

As a side note I included this picture to demonstrate why it's SOOOO important to buy extra fabric when working on a project. It turns out that when I lengthened the bodice pieces on this dress, I accidentally lengthened the back midriff piece instead of the back piece. So I literally had to cut out 4 new pieces. Thank goodness I always (for the most part) buy at least a yard of extra fabric. I ended up using all of it and there were nothing but scraps left over. Hey mistakes happen, I just like to be somewhat prepared for mine:)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another Swimsuit.........Kwiksew 3503 Again!!!

                                                                  (Me and my Little One)
Well this is my second version of Kwiksew 3503 and I must admit that I love making this swimsuit. And I like the idea of making my own swimsuit in general. I think it's mainly because I just love, love, love sewing knits.  Secondly, I've had this swimsuit fabric in my stash for several years and dreamed of the day that I could find the right pattern for it. I absolutely love this swimsuit!!!! I have a yard of this fabric left over in case I want to make it into a cute tankini top with black boy shorts later on.

You may recall my first version from THIS POST.     Well I feel I got a better hang at sewing this swimsuit and the fit was superb the second time around. I made this swimsuit version the same as the first but with the following changes.

1. I used a swimsuit fabric that was somewhat thinner. This "comic strip" fabric wasn't as heavy as my last fabric but was slightly more difficult to handle since it was stretchier and thinner. I just had to pull it taut and make sure to use a new "sharps" needle.
2. I also added 1" length back into the bodice length. I removed 2" the first time I made it which made it a little snug, but when I added it back the fit on this swimsuit was just right.
3. I lined it in black.
4. I used firmer bra cups. They were perfect and didn't shift around at all and I never needed to adjust the bodice.

5. I added the lining to the leg bands 1:1, but stretched slightly when I serged it to the bum. This way my legbands weren't too tight and fit very comfortably.

On a Side Note: One thing I noticed this time around that I didn't catch the first time was that I sewed the bodice pieces opposite of what was suggested in the pattern. If you have this pattern, just look at the pics I took of my last swimsuit bodice and your guide sheet. You'll see, let's just say, that the inner part of the right bodice should really be located on the left side of the left bust.  I like the way I sewed it differently than the pattern instructions because it meant that I had more bust side coverage:)

My camera batteries died so my Hubby was only able to get one good beach shot. Here's some more from my backyard.....

(a front view and close up!!!)
(An even closer view!)

I think that's it for swimsuit sewing for now. I have 2 I made and one I bought, so I think I have enough for the summer. But I do plan on collecting some more swimsuit fabric. The really cute fabrics are hard to come by. Now on to finishing up my Simplicity 3503 maxi dress.......

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sewing Hours Tally and New Email Address

  As I mentioned in my last blog post,  I'm  finally posting a tally of the sewing hours I've accumulated so far this year. It's located on the right hand side of my blog. So far I've racked up 493 of the 1000 I'll need for the year. I hope to log more than 1000 before the years end but we shall see.
   I also FINALLY got an email address for my blog. I've been meaning to do this for quite some time. It's no big deal but it's there just in case anyone has any questions or wants to email me in private (I always appreciate when I can email bloggers on other sites). My email address is and is posted on the right hand side of my blog.  Please note that my email address (like my blog address) is a little different than my Blog Title.

  Happy Sewing to you all:)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Back on the Grind: May/June Sewing Goals recap and July/August Sewing Goals

 Heading into the May/June 10,000 Hr challenge finish line I felt like I lost a bit of steam. Well I'm ready to geared up again!!! It's time to get disciplined again and get back on track. Remember, I'm still trying to rack up my 1000 hours for the year. I'm almost half way there (I'll post the exact hours later this week). I have to admit, I didn't do half bad in May and June. I made 8 pieces which of course you can see pics of them in the PR review windows on the right or just click the links below:
May/June 10,000 Hour Sewing Challenge Recap

* Simplicity 3877 (Mother's Day dress)
*McCall 6119 (halter top)
*Simplicity 2406 (Wadder )
*McCall 5041 (sheath dress)

*Nursing Pillows (2 of them, gifts for my nephews)
*Simplicity 3503 (Maxi Dress)
*Kwik Sew 3503 (My First Swimsuit)

The two pieces I was most happiest with were my Simplicity 3503 Maxi dress (which I wasn't too sure was going to work with that huge print and loud bright green color) and my first swimsuit, Kwik Sew 3503.

July/ August 10,000 Hour Sewing Challenge Goals

For July and August I intend to spend my time trying to create a bigger summer wardrobe, full of interchangeable and fun pieces. Since I live in Savannah, it's bound to be HOT until October, so my clothes will definitely get good wear. It seems I'll be doing a continuation of May/June challenge details which I posted HERE.  I still need MORE PLAY CLOTHES!!! That means no complicated dresses, tops, etc. I'm all about EASY to sew, cute pieces such as shorts, tops, quick dresses, etc. I'm tired of trying to find decent clothes to go out in. It seems my wardrobe is currently composed of semi-formal clothes (for church) and some cute casual clothes.  I need more casual-but-cute clothes. Well I've already gotten started. I'm working on another Kwik Sew 3503 swimsuit in this great black and white swimsuit fabric with flecks of silver.....
It's a comic strip with a female Super Hero!!! I've had this in my stash forever and have been wanting to use it for quite some time. It's so cool. Can you say Girl Power!!!

Next in queue is another Simplicity 3503 maxi dress and Simplicity 3867 top. Don't be surprised if you see multiple versions of a pattern or I revisit some patterns from the past. Here's some possible patterns I plan to use....
 I am on a mission to restock my wardrobe!!! Well let me run off to sew. I wish you guys the best in your sewing ventures!!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Nature of Inspiration: I Met One of my Blog Readers

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d unexpectedly run into one of my blog readers but that is exactly what happened on last Thursday evening. Although I was supposed to be finishing up my swimsuit (you know the one featured in my last post) I decided to have a “date night” and go see a movie with my hubby, especially since our daughter was at a sleep over. In a last minute effort to get a quick bite before the flick we stopped by the nearby mall so I could grab something from Chick-fil-A.   While waiting on my food, I looked up to a woman who seemed to be addressing me. She smiled and said she didn’t mean to stare but that she recognized me. That’s when she proceeded to mention that she knew me from my blog. Well to be quite honest, I was almost certain that I was being mistaken for someone else.  I mean, I’ve been mistaken for other people lots of times before.  Seriously, what were the odds that I would bump into someone who actually read my blog? I reluctantly mentioned that I did have a sewing blog and wholeheartedly expected her to realize her mistake. But with the brightest smile she went on to tell me that she followed my blog and found it to be very inspirational.  Initially, to be quite honest, I was stunned. I was extremely flattered and humbled all at the same time. If I were of a lighter complexion I’m certain my face would have turned red. What a nice compliment. After I quickly got over the shock of it all, we spent the next few moments we chatting like school girls talking about our favorite bloggers, sewing projects, etc. 

She went on to introduce herself and inform me about her blog. Her name is Jennifer and she’s about the kindest people you could ever meet!!! Her blog is Savannah Southern Belle And from the look of it she’s as Big of an inspiration herself to those of her followers (one I’m happy to be as well). Although we probably only spoke for all of 5 minutes, just knowing I inspired her gave me the motivation to keep doing what I'm doing.

I guess for me, being someone prone to find the deeper meaning in things, I can’t help but think of the bigger implications of what we do.  We as bloggers put ourselves out there. We bear our mistakes, we share our victories, we show our strengths, and we display our weaknesses. We take the bitter with the sweet.   And for what?  All in the name of making beautiful clothes and utilizing our creative license. And somewhere along the way we carve out a niche for ourselves. True enough a lot of it is done in the name of fun but is in no means less impactive.

 I have to admit, years before I was even started blogging I was following the likes of Erica Bunker, Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing,  Adrienne, The Slapdash Sewist, Mimi Goodwin, the Mahogany Stylist, Two on Two Off, etc,etc, etc. It was a lot of their work that inspired me to pursue my own. And I’m so delighted to be one in the number and to have met so many new and talented people!!!!  I think the greatest things you can do in life is TO INSPIRE someone and to BE INSPIRED. I’m learning you can’t take that for granted. It doesn’t matter if you have 2 followers or 2000, it’s a great honor and privilege nonetheless.

To all of you who are inspired by others be sure to let them know.  And to those of you who do the inspiring yourselves keep doing what you’re doing. Inspiration, in it's very nature is indeed the gift that keeps on giving:)

So with that said, by all means.........BLOG ON!!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My First Swimsuit: Kwiksew 3503 Completed!!! Warning Picture Heavy!!!

This is the remaining post to the last 2 I wrote here  and right here  I'm delighted to have finished my very first swimsuit. Trust me I know it wasn't rocket science, but since it was my first time, I knew I had a few things to learn. Overall it was a great experience and I think it turned out quite nice. I was reluctant (or shy, rather)  to post pics of myself in my bathing suit (sans the shorts) but after running across Annette's post wearing a bra she made (which looks absolutely SPECTACULAR by the way) I got up the courage to do so. Thanks Annette for the inspiration:)

Much props and love goes to my Hubby who was determined to get me decent shots and drove all over the beach to find what he considered the best location. What would I do without him:)

Well below is my in-depth review.  I know a few of you have commented on my earlier swimsuit posts that the thought of sewing a swimsuit was a little intimidating. Trust me I understand what you mean but I want to put your mind at ease somewhat by hopefully showing you enough of the in-and-out's of what I did. At the very least, you may feel more comfortable with sewing this swimsuit if not any other (smile)! Well here's the review......

Kwik Sew 3503

Pattern Description:
Misses' swimsuits have lined front and regular or high cut leg openings finished with elastic. View A is strapless, has shelf bra lining, and top edge finished with elastic. View B is halter style with ties that tie at back neckline and has lined upper front with gathers under bust. I made View B

Pattern Sizing:
I used both the small and medium sizes. I'll explain that in-depth below.
(Front view. Excuse the hair, it was a pretty windy day)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Absolutely, but I changed the bodice so it looked slightly different. I'll go into that later:)

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I have to admit they were fairly easy to follow. I've heard that KwikSew had some of the best swimsuit instructions. They're pretty uncomplicated and written very clearly.  In addition to the instructions I did some of my own research and used the following information:
* The Singer Sewing Library Book "Sewing with Knits". There's a great 10 page section in this book on sewing swimsuits.
*Fellow Seamstress websites--I only saw a couple
*Looked at PR reviews of this pattern

(This is the front view. Excuse my modest tugging at the front .)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

*I liked that the pattern was easy to sew and only consisted of 4 pieces. I liked that I only had to add elastic to the waist and leg openings.
*I didn't like that the pattern was only partially lined (front lining only) and didn't have instructions for bra cups. But I was able to remedy both of those problems myself.

Fabric Used:

A swimsuit fabric I purchased from Jo-Ann fabrics. Unfortunately I don't know the fiber blend. I think it's the traditional lycra blend. This fabric was great to work with but when I cut it out it rolled up like crazy. This was no big deal, just had to pin it down alot.

(This is the back view. When I took this pic I hadn't yet topstitched the upper back bodice and the legbands since I forgot I needed two spools of thread to topstitch with a twin needle.  Can you say brain fart!!!!  After a quick JoAnn run I was able to finish the job. You can see my topstitching in the last picture below.)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Although I really liked this pattern, I made a bunch of changes to put my own personal touches on it and to refine the fit. After making a muslin I noticed I needed to make the following changes:

*When I first made my muslin I cut the size medium. This turned out to be slightly too big so much to the point that the bodice was drooping and the seat of the swimsuit was sagging. So I thought I'd grade down a size and based on Amy VG's pattern review of this pattern added a few inches on the side seam for some additional circumference.
So when I cut out my swimsuit I used 2 sizes. I cut out the size small everywhere except for the side seams and the bodice. I graded up to the medium size on the side seam to give me a little extra circumference in my waist. I use the medium size bodice so that I would have ample bust coverage.

*I reduced the length of the pattern 2". I took 1" off the 2 shorten/lengthen lines marked on the pattern. BTW, I traced my pattern on plastic sheeting (the kind used by painters--I think it was 4 or 7mil thick)

 (The 4 Pattern pieces. You can see where I shortened the front and back pattern pieces.)

* I wanted to add bra cups but was puzzled about how to go about it so I went to look at some RTW swimsuits in Wal-Mart. That's when I noticed that the swimsuits that didn't have sewn in bandeau's with bra cups had either the cups sewn in between the bodice fabric and lining or they had bodice's with 1" or so slits in the bodice lining in which bra cups were added. I liked the idea of adding and removing my bra cup so when sewing my bodice fabric to the lining I left open 1 1/4" so I could add bra cups and take them out when I washed my swimsuit.
(I bought these bra cups from JoAnn's. These bra cups came connected so I cut them apart put one in each bodice side.)

(And rolled them slightly and added them to the swimsuit in the lining opening I left (marked by the seam gauge) and smoothed them out. They fit perfectly. Although they worked fine, they're somewhat flimsy. So I'm thinking about trying a slightly firmer bra cup so they stay put and can't move around as much.)

*In my muslin there was about an inch of gaping in my swimsuit bodice. So instead of altering the bodice pattern I decided to take the easy way out by fixing the situation when I attatched the bodice to the torso swimsuit piece. Instead of sewing the bodice completely level with the torso piece, as I neared the side seam, I pulled it down the inch or so and thus raised the seamline on the bodice, removing the 1" and hence the gaping.
(From this picture, you can see where the outside edge of the bodice front is pulled down an inch or so to remove the gaping. I merely snipped off the pulled down section at an angle and sewed the bodice to the torso half.)

*I lined the back of the swimsuit as well since the pattern only called for lining the front and the bodice. I don't know why they didn't include the back piece since it was easy to do. Of course I cut out the back lining piece from the back pattern piece and sewed it in the same way. Then I stacked the torso pieces in the following manner, aligning the crotches.
1. placed front swimsuit piece right side up
2. laid back swimsuit piece wrong side up, on top of the front piece
3. laid back swimsuit lining right side up on top of back swimsuit piece
4. laid front swimsuit lining on the very top
(here are the layers pulled apart so you can see them)

(here are all 4 layers sewed at the crotch with a zigzag stitch. I think I did double stitching for reinforcement)

(Once you pull them apart you will see the bottom front of the swimsuit is lined and so is the bottom back. And of course the crotch seam is concealed. I continued with the kwik sew instructions by basting the linings to the fabric.)
* I overlapped the bodice 2" or so to give me a little more coverage. With me being shortwaisted, the original plunging neckline was pretty severe.

* FYI these are the stitches I used to assemble my swimsuit: I used the small zigzag stitch to attach the lining and bodice and to attach the lined bodice to the bottom half of the swimsuit. I serged the swimsuit torso front and back pieces together. I also used the zigzag stitch to attach the elastic to the leg opening and waistband and then I used the serger to give a clean finish to the elastic. There was so much stretching involved with the elastic that I felt comfortable zigzagging it in first instead of trying to stretch it and serge it on at the same time. I then used a twin needle to topstitch the elastic down. This was the first time I used a twin needle (can you believe it? ) and I loved the neat finish it gave. I have to admit the topstitching was my favorite part. The only I didn't like about topstitching the front waist band is the blue thread shows through on the lining side. Not really an issue, I'm just being picky!

(Here's the inside view of my swimsuit. You can see the topstitching on the leg opening and the waist as well as the side seams.)
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I definitely will! I really like the style and unfortunately when I initially went searching for swimsuit patterns there weren't alot that suited my fancy.  This one stood out because it was refined and sexy without being too revealing.
 I strongly recommend this to others, especially if you want to try your hand at sewing a swimsuit for the first time. I would say the most challenging part of the swimsuit was adding the elastic and that wasn't too bad, especially if you're used to handling elastic. Just make sure you get elastic that's especially made for swimsuits since they're better at handling chlorine, saltwater, and every other sewing element better.

This was a great pattern and I learned alot! Fitting and sewing a swimsuit of this style wasn't even difficult. The next time I make this I'll probably add back 1" of length to give me a little extra wiggle room. Whenever you add lining to a swimsuit you can lose a little stretch, especially if you don't use the stretchiest swimsuit lining. Outside of that, I'm super satisfied with the results!!!

Hope this post was helpful and please let me know if you have any questions:)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Kwiksew Swimsuit Update.....

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to drop in real FAST and give you an update on the swimsuit that I'm sewing, a project that I mentioned Here. Well I'm happy to report that I'm nearly done. I just have to add the elastic to the legs and waist and I'll be finished. Hopefully I didn't jinx myself by making that declaration. It was my intent to make multiple posts detailing my progress but things have been so hectic due to this holiday weekend especially since I'll be hosting out-of-town guests. I'm one of those weird people who takes being hospitable to the next level! So with all my running around I couldn't post like I wanted. So I'll have to clump my posts into one big one but I'll be sure to include lots of pics and everything I did step-by-step. I have to admit, sewing my first bathing suit was a great adventure and I can't wait to share with you. I go to the beach tomorrow and should post no later than Sunday.  Ok, gotta run! Gotta go grocery shopping, pick up the little one, pick up my guest, cook, etc.......and finish my swimsuit. Lord give me strength!!! LOL!  Have a great July 4th weekend.


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