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June 2018


swimsuit-a-thon : mermaid twinsie 1/2

I’ve finished off another one of the many swimsuits I promised the girls I would make this summer! This one is part of a twinsie set that the oldest requested to match with the youngest. I think it’s adorable that even though there’s a pretty massive age gape, those two are still very close to each other. And it’s so sweet to see their personality together. At times J even looks for comfort from A rather then me, it’s almost like she’s a second mother, but in a good way lol. 



So when I was looking for swimsuit fabric I did ask A for her opinion on what she’d like. And as we were scrolling through the site she spotted this ‘mermaid’ fabric and proclaimed that it needed to be a twinsie swimsuit immediately!!!! I of course had seen a few versions of projects made with this type of scales before (these leggings by Made by Toya and a cosplay costume made by Ari to which I can’t find the original link anymore). Either way, as soon as she said she wanted them I definitely jumped on board!!! It wasn’t a hard sell 😉




The first swimsuit sewn with it is for J. I used a vintage Jalie Pattern, similar to this one here but with a bikini option, that my grandmother gave me when I visited last month. Bonus score for the fact that her size was already traced out and ready to cut!!! I sewed up the smallest size (a size 2). And next time I’ll make some adjustments to the bottom piece to tapper the waist in a bit and to shorten the elastic up a bit. But other then that, it fits her great!




Now you’re looking at her probably thinking she doesn’t look all that happy?!? You’d be right! She actually hates this swimsuit, not because of how it looks or because of fit. She actually couldn’t wait to put it on and tried to wear it over her clothes! But once we tried it on without clothes underneath, you know, the regular way to wear a swimsuit… she had an absolute fit! You could see her belly button!!!!! Try as she might, either by pulling the bottoms up as high as they could go or by pulling the top down as low as possible, it won’t cover and she won’t wear it.




If anything, I’d like to consider this a test into bikini sewing, which the girls have actually never worn before. I’ll probably wind up making her a one piece to go with it and this will become a spare, or maybe even make a rash guard to go with the bottom. Who knows?!? But if anything, now I know I can’t make her something that shows her bellybutton….


swimsuit-a-thon : abstract

I’ll say this again, but it’ll never be enough. Swimsuits are so FUN to sew! This is far from the first swimsuit I’ve sewn for this girl, yet it always amazes me how much better a handmade swimsuit fits her!




It’s not that she’s exactly tall for her age, but she’s tall when you compare her chest to height measurements… What this means is that when I buy her a swimsuit from the store, I usually have to size down from the clothing that she usually wears so that the swimsuit doesn’t just ‘hang’ on her and sit weird or worse, once it’s wet completely sags. But by sizing now, now we have less length, which then creates problems in either bum coverage (too cheeky!) or the straps are too tight or worse, we have BOTH happening at once. Which is why I love to make her swimsuits, I can get rid of all those problems!




Here’s a quick breakdown of how I adjust a swimsuit pattern to accommodate her chest and length. I again opted for my go to basic pattern (view C of the cosi swimsuit by sewpony). Her measurements fall like this, size 7 chest, waist and hips with a size 10 height, so to accommodate this I cut out the size 7 width, and once I got to the top portion of the bodice pieces I extended my cut line up to the size 10 and just cut across to the fold them from there.


Another way (or more like a proper way) of adjusting for height would be to measure the distance between the size 7 and 10, cut your pattern out like you would for a size 7 and then cut about midpoint and insert a piece of paper to extend the size to your desired length. Here is a great post by Oliver + S about doing this process for just about any type of garment sewing.




As you can see in the above pictures, now that she’s had length added her swimsuit has great coverage and will also last out the season (always a fear of mine when I get her store-bought). You can see in these pictures that the fabric bunches up in her back a little, so I did add a bit too much length in the end, but at least it will fit her throughout the year! Another thing I’m chalking that up to is I think because of the curve of her back, I’ll have to adjust the actual back bodice piece a bit and take out a little bit of material from the side seam by adjusting the curve of the pattern, which really isn’t that big a deal, just tweaking.


The print I used for this swimsuit is this abstract from Spandex World. I actually cut it in the wrong direction, not even realizing it because that’s the great thing about spandex (and swimsuit fabric), you have a fabric that has the same amount of stretch both ways! So happy little mistakes like that can actually create an even more unique finished project. I also love the colour of this fabric, it’s girly like her, but not too girly or young looking and gives her a bit more of a tween look (I can’t believe I even said tween!!!!).




She absolutely loves this swimsuit and so do I! The fabric is fun and most importantly, the fit is right.


swimsuit-a-thon : galaxy

Summer has finally arrived in our parts. And it came with force! One minute it was so cold we needed jackets and the next we were sweating buckets. As always, I try to plan some swimsuits for the girls around this time of year. Last year I didn’t really get around to it, since they had swimsuits that fit, but this year is was an absolute necessity to get these sewn up. And then I procrastinated until I got some motivation from a friend 🙂 I made a couple of swimsuits that I’ll be showing you guys this week and next, so let’s get started!!!



If you’ve never sewn a swimsuit before because you think they’re too complicated, well I’m here to tell you they’re anything but!! Have you sewn a tee before? Then you can sew a swimsuit!!! The only technique that you’ll need to master (and really I say that like it’s a big deal but it’s not) is to learn to insert your elastic. Here are two videos that I’ve found super helpful in the past (here and here).



Of course, a good pattern is always a must. My go to is the cosi swimsuit by sewpony. It’s a great beginner swimsuit with great instructions. And once you get comfortable enough you can branch out and make one of the many variations offered. Here I maybe view C in a size 2, leaving out the leg ruffles. The galaxy print is from Spandex World, this is where I tend to get my swimsuit fabrics since they have such a large selection of prints and colours and I typically can’t find anything good locally (and of course it saves me the drive into the city). I’ve found that I tend to go with fabrics that are a little bit heavier (6-7 oz/yard) and this saves me from lining the whole swimsuit. And it won’t become see through quickly over time.




Well now we’ve got one swimsuit down and a few more to go for the season. But at least this one can finally hit the water!