Brave 2.0

DSC03133 I made another bikini ya’ll! And I have at least two more bathing suits planned so I hope you don’t get bored. I love swimming so much. Maybe it’s because I’m a pisces or maybe because it’s the most fun thing in the world? This one is made from McCall’s 5400. I made the lower cut panty (view F) and adjusted the tankini pattern (view E) into a bikini top.

I used some remnant swimsuit fabric purchased in the flat fold annex at the Mill End, my local fabric store is rad and like half a mile from my house (dangerous). I made a size 12 up top, and got honest with myself about my size and made a 14 on the bottom. This suit doesn’t do the nasty muffin-top-squishing-in-my-soft-bits that my last me-made suit does.

DSC03145My serger is still in the shop getting worked on (I really busted it trying to “fix” it). This was made entirely on my sewing machine. Don’t be scared to make swimsuits if you don’t have a serger. It’s not necessary to make a secure, stretchy, comfortable swimsuit.

If you’d like to make this pattern for yourself, there are a couple of things to watch out for. The elastic guide that they give you is far too big. Just toss out those pieces and go by feel. On the front of the leg openings I didn’t stretch the elastic out at all, but you want to pull it fairly tight starting around your crotch and around your booty. You don’t want to flash your beaver at the pool when this gets wet, do you? Also the low cut panty is practically pube low, so keep that in mind depending on how modest you are.

DSC03164To make the top into a bikini I had to make a back piece for the cups provided for the tankini top. For the size 12 I made a rectangle that measured 14.5 inches and was the same width as the bust piece. For extra support I inserted small pieces of boning into the side seam allowances. I also disregarded the directions by inserting elastic along the top of the bust piece. They don’t have you do that and it didn’t seem secure enough to me. I also inserted swim cups that I harvested out of an older swimsuit that has seen better days. This top is essentially a bandeau top, much like the suit I just made but it feels much more secure and supportive. The halter strap helps a lot!

DSC03169I wore this yesterday to float the river. We drove upriver a few miles and rode the current back to my apartment. We even took the dogs (one of our tubes has a mesh bottom). Bacon looks so cute in his life jacket! The poor guy just sinks when he tries to swim #bulldogproblems.  If you follow me on Instagram (my username is Cynbular) You may have seen that my sweet Spanky had to have an emergency surgery on his eye. We were able to remove the sutures and the dreaded “cone of shame” on Thursday and he’s feeling and doing much better as you can see how handsome he is in this photo.

xx, Cynthia

Brave

3B25F4AD-4D67-45F0-89C7-E8A5C28F10C3-12201-000009FDA7911A8F I wasn’t sure about taking photos in my homemade bathing suit, that I posted a photo of about a month ago. I knew I was over-due to post a pattern review and details, but I decided to be brave and post photos in the suit as well. You can’t really tell what something looks like, when it’s not on a body. I’m even going to show you the backside (yikes!) Ladies, we’ve got  to start loving the skin we’re in… amirite?

This was made using Kwik Sew 3875. Ya’ll, I think I’m hooked on making my own swimwear from now on. You can pick whatever fabrics you want, you use so little it’s super economical (this only required 3/4 yard), you get to make your dream suit, and it’s actually pretty easy. Who knew? I already have the fabric bought to make another bikini, and I’m totally going to make the Bombshell Suit. Hmmm…. I also want a bikini with a high-waisted bottom and halter-top. I’m getting excited. I’m sure you’ve noticed the river in the background of my blog photos recently. It’s out my back door, is this  real life? After work today, my husband and I hopped into our inner tubes and floated while drinking beers. This summer is gonna be my jam, and I need MOAR bathing suits! Squeeee.

D28AD219-2A9F-4B20-B0D6-45FB94A60028-12201-000009FDF7C4FF74Now that I got that out if the way, I can talk about this swimsuit. Since this is my first attempt there are definitely a few things I would like to do differently next time, but I’m pretty pleased with the final outcome. I found this fabric locally. The metallic blue wasn’t actually with the swimwear fabric. I think it’s intended for “dance” costumes (hopefully that doesn’t bring all of the google creeps to my blog… shudder). It has the right amount of stretch, but it’s already starting to lose it’s shine on high stress areas (mainly my booty). I also found this white fabric with a thin gold stripe (I wish I had bought more, because they’ve sold out of it and I really love it). I really liked the way they looked together. My grandpa was in the Navy, so I think it’s in my DNA to like nautical fashion.

1449C1B9-C0E8-43A0-9C35-5CB16E399DD5-12201-000009FD907A9C92Besides the swimwear fabric, making this suit required a few different supplies than I normally use. It is lined with a flesh colored spandex lining, it used 3/4 inch “cotton elastic”, and there are two pieces of boning along the sides of the bust for support. I wish I added bra cups. I might add a halter strap still.

I had to experiment, but I found using my walking foot to be invaluable in helping this sticky/grabby fabric feed through my sewing machine. I used two different types of stretch stitches. I used a triple straight stitch for all of the seams and any top-stitching. I also used a triple zig-zag stitch to attach the elastic to the suit. You should of course experiment on your machine, but I found those two stitches to have the most elasticity to them.

22C2722D-FF69-45F4-AFAD-37F6AD9B7426-12201-000009FFE4BB021DThe pattern directions that came with the pattern were excellent, and I also found the swimsuit sew-a-long posts from Dixie DIY (I’m starting to sound like a weird fan girl over here) to be very helpful. I made a size small on the top and bottom, but I will make a medium bottom in the future. As is, this bikini does the dreaded muffin top bulge over (note how my hand is on my hip in these photos artfully hiding that part). I was pleasantly surprised by the low cut bottom, so many sewing patterns come out a bit matronly.

This suit has already been in hot springs, a hot tub, a  pool and the river and has held up fine with no wardrobe malfunctions. I have had concerns about the top not being supportive enough,  just the nature of bandeau tops. I can happily report that the top received it’s greatest test yet when the mister pushed me in when we were done taking picture. Everything stayed where it was supposed to! No nip slips… YAY!

B5FBE0D7-5FC5-4DF3-8877-F28D1FB2A031-12201-00000A014915E331I also wanted to show you the new sandals I got today. Saltwater’s, I think they’re cute even if they’re baby shoes. They’ll be perfect for my vacation I’m going on next week. Also, Bacon let me bury him in the sand last week. He’s too funny, I love that ugly mug so much! Also, I broke my serger (#sadface). Hopefully it can be fixed, I dropped it off at Modern Domestic. Sorry if this post is a bit manic, I’m over-caffeinated and under-fed at the moment. A dangerous combo

xx, Cynthia

 

Dixie DIY: Ballet Dress

DSC03112Wow guys… two makes in one weekend. I think that’s a record for me. I’ve been so busy having fun every weekend that I really wanted to chill out and spend some QT with my sewing machine. I made this sweet little knit dress using the Dixie DIY Ballet Dress Pattern. I really love this dress. It’s comfortable, skims the body enough to show you’re a lady, and easy to make.

I was going to add a skirt to my Maria Denmark t-shirt pattern, but then felt lazy. Dixie already did the work for me, it’s only $4, and (this is really why I didn’t buy this pattern sooner) Etsy now allows *instant* PDF downloads. Also I wanted to help a sistah out.

DSC03115I cut a size medium, but ended up taking the side seams quite a bit. Next time (and there will be a next time), I’m going to start with a size small and go from there. I didn’t make an changes to the pattern, other than shortening the sleeves. I really wanted to see how this was going to fit and wear before I started going crazy with the one billion hacks and variations I’ve got swimming in my brain.

I need to add about one inch to the front bodice piece. It pulls up on account of my bosom. It almost feels like an empire waist dress. Marie had the same issue when she made the dress, so I’m going to assume this would be a needed adjustment for somebody with a full C-D cup bra size. Also the sleeves are pretty loosey goosey. When I make  a long sleeved  version I’m going to slim them down quite a bit.

DSC03121I love the drape of the skirt. It flares out in the most flattering way and moves and swishes with you as you walk. This photo isn’t the greatest but it shows how it skims, but doesn’t cling to my figure problem area, known affectionately in my house as my pizza pouch. I eat the shit out of pizzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaa.

DSC03123I changed the order of construction, because I like to work flat with knits as much as possible. I work in a production studio for a knitwear line so I can do this in my sleep. If you’re interested here is my usual order of construction:

(1) Sew shoulder seams, apply twill tape for stability. (2) Sew sleeves to shoulders. (3) Attach elastic to the top edge of the skirt pieces on the wrong side. Be careful to not stretch out the elastic. I used my walking foot. (4) Sew skirt pieces to both the bodice front and back (5) Sew the side seam in one long continuous seam, matching the underarms and waist. I like to start at the sleeve hems because I get to the match points sooner. (6) Apply the neck band (7) Hem, I used my twin needle for this.

xx, Cynthia

 

 

Silly Shorts

DSC03101 On a recent trip to Ikea the mister spotted this colorful denim (these are mos def his colors) and asked for some clamdiggers. I said no on the clamdiggers because with this fabric I thought it would look like something my grandma would wear. I did agree on shorts though obviously, and here they are.

These were made with Simplicity 1948. It’s one of the Suede Says (ughhhhh) patterns. Can we talk for a second about how fug most of the Suede designs are, especially the ones with a more “rocker” edge to them? Gross! These are no exception, The basic pattern is a jean, or you can add a bunch of unnecessary pockets and zippers if you feel like it.

DSC03103I’d never made pants for Chris before and unfortunately these came out too big. I made these while he was out on a long motorcycle ride so I didn’t have him available to try them on while I was working. I wish they were sized by waist measurements like men’s pants are. The finished garment measurements on the envelope are for the hip measurement, which isn’t very helpful. Oh well, he’s wearing a belt in these photos.

I’m going to cut down center back  and take the excess out from there. I did 4 lines of topstitching on the waistband so I have no intention of unpicking all of that. Scissors it shall be. Sizing was the only issue I had with the pattern.

DSC03105All of the pieces fit together well. I gave these an 11 inch inseam which I based off of other shorts he owns. I  took the time to cut the pockets and back yoke with the stripes matching, but switched them at the last second. I decided visually I liked being able to differentiate all of the design elements instead of having them fade together. The pattern instructions were quite good. I was even able to follow their instructions and diagrams for inserting the fly front zipper. Easy peasy mac and cheesy.

DSC03104All seams are finished by my serger and then topstitched down. The insides are very neat and tidy if I do say so myself.

I also recently finished sewing up some curtains for my sister. Although I did make her do all of the measuring and pressing (i.e. the boring parts). I think I’m do for another few month of selfish sewing :)

xx, Cynthia

Laurel…. and Some Tacky Underpants

DSC03099I’m finally blogging my Colette Laurel. I was able to squeek this one under the deadline for the Laurel sewing competition.

I entered this into the self designed fabric category. I had been wanting to hand stamp a dress with french bulldogs for over a year. I had seen the cute pony dress over on the blog A Beautiful Mess and really wanted to make a version for myself. When I saw the Colette competition, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out this technique. I found a bulldog silhouette on the interwebs and used it to make a stamp with craft foam.

DSC03092I cut a size 4 (which is my standard size in Colette). It came out HUGE. I ended up shaving this down to a size zero right under the bust to the hem. I’m still able to pull this over my head without a zipper even though I shaved so much off of the side seams. I omitted the sleeves and drafted a Peter Pan collar.

DSC03082It didn’t came out as cute in real life as it did in my head. It’s a little *too* homemade looking. I don’t want to look like I’m wearing something made by Patricia on Project Runway… LOLZZZ. I think this is going to end up in the never worn part of the closet. I’m not ready to give up on this idea yet. I want to try screen printing some smaller scale bulldogs on a future version of Laurel.

In other news, I made my first pair of panties (ewww…. I know that’s a fairly universally hated word). This is the most ridic item of clothing I’ve ever made. These are made from an old T-shirt that was thrifted and destined to be underpants. I used Zoe’s free pants pattern. I finished the edges with fold over elastic and these are very comfortable hipster panties.

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I’m currently working on making my first bathing suit. I hope it come out cute :)

XX, Cynthia

Aztec T-Shirt Mini Dress

DSC03072This was a super quick and easy T-shirt dress made with a funky aztec/ ikat jersey found in the remnant pile at my local fabric store. Do you find that you want to make something easier after a more involved project? I used the *free* ( holla!) T-shirt mini dress pattern by the adorable Dixie as the basis of this make. This is so comfy it feels like pajamas, in fact *cough cough* I’ve already slept in this.

DSC03063I wear the heck out of a hoodie dress I bought from American Apparel a couple of years ago and I was looking for a summertime alternative. With the addition of tights and my grandpa’s old Levi’s jacket, this dress can take me through three seasons.

DSC03046I made the size small, and finished the hem and sleeves with bands. I feel they give me  a neater finish. You can hardly tell though, because this pattern is so busy. I drafted a kangaroo pouch based off of the pocket on my original hoodie.

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Hahahaha… this last photo is what spring really looks like in Portland. #allergies

xx, Cynthia