Attack of the Mad Tankini

Now that our Family Beach Weekend is OVER, I FINALLY finished the swim suit I was attempting to make for a family member! She picked out the color and pattern of fabric, and I chose one of two awesome Jalie tankini patterns that I splashed out for! Yes, Jalie patterns are expensive considering that I usually buy Simplicity, McCalls, or Butterick when they’re on sale for $1 or $2 a piece, but when you realize that one Jalie pattern has just about every size you’d ever want to make, and the styles are très cool, I will, of course, pay more!

Jalie tankini pattern

Tankini pattern

Jalie patterns are either downloadable, or shipped from the company in Canada. They may also be in retail shops, but they aren’t in any shops around where I live. My next project will be the beautiful and modest skirtini that you see included in this pattern.

tankini

finished tankini

I must admit, this finished project is one of the worst things I’ve ever sewn. Do you ever have sewing days when you sew the back to the back lining instead of the front? And then, when ripping out the seams, gouge holes in the fabric? And when you decide to use the cover stitch on your serger, which you haven’t used in a long time because you’re flat scared of the thing, your thread breaks? And then when you try to do it over, another thread breaks? And then when you’re trimming the seam allowance, you cut a hole in the hem, not the underside, but the side that shows to all the world what a klutz you are? And you run out of bobbin thread, so you wind a new bobbin, and the thread wraps all around the post instead of inside the spool? And when you try to get it off, it gets all tangled and you have to throw it in the trash? And then you run out of thread and don’t have any more of that color so you have to finish the garment with a different color thread? Yeah, that kind of stuff.

I could never have finished this project without the able assistance of Meigan at getmystitchon.blogspot.com . Usually I have no problem following the instructions in a Jalie pattern, but the straps on this one had me completely flummoxed. Meigan, thank you for posting this excellent tutorial; I followed it and survived just fine! After following your instructions, the straps were the least of my worries!

The sides have optional drawstrings in casings that can be drawn up to look like ruching. Normally, if I ever have to make tiny fabric tubes and turn them inside out, I’m a basket case and require therapy for an extended period of time. This pattern has a genius method of turning a tiny narrow tube! You can even add plastic beads to the drawstrings, or just knot the ends and tie them in a bow. I think they add a lot to the overall cuteness of the swim suit.

Jalie tankini

the fabric looks tie-dyed

So there it is! Not the most perfect job, as you would be able to tell if you saw it up close, but now that I’ve finished one, I’ll work on another one and maybe it will be more finessed than the first! This project is ideal for using remnants of spandex-infused fabric. The straps and waistband can be in a contrasting color, thus using small pieces of end-of-bolt and remnant fabrics that otherwise might get thrown away, and are sold at JoAnn Fabric for half-price!

Beach-loving Memory in Silhouette (Weekly Photo Challenge)

Daytona Beach sunrise

Daytona Beach sunrise

For more silhouette challenge photos click here.

Zig-zag Weekly Photo Challenge

zig-zag building

Cary Quilting Co. (Cary, NC)

For more WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Zig-zag look here.

Cosplay (with Remnants!)

They sat in a drawer for years, those fabric remnants. Bet they never guessed they’d find a life as a pre-teen’s animé idol cosplay get-up!

I was led to the source of the costume via Netflix: one Black Butler episode. And then, I was given a detailed description of what was needed: a brown vest, a red-and-white striped neck tie, and a red long-sleeved jacket with tails, trimmed in black.

This is the pattern we chose and modified.

jacket pattern

pattern for both vest and jacket

I had a few remnants of brown fabric. The one that was ultimately chosen was a crepe-backed satin, but she wanted the matte side, not the shiny side, to show. The shawl collar on the vest was of a brown ultra suede, but she wanted the dark brown shiny reverse side to show. I altered the pattern to fit her slender frame, and cut out the back except for the collar and facing, and about 6 or so inches around the waist in back. The character wears a red and white striped sash tied around the neck in a loose bow. The would-be cosplayer speedily found such a remnant in the stash, and we made the tie in no time.

IMG_2198

And to complete the outfit, she has a white oxford shirt, she has ordered shoes and a kool-aid-colored red wig, she will find red spectacles, and she will wear the jacket as does the character, off the shoulders with the collar bunched-up around the elbows.

jacket

jacket

Hello, Manga! Netflix has a veritable vault full of animé episodes…

Summer Lovin’ [photographical]

summer crape myrtles at the shopping center by the gym

summer crape myrtles at the shopping center by the gym

just a few short months ago, in spring

just a few short months ago, in spring

For more Summer Lovin’ (the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge lovin’, that is) click here.

Remnants of a grand past: Beautiful Old Buildings in Charleston

Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC


Charleston SC

Charleston SC

Summer Clothes, one from a Remnant

Subtitled: More clothes I’ve Made for Myself that I Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Wearing…

:) Confession: I’m not the greatest seamstress in the world. One reason why is that I don’t get enough practice. And I’m very dyslexic when it comes to reading pattern instructions. I can read a line of instructions over and over again, and still not get it. I can grasp the idea if I have a picture to look at. Some patterns leave a lot out, either in the picture or the text. Perhaps early Alzheimers? No, I’ve always had this problem with sewing…

Maybe this goes back to my traumatic years as a junior-high home ec student. I think our teacher, poor Miz Thomas, retired or went into the nursing home after our class graduated. She certainly had a nervous tic and gritted her teeth all the time when we were on deck. But that wasn’t solely our fault; her daughter, Lucretia (I’m not making this up) was getting married and so she wanted us to go through all the trousseau-building exercises a debutante could possibly undertake in the late sixties/early seventies, along with dear sweet Lucretia, and to do it all up in style. We had to choose ourselves a silver, china, and crystal pattern for our own virtual registry. Miz Thomas did not like that I chose black crystal goblets from the Lenox catalog. From then on, she saw me as The Devil. The A-line skirt I made in class (well, to be honest, my mom finished it because I was totally inept) was one of the best articles of clothing I’ve ever owned. I chose the color (fire-engine red) and the fabric (a bottom-weight cotton blend that maybe had to be ironed a little?) and it fit me perfectly. Thus began my career of thinking up great things to sew. But unfortunately, my best-laid plans often (always?) fell short of perfection. Sigh.

Here is the remnant that started the Summer 2014 sewing binge:

denim remnant

stretch denim remnant

It’s a 2-yard, 60-inch-wide piece of stretch denim I got at a yard sale YEARS ago that was held in a retirees mobile home park. Retiree=hence, the very organized packaging in a labeled zip-lock bag. I needed to use stretch denim for this project, #113 trousers from Burda Spring 2014 magazine.
Burda trousers

Burda 113 Trousers

I finished them pretty quick, and they turned out fantastic except…they don’t fit me in the waist. I don’t know if I misinterpreted the sizing, if I gained way, way too much weight on my recent road trip, or if I neglected to add seam allowance (I thought it was supposed to be included in Burda’s printed patterns?)
trousers

Burda trousers

This is the blouse, or rather tunic (because it’s longer) I chose to make to match the remnant trousers. I bought the fabric at Joann’s (not a remnant) thinking I wanted some more feminine casual wear, rather than my usual sweat-hoggian t-shirts and cargo-shorts. The pattern is view A of Simplicity 2254.

tunic

Simplicity tunic

This also didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. :'( For the hem, I used my Blind Hem Foot. The results are less than perfect but with the busyness of the fabric pattern, you don’t see the blips too much.

And then there was this other outfit, also bought the fabric at Joann’s, a beautiful peach stretch cotton sateen for the pants, Burda 144 trousers, and a stretchy knit jersey coordinating print for the top, Very Easy Vogue V8534.

top & trousers

top & trousers

These pants fit very well, anyway. Stretchy, great length, taper in the legs, pretty color. Not sure about the top; it fits well but it makes me look like Shamu…I do have a back-up semi-sweat-hoggian tee-shirt that will also serve…

I snapped this of a woman passing by in Charleston when we were there…nice to see women in lovely summer dresses at work, out to lunch, walking around town…so feminine, so “Southern Living”…but for me to wear a dress somewhere casual other than church, doubtful!

Charleston

fleeting glimpse of Charleston woman passing by

OK, so I fixed the waistline: there were 4 rather large darts, so I re-made them each a bit smaller and added a piece of denim to the waistband, making it a few inches wider. The piping is a day-glo orange, I guess it looks white with the flash.

Burda trousers

finished trousers with piping

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