Meshing Around for National Sewing Month

Part 3 of the swim set, the mesh cover-up.

bathing suit cover up

mesh coverup for bathing suit

Er, I didn’t use a remnant fabric here, but I did buy it from a fabric.com clearance-sale at a very cut-rate price a few years back. So it’s been waiting patiently in my stash (AKA the island of misfit fabrics) for rebirth as a project.

I got the idea for a cover-up from the Summer 2014 issue of Burdastyle US magazine. This article is a cross between two patterns I saw in that issue:

Burda 2014

Slam Dunk, #127

and
Burda pattern

Catching Waves, #130B

As I wrote in the previous post, I deliberately added a blue contrast stretch fabric to the Jalie silver skirtini, because I knew I wanted to use this blue and white mesh, and I thought the silver, blue and white would look good together.

If you’ve done much sewing from Burdastyle magazines, you know that you’re going to have to start out tracing the pattern pieces from one or more of the inserts.

Burdastyle magazine pattern inserts

tracing the pattern

You may go ahead and skip the following rant if you want to.

Burdastyle, the UK edition, is issued every month. Included are inserts for ALL the patterns you see in the mag. I once subscribed to this edition, and I thought it was incredibly awesome, except for the huge cost, probably due to postage. Burdastyle, the US edition, just became available last year, and I was so excited! Until I discovered that only part of the patterns are included in the magazine. The others, you’re going to have to download, for a small fee each (about $5), from a web site, and print them off on your own printer, using your very own printer ink and paper—lots and lots of paper, that you have to tape together, and then trace the size you want. I looked on the web site’s forum and saw that some patrons were also complaining that some of the US magazine’s patterns are not brand new cutting edge fashions, they are re-hashes from prior magazines. Rip off!

So I see the “Catching Waves” cover-up and it looks cool, but I’ll need to download the pattern if I want to make it. Instead, I use the pattern for “Slam Dunk” which is included in the magazine, and is pretty similar. Wait a minute, is this whole scenario just a test to see if we are gullible enough to pay more money and use our own printers, when we could alter slightly the pattern we already paid for and have a similar finished product? Does this company think its American audience is stoopid?

Anyway, I ran into another snag: both patterns call for the notion “lycra binding,” in a 1.5 cm width. I was not able to find lycra binding in the local big-box sewing supply stores. I could barely find it online, finally locating some (20 mm wide) at the UK site MinervaCrafts. But did I really want to fork over the equivalent of about $30 for a couple of meters of it, and wait several weeks for it to arrive in the mailbox? No, so I instead bought some Dritz 5/8″ fold-over elastic at JoAnn’s. It looks pretty good. I used almost all of three 1-yard packages at $2.99 apiece. Shockingly expensive, for me! I may break down and order some lycra binding tape from a Ft. Lauderdale Etsy shop, wildnsweet. But it costs $4.50/yd from that site, not including shipping and handling. :(

One good thing: I used my serger to cover-stitch the hem and it didn’t screw up at all! That’s a first!

And I should tell you that I use a designated “stretch” needle for sewing lycra/spandex fabrics, and I don’t have any trouble with skipping, like I have with other types of needles. I like to start in the middle of the seam, then sew to the end, then turn the piece around and start at the middle and go to the other end. This bypasses the machine’s tendency to mash the beginning part of the seam down into the throat plate. I’ve seen other sewists allow for this by inserting a little square of fabric to start sewing before the seam, and then cutting off the sewn-on square.

hem

cover-stitched hem and elastic-bound side slits

Happy National Sewing Month!

Sewing a Silver Swim Set

Just a quickie post to show part 2 of the triple swim set. Yesterday was the tankini top. Today, the southern part, changing it to a skirtini.

Skirtini

Skirtini

I made the top from Jalie 2447 Choice of Tankinis, view B (the full-figured version). The bottom I made as a combination of 2447, the full-figured view, and Jalie 3023, Skirtini. I added a pattern piece, a wide waistband with a hidden panel of power mesh (remnant, naturally) that was a variation of the high-waisted tankini bottom in 2447, so that it could have the play of contrasting colors and feminine, flirty skirt as in pattern 3023.

power mesh remnant

power mesh remnant

My plan to pair the silver remnant with the dark blue will pave the way for part #3 of the ensemble, which I hope to work on tomorrow, the mesh cover-up.

remnant sewing

throw some mesh into the mix

Are you participating in any festivities for National Sewing Month?

Fashion and you

National Sewing Month. :cool:

Designer….sewing….clothes…music

As I post this, I’m watching Fashion Rocks on CBS, a new concept: watch famous recording artists perform on TV and go to Macy’s web site and order the outfits you see the performers parading around wearing.

Money…glitz….moving….looks

Leather….lights…screaming!…fashion

some of it is absolutely embare-rassing

You and I can be a player in our own little microcosm…that lil ol’ fashion designer, sewist, shower-chanteuse, and rescuer of fabric from the landfill…here I am/we are!

Here’s my latest sewn thing–part of a triple piece swim set;

jalie tankini top

Jalie tankini top

Featuring a little remnant of silver stretch spandex.

I should also mention that using a special “stretch” needle is the way to go when sewing lycra-spandex. I’ve had better results than when using a “ball-point” needle.

Jalie tankini pattern

the Jalie Pattern for the top

Here’s a pic of my fashion-forward great grandparents in their tankini’s.

great-grandparents

Great-grandparents

What have you saved from the landfill lately?

It’s National Sewing Month!

Wonder if I can sew an article every day of this month, in honor of National Sewing Month?

Today is already the 4th, so I’m a little behind…but hey! :idea: I did mend 2 pairs of pants in the last couple of days…that counts as sewing, doesn’t it?

And I noticed on Pinterest that Jalie pinned one of my recent projects, their skirtini, on their Customer Creations board!

I decided to start with something super-easy, the fleece blanket. This remnant piece of fleece is an Irish four-leaf clover motif with Celtic sort-of knot designs, in several shades of green, and white. Didn’t care about the size of the remnant, what it is, is what it is. It’s going to be one of those throws you curl up in to watch TV on the couch at night in the dead of winter.

rounding edge

Using a soda can to round the edges of the blanket

I had an abundance of fleece binding in the stash. A long time ago I bought a bulk package of Wright’s bindings on ebay and ended up with a lot of 3-yard packs of forest green. Years have gone by and I never found an opportunity to bind anything with this dark, dusty forest green fleece binding–until now. Sorry to say that I have enough of this dark green to bind a blanket the size of a football field, probably, but at least this project will whittle down some of the old stash!

Wright's fleece binding

dark green fleece binding

I discovered a very old, unused spool of dark-green thread in the stash, and started off making a bobbin.

bobbin winding

Winding a bobbin of forest-green thread

Open up the folded binding and sew it to the edge of the fleece (right side of binding is together with wrong side of fleece, and you’re sewing on top of the wrong side of the binding), using the first fold to the left of your machine’s needle as a sewing guide. You could save yourself some seam ripping later by NOT sewing down the first half-inch or so of the binding. When you get to the point when you have to add more binding, fold over the side edge and finger-press it under, then add the next piece on top of the one you’ve been sewing, so the rough edge is folded under. It would probably be ok to leave the edge unfolded. It doesn’t seem to want to fray much. But it might after washing a lot, and it looks a bit more finished folded under.

fold binding edge under

fold edge under and finger-press, using thumbnail is good

fleece binding

Add next piece for continuous binding

As you’ve probably already sewn the beginning edge down due to not paying attention to what I wrote above, you may have to get the seam ripper or scissors and remove about a half-inch of the thread where you started sewing the binding to the edge, and fold it under.

Once you’ve sewn one edge of the binding all around the perimeter of the blanket, fold it over to the other side and then sew it down. You will be stitching on the right side of the fleece binding, through the fleece and the other right side of the binding on the bottom.

IMG_2345

That would have probably taken about an hour, if I hadn’t had a dentist’s appointment in the middle of the project. Super easy!

I’ve gotten some comments about how difficult some people find sewing to be. Some people are just a natural at sewing, some (like me) are, unfortunately, a klutz. It makes all the difference if you have a good teacher, and if you don’t succumb to discouragement. You can probably google any specific sewing problem and find a tutorial that will help you SUCCEED!

Long, Long Summer with Remnant Skirtini

It may be Labor Day weekend, but summer’s not over! Not for Central Florida anyway, it will continue to be hot and muggy here until mid-October.

Continuing in the vein of the last Jalie Tankini post, I followed through on my intention of creating that adorable skirtini.

skirting

Jalie Skirtini

Pattern 3023 has to be one of the cutest swim suits ever. It has a camisole top with a built-in shelf bra, optional drawstrings in casings on the sides that can have beads threaded on them, or can be tied in a bow. The bottom has a wide waistband and can be made with a flirty little skirt, if wanted.

I’m happy to report that I didn’t have nearly as much trouble with this version as I did with my first try! I did make use of the excellent Getmystitchon blog tutorial once again to do the straps. Piece of cake! The worst problem I had was discovering that I accidentally cut one of the waistband facings out of fabric that had a big notch already slashed into it. Mulligan waistband facing!

unwanted notch

Ooops

The recipient of this project picked out the two contrasting colors from my spandex-remnant box. What a beautiful match of colors! These photos don’t do justice to the metallic gold splashes all over the fabric of the camisole and skirt. Really gorgeous! And…as you know, half-price at JoAnn’s because they were remnants! Fabrics like this are usually about $15 per yard. This suit, for a twelve-year old, took less than a yard. It did, however, take a lot of thread to make this. Compared to a basic leotard, this skirtini had a bunch of stitching. Layer upon layer.

skirtini

side view

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.

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