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 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.
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.
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!