Out damn spot

I’ve been coveting McCalls 6751  since Ange posted her striped version and it finally made it into my stash to meet the minimum spend for free delivery from Jaycotts.

McCalls 6751 View A Side

I squeezed the pattern pieces of view A into the oddly shaped remaining piece of spotty cotton in my stash (previously seen here, here and here) and set to work French seaming the sides and shoulders.

McCalls 6751 View A Back

I half followed the advice of other bloggers in making this top: narrowing the front piece to reduce some of the billowy, boxy shape worked very well. I should have heeded the advice to bind the continuous raw edge instead of narrow hemming because I’m not happy with the neckline (hot off the ironing board it looks great but put on straight out of a suitcase and I’m not so keen to admit I made it!).

McCalls 6751 View A Front

Nevertheless, I vowed to make at least one other view from this pattern before holidaying and even removed the seam allowances there and then as a reminder to me to bind the raw edges!

Lonsdale by the Sea

Well, well, well… after a fantastic holiday and most of August taking it at an easier pace than usual I’m back at the blogging helm. I made four garments in the run up to holidaying in St Lucia but I completely ran out of time to photograph them. No matter. The beautiful Caribbean island provided a nice change of scenery for some blog photographs.

Lonsdale Skirt Tessuti Twill 1

Hot on the heels of my first Lonsdale I couldn’t wait to get a Lonsdale skirt cut out and under my presser foot. The fabric is a lightweight twill from Tessuti Melbourne and is leftover from a Sureau I sewed way back in June 2013.

Lonsdale Skirt Tessuti Twill 2

I cut the skirt front on the fold as I like to avoid a centre front seam where possible. I’d have cut the back on the fold and moved the zip to the side seam if I’d had enough fabric. All other aspects and fit were exactly the same as my red dress Lonsdale which got some cocktail drinking outings during holiday too.

Lonsdale Skirt Tessuti Twill 3

What with four items to photograph on holiday plus a whole host of other Me Made’s in my suitcase, it dawned on me just how much of my things are hand made these days. I’m also pleased to report that my abstract floral Burda shorts made it up to the top of Gros Piton, my Movies in the Park shorts endured zip-lining and my Halogen bikini survived water skiing! Well you didn’t think I idly dipped my toes into the sea on the white sandy beach all holiday, did you?

Halogen Bikini

See, I said my second bikini would be way better than the first!

Halogen Bikini Front

The name of this bikini make is taken directly from the name of the print design – Halogen. A stock design of Funki Fabrics. This is my second fabric purchase of the year and boy was it worth it. The colours, the geometry… this print is very me.

Halogen Print

So what can you expect when you order a printed-to-order lycra from Funki Fabrics? Quick signed-for delivery (less than 2 working days) and a full half meter of the print with a white border (which I’m hording as it’d make a great bit of contrast for another bikini or of sportswear).

Printed Lycra Funki Fabrics

The lycra is a little lighter in weight than my previous bikini but I’d already invested in some nude power net from Oh Sew Crafty (the swim elastic also came from there). The print quality is really good, as is the fabric – amazingly no curling edges. This makes it much easier to sew with as there’s no battling against a suborn curl. I was clean out of tracing paper so I used baking paper but that stuff also had a curly affliction!

Curling Powernet

And what pattern did I use this time? Since I modified Little Nook’s free bikini bottoms pattern to my liking for my first bikini, I went with that – I just took out the centre front gathering for this make. The gathering would just be lost in all that print.

Halogen Bikini Back

For the bikini top, I drafted one using some RTW inspiration and intrigue in an under bust dart for shape.

Halogen Bikini Dart

But I also quite liked the ties that were on my swimsuit from last year so I played around with those a little to angle outwards and slope the edges (in retrospect I can see that this idea may have been subliminally Sewaholic Lonsdale-inspired too!).

Halogen Bikini Ties

I treated myself to a rather professional looking bikini clasp from Sewing Chest. The clasp turned out to be a pretty good colour match, no?

Halogen Bikini Clasp


On the Brink of a Bikini Bonanza

My motivation to sew for my holiday has been gathering momentum so I launched into something more pool worthy. What I wished someone would have told me a few weeks ago was that I’d really enjoy the process once I got started. So much so, in fact, that the next bikini is already in progress (and it’s way better than this one)!

Little Nook Bikini Front

Anyway, let’s focus on this one for today. The fabric is a nice weight nylon lycra that’s best described as ‘bright teal’ – not kelly green nor turquoise despite what the photographs might indicate. It’s been in my stash since a trip to Goldhawk Road last year so it’s about time it got some sun exposure.

Little Nook Bikini Back

The pattern is by Laura of My Little Nook and is available for free on SewMamaSew along with clear instructions. I made a a huge number of tweaks to the pattern. Most important was raising the waistline by 1 1/2″ inches as the original waist’ line was verging on indecent on me.  I also angled the side seams and took a wedge out of the centre back to accommodate the steep transition between my hip and waist measurements. My swim elastic (Hemline Swim woven elastic – way easier to sew than clear elastic) was wider than the instructions recommended so I added this extra to the seam allowances of my pattern pieces. Also, the given elastic length measurements weren’t working for me (just variation in elastic stretchiness) so I had to guess these but it’s just a case of wrapping the elastic around the right body part and assessing how much is comfortable, will keep the garment on and won’t cause unsightly bulging (bikini muffin tops – urgh!)

Swim cups and hidden boning.

Swim cups and hidden boning.

The bikini top is drafted according to a series of measurements but I also changed a few things like making proper channels for the boning and attaching these to the lining just inside the side seam. I fully lined the bikini top and bottoms – the fabric isn’t at all see-through I just think it looks nicer on the inside than partial lining, it hides the boning neatly and I had enough leftover from my last swimwear make. I added swim bra cups for cold modesty rather than support or enhancement and gathered some excess fabric under the cups.

Got any swimwear sewing plans this year?


Stash Delve: Strapless Sunbathing Top

If there’s one thing that came out of the half-way weigh-in for Stash Diet 2014, it’s that my scraps box needs more attention. You can’t get much more attention that two stash delve posts on the trot!

Strapless Sunbathing Top

Attempting the sultry… but looking miserable!

Using the remaining blue jersey from my sporty top I cut out two rectangles with some waist shaping. I made a hem band out of self-fabric and a bust band out of leftover waistband (already cut and folded) from my graffiti maxi. A quick blast on the overlocker and I’d created a strapless sunbathing top.

Useful for holidays and stash busting but really I’m just putting off starting that bikini. The thought of wrestling with elastic is zapped any motivation I had. What are you putting off… and why?

Stash Delve: Travel Pillow

I’ve made a nice dent in the scrap fabric box with this make.

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On my first flick through the June Burda I hastily passed over the travel pillow but on a more leisurely page turning session I had second thoughts. I don’t own a travel pillow because I hate the noise of the polystyrene balls moving so close to my ear. If I made my own, I could stuff it with regular pillow filling…

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…and I could make a pillow case for it so that I could wash out the funky aeroplane smell afterwards. Brilliant.

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And everything used was from the stash so no purchases required.

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It does zip up by the way… I was merely demonstrating the pillow case capabilities and forgot to take a photo of the back of it zipped up!!!


We wear short shorts

When my husband asked over the telephone what I was making next, I burst into the 50s song “Short Shorts“. It’s true, I was making short shorts!

I received a 6 month subscription to Burda Style magazine as a joint birthday and Christmas present so I had rummage through the last couple of issues to inspire some summer holiday makes. The pattern is number 124 from issue 06/2014.

Burda 062014 124 Front

The fabric leftover from this dress and is a stretch woven cotton so perfect for this type of fitted make which has a side zip. I graded from a 34 waist to a 36 hip, scooped a tiny bit out of the back curve (a miniscule wedgie adjustment) and omitted the silly crotch flaps. Underneath those flappy things is actually a smart, clean-lined pair of shorts prime for a bold print.

Burda 062014 124 Back

If it wasn’t for my dedication to Stash Diet 2014 I’d be making a few more pairs in other bold prints. I’ve been virtual window shopping and coveting these beauties…

Shorts Fabric Inspiration (640x222)

Left to Right: Murad Stretch Cotton – Fabric Godmother, Retro Printed Red Cotton – Stone Fabrics, Waterfront Park Domino Dot – The Village Haberdashery, African Wax Print Super Julius Hollandais – ebay seller vitenge