Sunday, 18 November 2012

Lovely Award + Unwearable Swimmers

A few weeks ago the very lovely Karin gave me the Premio Primavera award for commenting on her blog. I'm sure you know already know Karin - she sews and knits lovely things for herself and her family, and she's such an active and supportive commenter that the award seems made for her!

I feel like a bit of a dud for taking this award as I'm really conscious of having been absent from blogging and commenting for a few weeks now, and I know the next few weeks will be similar. There has been an awful lot of life interrupting my sewing plans lately :-). Mostly the better sort of life interruptions like travel, parties and birthdays - though if you know me IRL you'll realise I'm trying to forget the weekends of minding up to 6 young kids on top of my own 2... and the scary evening where I lost 3 while looking after another 3!

I'm not sure of the exact rules or provenance of this award (I did look but couldn't find them), but basically it's a heartfelt thank you to the lovely people who support blogs with their comments. So it's with great pleasure that I pass this award on to the last commenters (yes, I know it's more than 9, but I really want to thank them all) on this blog:

Audrey of SewTawdry
kbenco of kbenco's projects

DeniseAngela of Sew Coco

Selective Fine Fabrics

Fabric Epiphanies

Karin (herself!) of Sew Here We Go Again!

Catherine Daze of cyberdaze

Robyn of Sew Love Red

Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn
Kat of All the whimsical things

Thank you all, I appreciate your comments and support so much!

And for the unwearable swimmers of the post title let me show you my most recent fail (screams in frustration). I was in love with the idea of this one - lovely wide aqua and while stripes on a simple swimming costume.  I read up on loads of swimming construction reviews and posts, took careful measurements, etc etc etc. Sometimes winging it works better (it sure doesn't take as long).

Front view (in progress)
Back view (in progress)
It kind of looked OK in the flat... but it was too short. Well, let me correct that - it's not that it was too short, it's that the length was in the wrong places. There was too much length in the straps and not enough in the waist-bust section - ie too, too low cut (think that Baywatch look). I shortened the straps by 3 (!!) cm but then the body was really stretched. Maybe that sounds wearable in desperate circumstances, if I hadn't then also stuffed up the leg elastic. Oops. And with the swimmers stretching out lengthwise combined with narrow seam allowances, there wasn't any extra fabric around the legs for a fix. No picture of that, sorry.

Bust darts (did I need those???) are way too low on me

The pattern I used was KwikSew 3064, which I modified in a few ways. I changed the main view from a two-piece to a one-piece sans belt, and I fully lined it with extra lining at the bust - with all the effort I was going to I thought a thorough lining would make it last longer (ha!).

View of full lining PLUS bust lining, no cups as yet
Although I do think this a good basic pattern with quite a bit of detail in the instructions, I think it needs a few more changes next time around:
  • I'll remove the bust darts (it's lycra innit!).
  • I'll measure my body length in sections and add the length in the areas where it's needed rather than in the standard "lengthen here" place.
  • I'll do lots of practise in sewing in elastic first.
  • I'll try to work out the KwikSew formula of elastic length vs opening length for those areas where I need to use multiple sizes or where I've adjusted the shape of the opening. If I crack it I'll share.
  • I'll narrow the crotch to match my RTW swimmers (that's def. a measurement to check in private...).
  • I'll watch out for sneaky stripe tricks. Although this rear view looks OK in the flat it looks highly attention seeking when worn - NOT good!

That's a wide crotch!


The good news is that I have heaps more of this fabric, so I'll be able to have another crack at it. Not for a few weeks though as there's a busy few weeks coming up...


  1. Aww, thanks!

    Bust darts in a swimsuit do sound unusual. Although I don't swim so haven't looked at a RTW swimsuit for years. I love your fabric, definitely worth another go!

  2. When I have made a swimsuit too short before, I was able to salvage it by cutting off the bottoms as bikini bottoms and either sewing a new top or salvaging the top half as well.

    A nude colour lining may be less see-through for those white stripes than a white lining. In my experience, the lining does not extend the life of the garment because the fabric deteriorates from chlorine exposure, not wear.

  3. How frustrating! I have not tried to sew a swimsuit but your post gives me a whole new appreciation for my store-bought one!

  4. That is a whole lot of crotch! Haha, the things that those-who-sew can say to each other! I am with you on the bust darts too, umm, weird much? I commend you on your bravery for taking on stripes for your first attempt, don't be discouraged, at least you have learn't some lesson instead of just giving up, I am sure the next iteration will be much closer to perfection. My first (and so far only) swimsuit was far from perfect either but it was fun to sew something completely different from skirts, tops etc...

    Thank you for the nomination too :) I just got nominated recently by Nikki too so I won't re-nominate but I really enjoy having you in my blogging circle xx

  5. Thanks for the lovely compliments!
    I am always in awe of seamstresses who sew bathing suits.

  6. I sewed up some bather bottoms at a swimwear course 2 weeks ago, I know what you mean by stuffing up the legs. I fixed the issue only to find out they were way too short in the back iykwim, totally not appropriate! Oh well we live and we learn, good luck with your second version!

  7. Thank you for the award!

    It is a shame about the swim suit. There is nothing more frustrating than putting effort into something that fails.

  8. How irritating about the swimwear not working out - but I agree with the above that the stripes are great so I know you'll figure it out and do over successfully.

  9. Oh no bugger about the swimmers. There is a list of things I'm scared to make and swimmers are definitely up there. Hope you do have another bash at them cos I'm fascinated.

    Congrats too, of course, about the award.


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