Friday, June 17, 2011

Pre-Vacation Projects

Yesterday was SO productive.  I'm leaving for vacation in the Virgin Islands tomorrow morning, so I didn't have anything to do all day other than pack.  I had plenty of time to get some sewing done!  

First, I made two little pouches using this fantastic tutorial, both to put in my carry-on tote bag.  The bigger one is for embroidery supplies (I'm working on a secret project that I'll post about when I get back!) and the other is for small makeup items.  They were made using scraps and the zippers were from my stash, so they cost zero dollars!  They fit nicely in my tote bag and don't take up too much room.

Next, I worked a little on the aforementioned embroidery project, which I don't have any pictures of yet because it's not finished!  Then, around 5pm, I decided I wanted a new pair of shorts to take along.  I've only made two pairs of shorts before (pre-blog) and neither fit very well.  Honestly I'm not sure what I was thinking, starting a project that late in the day!

Fabric: Quilting cotton leftover from this skirt.
Pattern:P111B from 6/2011 BurdaStyle.  
Notions: Just a 9" invisible zipper from my stash.
Time to complete: About 3 hours
First worn: Just to take the pictures.
Wear again: Definitely!
Total cost: $0!

I'm super happy with how these shorts turned out, but I made so many mistakes during the process!  The biggest one was forgetting to add the seam allowance to the back piece.  I realized what I'd done right before cutting out the front piece, so I doubled the seam allowance on the front pieces.  To make up for the missing upper seam allowance on the back pieces, I cut a small strip and sewed it on before I sewed the darts.  Here's a picture for clarification:

I think the extra piece actually looks kind of cool, like a little pleat.  After sewing the waistband and facing on I realized they were actually too big, so I had to take in the waistband a little.  I'm glad I left the back pockets off because it would've made taking in the waitsband really difficult. Now they're perfect, and I can't wait to wear them!

I finished the hem with some bubblegum-pink lace tape.  I love little touches like this that make the garment personal!

I'll be gone for about a week and a half, and I'm taking my computer with me but I probably won't be posting very much.  Have a good rest of June!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mosaic Maillot

Hey guys!  I had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and I hope you did too!  While I was away, I had boyfriend take a couple shots of me in the suit I finished last week.  I'm so excited about it!  Here are all the details.  I'm going to adopt the "The Facts" section from The Sew Weekly because i like it so much and I think it's a great way to keep track of how much I spend!

Fabric: Spandex/lycra swimsuit fabric from Hancock Fabrics.
Pattern: Stretch & Sew 1362, View A ($9)
Year: 1992
Notions: Lining, 3/8" and 3/4" wide elastic, bra cups
Time to complete: About 5 hours
First worn: May 2011
Wear again: Definitely!
Total cost: About $30

I've been wanting a one-piece for a long time, and I spent way too many hours lusting over suits from Anthropologie that were way out of my price range.  I'd seen a couple handmade suits around the Internet and I figured it couldn't be that hard!  I found this pattern on Etsy from seller Patterns New 2 U.  I did View A, which has a crossover gathered bodice and tie, choice of high medium or low leg openings (I chose low) and a low back.  

The suit couldn't have been easier to put together!   I cut out the pieces one night and sewed it up the next.  The directions are really easy to understand and they include instructions for making alterations, but I didn't need to do any.  I cut a size 36, which exactly matches my measurements, and it fits perfectly.

I traced the pattern pieces first so that I can use the pattern in different sizes later.  (It includes bust sizes 30 to 46.)  I opted for bra cups instead of just a bandeau bra, and although I was initially worried about View A not having a crotch lining piece, the way the front wraps around makes the whole front piece double layered.  

I was also worried about sewing in the elastic, but it was a breeze!  I took the advice of member Tessa and used a stretch stitch for seams, a wide zigzag for stitching on elastic, and a short zigzag for sewing the elastic once it's turned under.  

I can't say enough good things about this pattern and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to try their hand at making a custom swimsuit.  My absolute favorite part is the low back.  I think it's so flattering!  I wore it multiple times over the weekend and I didn't have any problems.  Still, I'll probably hand wash it rather than throw it in the washing machine.