Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Advanced Sewing Swim Lesson: Diving Deep

 Today we have Jenny from Made of Starlite here sharing her RTW (ready to wear) inspired swim collection.  The amazing thing about knowing how to sew swimwear is that you can created whatever you see in stores, online, or imagine up yourself!  Take a seat and get inspired...

Swim Lessons: LoveShackFancy Inspired Swim Capsule

Hi Project Run and Play Fans! I'm back with my second set of swimsuits, for this summer's swim lessons! This collection is inspired by my current high end retail obession, the shop LoveShackFancy. They are all about heirloom details, beautiful vintage florals, oversized bows and of course, miles and miles of ruffles! Obviously right up my alley.

Since I was including my little nieces in this shoot, I had my sister choose her favorite sketches from my brainstorming session, and pick her fabrics, of course sponsored by the fabulous Cali Fabrics. πŸ˜„ I'm dying over these prints!! We went with the "Pink and Sage Traditional Floral on Light Blue Designer Nylon/Spandex" for our main print, with solid ivory and light pink as accents. Can you guess which patterns I used for these?! Grab a snack, and I'll spill!

I have been crushing on puff sleeve swimsuits forever! My family is cursed with extremely fair skin, and any extra coverage to keep those shoulders from burning is always welcome. Lucky for me, I knew the Saltillo Swimsuit would be super easy to hack with sleeves!

For this one, I figured it would be fastest to use an existing pattern. I have several dress patterns with this style bodice, though they are all designed for wovens. Luckily, switching a pattern from woven to knit is super easy! I usually don't even size down, I just eliminate the back closure and cut it on the fold, and away I go.

For this suit, I pulled out the Saltillo pattern, and all three of my other patterns with a similar front bodice to the Saltillo. I traced the correct size Saltillo onto tracing paper, but did not cut anything out yet, so I would still be able to make adjustments. Next, I laid my Saltillo pattern pieces on top of the other patterns, comparing the armsyc until I found the one closest to Saltillo. The winner was the Emmeline dress by Violette Field Threads! Any of the three patterns would definitely have worked for this hack, I just wanted to change as little as possible.

I adjusted the front of the Saltillo to match exactly with the front Emmeline bodice. The back of the Saltillo is completely straight, I I brought it up a tiny bit higher, and added the armsyc from the Emmeline back bodice. I did NOT match the widths for either the front or the back. Swimsuits have significant negative ease, to help them stay in place on the body even when they get wet. I didn't want to compromise the size at all! After making the appropriate bodice adjustments, I traced the Emmeline sleeve pattern piece exactly as printed. To assemble the suit, I sewed the side seams of both the main body of the suit and lining first. Then I put the lining inside the main, with right sides together, and sewed along the top edge of both the front and back, leaving the curve for the underarms open. Then I sewed the crotch seams, (main and lining separately, flipped it right side out, and did a fitting to determine the length of the front and back elastic, since it had changed from the original Saltillo pattern. For the sleeves, I flipped and used the instructions from the Emmeline pattern as written. The only adjustment I needed to make there was to do another fitting to measure the shoulder elastic, since I had lowered the back. The last step was to add the leg ruffles and leg elastic, following the Saltillo pattern.

We saw a puff sleeve swimsuit online with these adorable flowers across the front, and both my sister and I knew this suit needed some!! I tried a few versions of fabric roses, and these ended up being our favorite when using swim fabric. I just cut three strips of fabric, 16" x 2". Folded them in half lengthwise, and gathered the raw edges by hand-sewing a running stitch. The flowers definitely needed a center, and luckily I had some leftover silicone pearl beads that fit the bill. I hand sewed them on just below the chest elastic. Everyone is so thrilled with how this one came out!

For little sister, we decided on this adorable design. The flouncy ruffle is extra girly, but nothing that will bunch uncomfortably under her chest floaties. This hack was super simple! I used a solid Viridian Swimsuit as the base. Measured the neckline. Measured the interior curve of the Saltillo flounces until I found one that was about 2 inches longer than neckline, because I wanted a light gather in the ruffle. I basted the gathered ruffle along the neckline, laid the lining on top, RST, and sewed around the neckline. Flipped the suit right side out, and sewed a casing with the main and lining, with the ruffle flipped out of the way. Then I had a fitting to determine the length of the neckline elastic, which didn't have to change from the pattern instructions, which was awesome! Completed the rest of the suit per the original Viridian instructions. Was admiring the finished product, when I realized that the neck ruffle *needed* lace trim to make it pop. I was absolutely right. 😜😍

For my own daughter, I attempted my first Azure Swimsuit! This is the first swimsuit pattern I ever purchased, but I was always too intimidated to try it. And I have to be honest, making a reversible swimsuit is not really a beginner undertaking! I did a fair amount of unpicking trying to figure this one out. But the end result is SO good, and I just love it! The cut is really interesting and flattering.

I only made a few small adjustments since it was more complicated than anticipated, namely tucking a ruffle in the leg seam, adding piping to the seams on one side, and making a big snap on bow that can attach to either side. The pattern does come with a cute flat bow option in the same spot, but I wanted more of a statement.

The bow is made up of three rectangles: Bow- 4.5" x 16" Tails- 3" x 21" Center- 3" x 1.5" Fold the Bow and Tails in half along the short side, sew all the way around and turn. Fold the Center in half lengthwise, turn the tube. Hand sew a running stitch down the center of both the Bow and Tails to gather them, and hand sew them together. Cover the center with the Center tube. I then sewed two snaps on either side of the center, and on both sides of the Azure swimsuit, so we can snap it on and off depending on which side is out. for the piping, I just cut 3/4" strips of cream swim fabric, folded it in half, and sewed it in the seams on the gingham side of the suit. It really makes the lines pop without color blocking!

The last suit I made for this collection is probably my favorite!! It turned out better than I even imagined. 😍😍😍 I used the "Light Blue and White Gingham Designer Nylon/Spandex" for the coordinate, along with some solid stretch mesh and swiss dot mesh for the lace top.

The ruched bottoms were a super easy hack! I was expecting to have to make more than one attempt, but the first time came out perfect! I used the Viridian bottoms for these.

I added an inch in height because I did not want any skin showing between the pieces. It turned out to be mostly unnecessary, and I ended up cutting off 3/4" because it bothered her. I used the pieced front for this. Ideally, I would have measured the length of the side pattern piece where the seam is, multiplied it by 1.5 to get the exact length I needed the middle to be, and add the appropriate number of inches. But I was feeling lazy, so I just guessed, and it ended up perfect. πŸ˜† I love it when a wild shot in the dark turns out! You can see how I adjusted the pattern pieces here. For construction, I just gathered both sides of the center piece before attaching to the sides, and followed the rest of the directions exactly as written. Easy peasy.

For the top, I started, as always, with Saltillo. It really is a great base for hacks! So I cut out her regular size, but measured from her underarm to where I thought it might stop as a top, and just cut it off there. I cut it way long, almost to hip length, because I wasn't totally sure how long it needed to be once I made the bottoms. I did the straps and pinned them on for a quick fit check with the bottoms. I ended up with an eight inch bodice. I knew I wanted 4 flounces, so I cut 4 sets of flounces from the Saltillo pattern. Since they would be straight ruffles, I used the "Back Flounce" pattern piece for all but one row, as pictured below. I sewed all 4 sets of ruffles together along the straight edges, with the exception of the top ruffle, which I just left as is.

Next, I marked three lines on my bodice with a water soluble fabric marker, each 2" apart.

Then I sewed a single basting stitch 1/4" from the edge along all sets of ruffles. Again, too lazy to do the traditional double row of gathering stitches, and since they wouldn't be very gathered, I wasn't worried about it. 🀷‍♀️

After that, It was pretty straightforward! Just sewed each ruffle along a blue line, starting at the bottom and working my way up. For the top one, I sewed the flat edges to the armsyc. I then sewed the straps on top, to make sure they weren't trapped under a ruffle.

Last, I lined the whole top, following the original Saltillo instructions. For the waist, I used the same dimensions as the Viridian bottoms to make a quick waistband.

Final shot with her favorite Aunt! They were begging to do this pose, but the only way down is in the water, so I said it had to be the last one. 😏

I hope you enjoyed my swim lesson today!! I've made so many swimsuits this year, and each set I swear is my new favorite! But don't tell the others, these are seriously my favorites. Like, for real.

Thank you so much Jenny!!!!  We thought we were done sewing swimsuits for the summer, but now we have added several more to our MUST SEW list!

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