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Work It: Edition 6.2

I am so, so late with this post. But I have really good reasons. I don’t even think they count as excuses!! I did sew a couple old patterns in June, with the intention of sharing. Plus I made them to go over these cute-ass swimsuits. And I got to see a friend I haven’t seen since January!! Lots of really good stuff in June.

So, why am I late with this post? Well, it turns out a few weeks ago, I started rolling out a series of events that came to a head in the last couple weeks. When the amazing Katy announced she was closing my favorite Sly Fox Fabrics, I told my boss, Rebecca, about it, just in case we could do something. Well, Rebecca doesn’t do anything halfway, and she is one of the most supportive and encouraging people I have ever met. So, she and Katy struck up a deal and signed contracts and now I am going to manage SFF!!! So I’ve spent the last two weeks working to coordinate moving a whole bunch of stuff from Ohio to Georgia, learn how to order fabric, find somewhere here to actually put the stuff, etc. It is…a lot. It is thrilling, wonderful, exciting, scary, and completely fabulous. But a lot. Somewhere in the last two weeks, I forgot to write this post. I apologize for anyone who was looking for this and I hope you find it worth the wait!!

I’m sharing a mix of old and new patterns in this post because I am just completely obsessed with all of these pieces!! They are all from Rebecca Page Sewing, too!! Let’s start with the Laura. I know, I know, I made one in April. BUT! This time I made the dress in woven. You might recognize this fabric from a Work It post last year. Apparently I ordered enough for a whole extra piece! Virginia really loves how Laura fits and how easy it is as a swim cover up. And I love the end result of a woven dress that only takes about an hour to cut and sew.

Staying on Virginia, she is rocking the Two Piece Swim Set (ok, we all are!), in crop in this gorgeous green swim knit! SHE IS A MERMAID!!! Plus, we paired it with the swim bottoms, high waist, ruched front options. I did adjust for height and bust as needed and she is so comfy!! Perfect for some mix and match with her other swim pieces. And she loves the two piece that doesn’t really show extra skin! Isn’t she just gorgeous?

I’m also wearing the crop swim top, with the added zipper!! I love this touch. Makes it a little different and very much mine. I’m also rocking the high waisted bottoms, but no ruching for me. I added height as needed by comparing my rise to the finished measurement chart and I LOVE the fit of these. I am comfortable and feel supported. PERFECTION!

I paired my kick ass bikini with a sheer, stretch mesh high-low skirt. This mesh has been used for a few projects already, since I bought a ton of it from Fabric Mart. I love it. I completely hacked this from the Hayley High-Low skirt. Which is intended for wovens, has a waistband, and elastic at the back waist. BUT I LOVE IT!!! It feels exactly the right kind of ridiculous. I love that my suit shows through just a bit, especially the blue on blue. And how the white top looks with it! I definitely want to make this swim top out of non-swim fabric and rock some it as a crop!!!

Saving the best for last, this is my friend Lisa. I don’t think I’ve shared any photos of her on here before. We worked together for almost a decade before I left my last job. She has always been supportive and wonderful and happy to model tester pieces for me. This time, no tester pieces. I made pieces to her actual measurements and she is gorgeous in them!!! Starting with the swim…She is rocking the ruched tank option, along with the zipper. I really love the unique construction and built in support on this one. (I made Virginia a tester one early on and she wears it all the time. I clearly need one.) Lisa is rocking her tank with the ruched back, flat front, mid-rise swim bottoms. This swim patterns has so many interchangeable options!! I want to make an entire capsule of different suits out of this one.

Lisa is rocking my new favorite shorts. This are from the Sports Shorts and Leggings pattern. Another one with interchangeable options, you can make leggings of all lengths, shorts, or shorts with leggings. These are the shorts alone, but I fancied them up by putting a lacy fabric over some plain white. These came together so beautifully. They are effortless to wear, look fancy, but feel pajama-y. The perfect shorts.

Basically, it was so fun to make all nine of these pieces. Coordinate, mix and match. Just love it. The rest of this fabric is either scraps of unknown origin, or it is from the local Fine Fabrics. One of my favorite parts of sewing is digging through fabrics, mixing and matching til I find the right combo for my project. Which makes me extra excited for my new adventure with Katy and Sly Fox Fabrics.

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Work It: Edition 5.2

This month, I am so excited to be making more swimsuits!! We are lucky that our local pool as implemented a TON of safety features so they could open! We are going to be checking it out next week to see how safe it is, get some sun, some exercise, some water. We always need new suits! More suits! ALL THE SUITS!!!

Virginia’s favorite swim bottoms are the Bondi Swim Shorts from Rebecca Page Sewing! She loves the ease and comfort, plus coverage. She made her first two pair last year and has been asking for more in more colors. We also grabbed enough of this polka dot and stripe fabric from Fine Fabrics to make suits for both of us and that other sister who lives far away! So it just made sense to make her favorite bottoms in this fabulous fabric!

But for a top, that’s a whole different thing. I’ve been thinking about hacking a swim top for myself for…a year, at least. I doodled out my idea and showed it to Virginia. She immediately stole my idea and asked if I could add a skirt to it. Thief. But also, super cute addition to my desired top. So I can’t be mad.

I mashed two patterns together, and made up my own bits for this top. The bust is from the 5oo4 Escapade. (We both love this pattern actually!) I didn’t cut the back on the fold, and in fact shorted it by several inches. I also cut a 1.5 inch strip to make the loops and ties on the back. There is elastic in there for extra support. The loops are 3 inches long and next time the ties will be 30 inches because they’re a tiny bit shorter than I’d like them to be. Thankfully, she doesn’t actually need to untie this one to get it on. I evenly spaced the ties in between the seam allowance along the back and basted them in place. I also basted the ties and some elastic at the center V. Make sure the loops and ties are in between the layers, right sides facing, before sewing. But the elastic needs to be on the wrong side! Ask me why I’m so adamant about those placements…. I put elastic along all the edges of the top, after I sewed the seam. Keeping seam allowances as bulk free as possible.

Turn it right sides out and press. Yes, press. Pull the center elastic and zig-zag over the top to get some ruching. Really show off the decolletage. Then you can baste or serge the two layers together along the bottom edge if you want. I’m lazy and didn’t, but swim is slippery and you might prefer it.

For the skirt, I used the 5oo4 Laura peplum piece. I finished the scoop in the skirt just like in the tutorial, then attached it to the bottom of the bust pieces. It turned out the scoop was a bit wide for Virginia, so I was planning to just add a center seam and take it out. But when I clipped it to ask Virginia what was comfortable, she LOVED the pleat that I clipped out. So we went with it! It turned out so dang cute. She just loves the end result and I can’t wait for us to wear matching swimsuits. That’s going to happen.

I hope you’re all enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine, and staying safe and whatnot.

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 3.2

So, I’m late with this post. I finished sewing and photographing a few days ago, because procrastination, but I have been struggling to write. In general actually. I don’t know if it is all the chaos in the world, or just a lull in my desire to write, but ugh. In particular, I am struggling to write this because I didn’t like this pattern. I don’t like the fit. I very much disliked the instructions. I’m sad because I’ve been wanting to make a swimsuit out of this fabric for a year!

Let’s just dive in. I’ll highlight some positives. This pattern is the First Crush Swimsuit from Rad Patterns. It has tons of options. You can make so many different styles for all your preferences. I had originally planned to make a suit for each of my sisters as well, because we could each pick exactly the options we wanted. After sewing up mine, I’m going to assess fit on my gorgeous sister (thankfully, I am right in between the two of them for size) and if they’re happy, I’ll move forward. If not, we’ll pick other patterns.

I really can’t comment on why this construction is so complicated. I got about halfway through construction, thought I had fucked something up and just did my own thing. After I finished, I realized I hadn’t messed up at all, the instructions just weren’t clear. At all. This 100% could just be me. Maybe I was just in a bad place for sewing and it makes perfect sense to everyone else. If this pattern interests you, please don’t let one opinion completely discourage you. Ask in the group, or look for someone else who has sewn it. But it was just a hot mess for me.

The end result fits, but not at all how I want it to. The back armscye is too wide and cuts into my arm when I’m moving. The bottom of the bust is not fitted enough to be secure to my preferences (I’d use a wider elastic there if I were to make it again). And the top of the bottoms annoys me. The inside is constantly flipping out. I much prefer either a wider elastic, so the topstitching can be further from the edge, or, even better, to sew the lining and outer right sides together, with elastic in the seam. This helps keep the lining inside better, and gives a cleaner finish to the top edge.

Overall, there are a LOT of things I would need to change to make this pattern again. If I LOVED the fit, I’d definitely tackle it. Construction changes are no big deal for me. But with how it fits me, eh. Unless someone I sew for specifically requests it, this one won’t be a repeat for me. If someone does choose it, they’ll definitely be getting a muslin first.

I’m really glad I powered through and got something out of this. Really hoping it fits well for someone else who might like to wear this one.

I hope you’re staying inside, not going batty, and finding some time to take care of yourself, as well as your loved ones. Sending love from Georgia!

Stephanie xx

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TCCF Mermaid Glitz

Ok, this post is definitely about this amazing fabric and the equally delightful patterns I used it on. But, if I don’t start off with sharing that this is scary as hell, I’m just not being honest with you. I JUST made my first bikini like a month ago. I loved wearing it on the beach. It was comfortable and cute. But it took having an amazing, reassuring, supportive tribe around me to reach that point. Now, I’ve made a second bikini, that I feel equally amazing and comfortable in, but I’m sharing it on the fucking internet. Way more real than in front of some strangers on a beach with a couple of friends. Please know that it took all my courage, and maybe an adult beverage, to hit publish on this post. I hope others who aren’t always comfortable in their skin, whatever your size, shape, or self image, can take a moment to say, if she can do it, I can certainly wear whatever I want too (whether you post on the internet or not)! Because that shared strength of amazing humans who support each other, that simple, unwavering support, is everything. We can lift each other up and be the strength we all need a little help finding from time to time. Now on to the fun stuff.

HOW FUN IS THIS SWIM FABRIC?!?!?!?! This is the very appropriately named Mermaid Glitz from Threaded Candy Custom Fabrics and I freaking love it!! As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted a bikini out of it. Wearing it makes me feel like a mermaid, or fairy, or some other magical creature of delight. The swim base was a joy to work with! It is a lovely, thick swim that was easy to sew up and the color is so true to computer screen! (Always a fear when ordering online.) It washed up beautifully, losing none of its vibrancy or shimmery look. And I think I saved enough scraps to at least use as accent on another bikini! Interchangeable pieces are my jam.

A fabric this fabulous requires equally gorgeous patterns!! I started with a list of options. I knew I wanted a high waisted bottom. Something simple, and not a fabric hog (since I only had 1 yard). The 5 Out of 4 Patterns Alice Swim Bottoms came to mind immediately and they are PERFECT!!! You might have noticed I sew up a lot of the 5oo4 pattern collection. They are one of the companies that just fit me. I never need weird adjustments, just grade and add height, then boom. Finished and comfy! This was such a fast sew and the instructions so simple, I can’t recommend them enough! There are definitely some fun features to choose from in this pattern, a cute front tie, a peplum, a flounce, and maternity of course, that I’ll definitely be utilizing in future swim bottoms (not the maternity, but the others!). But the plain option was exactly what I needed to let this gorgeous fabric shine!

On to the top, two of the three patterns I was looking at were actually hacks to one of my favorite swim suits. (Don’t you just love when designers include hacks to their patterns after release? It really let’s me see the potential of a pattern, without risking a bombed project and sad, wasted fabric.) I polled my loved ones and they were split down the middle between the two hacks to turn the Patterns for Pirates Take the Plunge swimsuit into a bikini. I didn’t have a fav between them, so I picked the one that looked like less fabric (again, just one yard!), and I’m SO HAPPY! I made my ties extra long, so I could tie it in front. I LOVE being able to tie it around me, so I can choose how tight I want/need it. (Also, I just hate needing to wait for help to get someone else to tie it, then being fussy about getting just the right amount of tightness.) That’s the only change I made to the suggested hack from this blog post.

I feel AMAZING in this bikini. Definitely ready to dive into the water and just enjoy some sunshine. So, even though this is scary as hell, I’m sharing everywhere. Check out the entire collection of fabrics, and be sure to let me know if you love this combo as much as I do!

Stephanie xx