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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 6

Here we go again!! It is full on summer here in Atlanta and it isn’t just heating up, it is hot. This makes me long for a warm beach, a cool breeze, and gentle waves to play in! How does this pertain to another edition of Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats, you ask? I can’t go playing in the ocean without some great swim pieces, can I?!

That’s right, I took the 5 Out Of 4 Diane Joggers pattern that I’ve been using and hacked them into swim shorts!! This was actually a really fast sew and turned out so cute and versatile!! Here are the pattern details…

I chose shorts length, but shortened to have a 2.5 inch inseam. I wanted short, but not too short. Don’t forget seam/hem allowance when measuring a new inseam!! I chose the yoga waistband, so I could wear it unfolded, and pulled all the way up. This gives me some coverage when I’m actually swimming, if my tank flies up. (This is the one thing I really hate about tankinis. Great for the sand, annoying in the water.)

The real fun comes in with the hack! I cut two sets of front legs and two sets of back legs, and two sets of back yokes. I sewed them up as if they were two separate shorts. Instead of using swim lining, I cut them both out of this AMAZING solid navy swim fabric from Sly Fox Fabrics. (I’ll talk more about that in a minute.) I usually use swim lining for suits, but with shorts, I just wanted that extra thick layer. Plus, the rest of the hack means it is great for the inside to match the outside!

After I sewed the shorts together along the bottom hem of each leg, I added elastic to the hem as well, to make sure they didn’t stretch out and show off more than I wanted to. Ok, if I’m being completely honest, I sewed the elastic at the same time as sewing that seam. I’m super lazy and hate sewing twice, if I can finish it once. Then I flipped them wrong sides together and stitched the side seams together (stitch in the ditch style!). I just used a long straight stitch and haven’t had a problem, but you could use a stretch stitch if you like. Then I sewed another line of stitching 1/2 inch on either side of the side seam. This created the casing for these fun ruching ties!

To create the ties, I just cut 4 pieces of 2 inches wide by 24 inches long, then sewed each one together along one short edge and the long edge, right sides together. Flip them right sides out and boom! Four lovely ties that I can slide into those channels. I did just slice small holes at the end of the channels, as far to the back as possible, but still on top of the seam and elastic, so my ties can come out the bottom. Tie them in a knot and done!

These ruching ties give me the option to wear them as shorts, reducing chafing and giving a bit more coverage/comfort while walking out and about or playing on the beach. But, I can squish the shorts up those ties (or ruche them, if you will), and I have some kick ass booty shorts (pun intended). I can swim without them shifting and add a cute feature that, I think, shows off my assets quite nicely. I have a comparison here to show how they really wear at both lengths. They both have the fun knot feature. It is a bit more pronounced with more of the ties showing when ruched. And my booty is rocking however I wear them!

I did mention this top a bit above, but this is the 5oo4 Rosanna. I LOVE this as a dress, so when I knew I was going to hack some swim bottoms, I knew I wanted this as a swim top. The straps are wide without being too wide. There is a built in shelf bra, with instructions to add foam cups, and it is just dang cute. This was my first time adding foam cups. They are a little wide, and I’ll probably move them over when I have some spare time (HAH!), but I love them! They definitely offer a bit of extra support and coverage and were surprisingly easy to put in. (To be fair, I stole cup pieces from a bra pattern, so they are actually a good size for me, and not just nipple covers.)

I was extra thrilled I could cut those front panels from scraps after cutting out my shorts! Such a fun pop to add to this delightful plaid, and a great use of scraps, of course. So, let’s talk about this fabric. This is the shit. I have made quite a few swimsuits, and I have used everything from thin and oh, I hope my stuff doesn’t show through when this is wet, to holy thick and beautiful and easy to use, batman. Sly Fox brought it, hard, and tops out on the awesomeness chart for swim fabric!! Seriously. It is thick and lovely to work with. The colors are GORGEOUS!!! I can’t wait to see how it holds up in the sun and surf. (Amanda, I clearly need to come down to test this out.)

I can’t wait to try more of their swim fabric, since I am obsessed with sewing swimsuits. But beyond that, they have such lovely options. Beautiful prints and fun solids! Great for mix and match options (I definitely want to make some pieces that coordinate so I can mix it up with these two!) So be sure to check out and find a new favorite swimsuit on your sewing table before they sell out!!

As always, 5 Out Of 4 Patterns is giving away a $10 pattern credit that you can enter to win here and be sure to let me know what you think of this month’s sews!

Stephanie xx