Swimsuit McCalls 2772

An oldie but a goodie. A couple years ago I picked this pattern up at a thrift store in a size 10, cuz that’s what they had. I decided that my trip to Austin and Vegas would be a perfect time to dust this pattern off and give it a go. I was so obsessed with it when I finished that I packed this suit and another two top but no other bottoms. Which didn’t work out well since nothing else of God’s green earth could match this pattern.

This was very easy to put together and much quicker than I thought. This is actually my second version. The first was made with a super cute black and white hounds tooth pattern fashion fabric that ended being up too stretchy and thin. So I went and splurged ($10yd) on a fabric at Michael Levin’s after going to Mood on the west side and spending some time around downtown. A good swim fabric is HARD to find. I am not in love with the fabric but it was good enough to make due and seemed to be thick enough to keep the structure and hide certain things (you know). Unfortunately swimsuits are one of the most difficult items to make. Not because of the patterns but because the fabric, linings, trimming and closures all have to be SPOT ON for it to not only look fabulous but also for the suit to function properly. This get up is fantastic for sitting poolside or floating in the pool but inappropriate for diving or swimming aggressively.

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See the full review here and below.

McCalls 2772

Pattern Description:
Vintage style bathing suit, view E.
Pattern Sizing:
Size 10.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes!
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Easy to follow and surprisingly quick to put together.
Fabric Used:
Stretchy knit swimsuit fabric from Michael Levin downtown LA. $10yd and I used one yard.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I cut the waist high instead of adding an additional waist band. I lined the waist with 1″ athletic elastic and the legs and top with clear ‘bathing suit’ elastic (that is how is was labeled and sold at Walmart). The bra liner was left unsewn at the side seam so I can slip a bra liner in and out. I don’t like neck ties, they are bulky and uncomfortable, so I bought a gold slip ring at the leather store and sewed a fixed neck length. The bottoms have a high cut leg and wide cut bottom, so I may lower the leg and narrow the butt on the next round for a more modern look.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, however sewing athletic wear is difficult and very rarely do I find a way to make it tight enough to stay on but not so tight that it doesn’t cause fat rolls. The elasticity of the fabric, elastics, straps and closures are all very difficult to dial-in. Throw on top of that the weight of fabric wet or the drag through a pool while swimming and you have a recipe for nipplegate. This is a great bathing suit for sitting at the pool and relaxing, I just can’t think about diving or actively swimming. Maybe a smaller size and thicker fabric would make it better for active swimming.
Conclusion:
Cute for poolside and floating in the pool, which is all I usually do on vacation.

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July 4th ‘Merica Shorts DIY

These are from a couple years ago, so I don’t have any detailed process photos. But, this was a pretty simple DIY made with fabric paint and foam brushes. I painted the stripes and stamped the stars.

Although a friend who works in denim insists that jeans are supposed to be stored in the freezer and never washed for preservation I have laundered these a couple times. After washing and drying the paint still looks the same as day one. Plus, who is likely to fit in jeans or want to wear styles from tens years ago?

Take a pair of old jeans, make these yourself and smile every time you put them on. Happy 4th!

 

 

McCalls 6954

July 4th is my favorite holiday. We used to host a yearly BBQ but people with kids, eventually everyone we knew, would leave early to go watch fireworks. So now we go to other people’s parties and then with them to watch fireworks. Which is fine because it is far less work to show up with something from Trader Joe’s. But, I do miss putting together my America happy fact conversation starters. History is usually poorly taught and widely misunderstood and so when people don’t understand the uniqueness of the American Experiment my heart weeps.

So, to cheer me up on a holiday that is mostly celebrated for time off work, BBQ and beer I decided to make a dress. This is a pattern I have made a couples times. I really liked the red, white and blue colors in a southwest type pattern. Paired with my peep toe ankle boots this will also get out on the town at some point, I am thinking a country music concert in Austin.

My full review can also be found here.

McCalls 6954

Pattern Description:
Oh so comfy muumuu.
Pattern Sizing:
Small, see alterations below.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Didn’t look at them.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
So easy, this took about an hour.
Fabric Used:
Jersey.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
This fabric was too heavy and stretchy so I had to shorten the shoulder length about two inches and take in both sides at the armpits two inches. I also had less than the recommended amount of fabric so I cut the front and back on the fold and tapered the sides down towards the hem. This is the D hem, shorter in the front and longer in the back, based on the length of fabric I had to work with. I wanted a less dramatic racer back effect and cut the middle wider so I could wear different bras, the pattern looked too narrow for the one racer back bra I own.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?!
Of course. This is going to make a great July 4th red white and blue ensemble first poolside and then to a concert in the park. ‘Merica

Conclusion:
A great staple, easy sewing, flexible for alterations- it’s a winner.

Vogue 1314

A go to pattern (TNT) for anytime I don’t have enough fabric to do something wrapped, draped or just want a easy and quick sewing win. You cannot go wrong with this. The simple details in the pattern elevate what is essentially a simple sack into a smokin’ and work appropriate frock. Throw a lightweight tailored jacket on during the day for spring and summer then add some gaudy jewelry and platform wedges for going out on the town at night. Sadly most of my days are spent indoors at work, which is why I spend the majority of my sewing hours looking for and creating interesting work attire than can swing into my social life.

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My full review can also be found here.

Vogue 1314

Pattern Description:
Great form fitting and easy dress.
Pattern Sizing:
I cut the 6, usually I cut the smallest size in Vogue. Plus this is a super stretchy knit so I wanted to keep it tight enough to gather and not slouch.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, but I wasn’t about to lay in a window to take pictures.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t follow them.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
EASY & FAST!!!!
Fabric Used:
A super stretchy and bright knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I omitted the sleeves, gathered the side before sewing it together and dropped the neckline about 1.5″. With the gathering I didn’t need the elastic on the sides. I also cover-stitched the sleeves, neck and hem line with the wide needle setting. The pattern is so busy you don’t pick it up.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely, this is not my first time and it won’t be my last. Great for work because it hits just at or below the knee and great for going out because it is form fitting.
Conclusion:
Sew this!!! It is flattering for every body type and very easy to customize.

Simplicity 1426

This is another outfit I made for Palm Springs. Sewing greatly reduces the amount of money I spend on trips, not only by making my own clothes versus buying but the amount of time I have available to obsess over what I don’t have but need. I actually have everything, so it is just a matter of chasing a shining object to forget about…

Any who. 

I knew all my ladies would be rocking some killer outfits but the idea of showing significant amounts of any of my pre-tan thirty something body just isn’t my style. I have always been too demure to be skanky since I decided when I was five to start wearing clothes.

I needed some pasties for this one since the fabric is not stretchy and the front can peek-a-boob when you bend over. Between all the excitement of dancing and drinking I didn’t want any accidents, plus the petals give a little lift which is never a bad thing.

Paired with a simple circle skirt that hits below the knees you have a classy, trendy and youthful look. With heels for going out or flat sandals for boppin’ around. Nailed it!

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My Pattern Review at sewing pattern review:

Pattern Description:
Bathing suit crop top hybrid.
Pattern Sizing:
Cut the 4 since I figured the cup size would be too large for my B’s if I went up a size.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yep.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Easy to sew up, usually I don’t care for pleats, top stitching, lining or anything harder than a knit sack. But this was a quick and easy project.
Fabric Used:
Some cheap stuff from Walmart! I had been looking for a Hawaiian print for weeks. I was getting the oil changed in my car and found this in the superstore fabric section at $2.50y.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made the chest band longer since I didn’t think the size 4 would make it all the way around and I don’t measure patterns, that would be too much work. So I cut the ends about 3 inches long on both sides. I ended up using velcro cut to size to close the back, I would prefer a bathing suit hook but have yet to find a 2″ version.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. I might put bra pads in the chest for a little extra something.
Conclusion:
Perfect for Palm Springs, or Vegas, Hawaii or anywhere caliente. Paired with the circle skirt and peeking midriff it is classy instead of trashy.

DIY Kimono Cover Ups

What is better than four ladies going to Palm Springs for a getaway? Coordinating kimonos and cover ups, that’s what! I bought the black fabric at the Michael Levin loft in downtown LA where everything is $3 lb. It is super light weight and I got 4 yards. I wanted the zigzags to run horizontally so that dictated the size of the kaftan (aka rectangle) cover and the kimono. Everything is finished with a narrow rolled hem except the bottom. I serged the hem before sewing on the fringe trim.

Kimono Sketch

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The white fabric was super light weight so a rolled hem on anything other than a straight grain would not have worked. And a bias or facing would have been stiff and weird so I made two rectangles for the kaftan and tacked them together at the neck and past the shoulder. The kimono is one large piece on the back with two rectangles for the front. I used a rolled hem for the sleeves and serged the shoulder seam before rolling it to the back and cover stitching.

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Easy and super fast, just how I prefer my sewing projects.

Simplicity 1355

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I bought this funky fabric on a screaming deal at Hancock (~$2y) and wasn’t sure what to make. I wanted the dolphin front shorts with pompom’s. But, it is hard to find good quality small pompom’s that wouldn’t make the hem stiff or wacky. No pompoms it was. I used the short’s to this Simplicity pattern, very basic, overlapped the front 6″ and cut the hem radius with a large dinner plate. Added in a short stiff waist between an elastic band waist. The results are great as long as I rock a half tuck with my shirt because the elastic waistband gives me more back than I need…

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My review:

Pattern Description:
Jumpsuit, but I only used the shorts.
Pattern Sizing:
Cut a small.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Not really.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Didn’t follow them.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Easy to use and alter.
Fabric Used:
Silk something-or-other from Hancock.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Used the shorts, made a dolphin front overlap with a fixed front and elastic waste.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, and yes. I made the jumpsuit once but the back was too open. Next time I will try the C/D top.
Conclusion:
Great basic for altering.