Thursday, May 19, 2016

Modest Swimsuit Tutorial

Here's a little tutorial for sewing your own modest swimsuit bottoms, which have become completely impossible to find in stores!

I used three different patterns for this suit- the Grand Slam by Peekaboo for the top, the Skater skirt (modified) by Peekaboo, and the Love Notions leggings pattern (which is free!).  The fabric I also purchased from Peekaboo which is AMAZING quality.  I used some other fabric for another swimsuit and it wasn't nearly as nice to work with.  Still cute though, and it was my practice run.

This one I used the same bottoms, but I used the Peekaboo Little Miss Sunshine tee because I intended it for indoor swim lessons and didn't need it for sun coverage.

First- some tips for sewing with swim material.  Swimsuits have something called "negative ease", meaning they are smaller than your body for purposes of staying put in water.  I sized down on the leggings part, but not the skirt, as it's not part of how the suit stays on the body.  Just keep that in mind with sizing purposes. 
Second, I used a serger, so I'm not sure how this would turn out trying to use a stretch stitch on a regular machine.  I never had any success with sewing knits like that, but that doesn't mean its not possible!  
Third, like knits, you can poke holes in your fabric with your pins.  I use wonder clips to avoid this.  When sewing with swim, you should use as many as you can.  This stuff is WIGGLY! 
Fourth, for girls suits, you might want to line light colors in the front.  I did for the pineapple suit, but not for the black floral, it was plenty dark so I didn't worry about how it would look wet. 

See?  Lots of clips!

Now for the tutorial!

1- Cut two of the leggings (one right and one left- flip the pattern for this)

2- Cut two of the skirt section. I cut 6 inches off the pattern to make it more of a flounce, and less of a full skirt. 

3. Cut your waistband.  I changed mine to 9 x 18" because I didn't want her tummy showing if the shirt came up at all.  Last year her rashguard always would ride up and she'd get burned on her back. 

4. Clip all your seams together. 

5. After sewing your seams, you can press them on lower heat.  I sew my leggings by stitching the legs individually, then turning one right side out and putting inside the other and then sewing the crotch seam.  I can't remember if that's how the instructions say to do it, it's just my method of preference. 

6. You now have all your pieces sewn- now divide each one into quarters and mark with pins. This is the only time I use pins, there is just not a great way around it.  

7. Match up your pins.  First do the leggings into the skirt- clip at quarter points. They should be relatively similar in size and shouldn't give you much trouble. 

8. The slightly difficult part is getting them attached to your tiny waistband. Attach at quarter points or more often if you need to.  Stretch your waistband to fit as you sew CAREFULLY- do not stretch the outer skirt, and always make sure you have all the pieces and none have slipped out.

9. Ta da!  It's almost done! It's okay if its wavy where it attaches to the skirt a bit.  It will smooth out on your kiddo.  

Now you just need to hem as you will- I hemmed the legs but left the skirt unhemmed.  It hangs nicely that way (like a flounce) and will not unravel or fray, but its up to you of course. And you are ready for the beach!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fabric Sources

Here is a list of my favorite fabric sources, some are more budget friendly than others! :)  I haven't been successful in finding any cotton/lycra at a decent price in town, so I order almost only online.  Be careful of weight when ordering and fabric content. I prefer at least 9-10 oz and 95/5 cotton lycra.  Here's a new pic of the kiddos!  Headband and skirt fabric are from Peekaboo and stretch lace and solid fabric from my top are Purple Seamstress.

Purple Seamstress on FB
Awesome source for all your solids and yarn dyed stripe needs.  Everything is a great weight and very inexpensive.  You can request a swatch card so you can see all of her colors.  Ships super fast, like have your fabric in 48-72 hours from ordering! Super nice and also stocks stretch lace.  You message her on FB to order.

Sahara Fabrics
Pretty customs, gorgeous weight.

Peekaboo Fabrics (also where I get most of my patterns)
Hello GORGEOUS custom prints.  Can be pricey but oh-so-worth it. She is super sweet and always has adorable BOY prints which is so hard to find. Also stocks solids, Art Gallery knits (pretty decent weight but nothing like customs) and Riley Blake (which I've never bought).  Super nice and helpful also.

EuroGirls Knits
Buttery soft, super thick and POLKA DOTS of every color!  I love their fabrics.  Always has a coupon code if you join their FB group.

NR Fabrics
Great shipping, prints that are cute but not custom prices.  Has a coupon code in her FB group for her etsy store.

Kiddie Prints 
A custom group that stocks a lot of Disney themed knits.  Recently their knits have gotten a bit of a slinky feel which I don't love, but I'm willing to work with because their designs are SO cute.

Girl Charlee
This one you just have to be careful about fabric weights.  Very trendy knits but I don't love the quality all the time.  I also don't recommend their solids, which pill (IMHO).  But if you are looking for something super trendy and don't mind some long and kind of expensive shipping (lol) they are the place to go for sure!