Actually, it's been done for a couple of weeks—as have other projects—but I just haven't gotten around to taking photos! I've got a queue of posts ready to go sans images. I must've known when I said the deadline for the Summer Essentials Sew-Along was by August(-ish) that I tend to languor this month. Part of it is the heat-inspired laziness, part of it is knowing that the summer's almost over and I frantically need to wrap up things. So forgive my absence on the blog front!
So here's my final summer essential, the one-piece retro-inspired bathing suit, BurdaStyle's Alison (pattern is *free*). It might've been the project I was the most excited (read: scared) about on my list, but became the most tiresome because I waited all summer to finish it, when my attention's moved on and my beach/pool time is dwindling down. :( But, the good news is, I'm delighted to have it in my wardrobe. It's far from perfect, but this project has taken away all fear of sewing knits!
I've voiced my feelings on BurdaStyle's pattern instructions (remember the Rubys?), so I would have been completely lost without this phenomenal tute from Kitty Couture. Even when I was tempted to stray from her advice (as I have a tendency to do with all things), I found myself coming right back to her wisdom. Highly recommended!
Some thoughts on construction:
- I bought this lycra at a local fabric shop because I wanted to be able to snatch more in case I royally screwed up. It was about $7/yard, and I needed way less than the 1-1/4 called for in the pattern. It ended up being useful, though, because when I did screw something up, it was easier to just re-cut a piece than pick out a lightning stitch in this fabric.
- This material was not difficult to sew at all on my conventional machine, though a serger would have been nice to finish the seams. A stretch needle and a stretch stitch made the going easy.
- I used elastic to encase the leg hole openings using a three-step zigzag on the outside, then folding it in and topstitching to hide the elastic.
- Areas of difficulty: The strap hovers a bit at my sides, indicating that I should've stretched even more when sewing to keep it taut. The bodice-insert at the bust was also difficult for me, partly because the gathering on this slippery material kept unraveling under my presser foot. My bra cups aren't sewn in because I'm still figuring out where they should lie (a dress form would've been helpful here!); this suit seems to shift a bit when dry, but actually behaves better when wet. Though I tried to get the stripes to behave, it became secondary to issues of modesty.
- Swimsuits made me hypercognizant of things I'd really rather not think about when sewing (or dressing for that matter): Peep Show Potential, or simply, bad taste. I lined the lower half of the front for extra concealment and paid attention to leghole openings and bust coverage. No surprises!
Look! Nearly matching stripes. I found Tasia's tute on matching prints incredibly helpful.
I'll be packing this with me for some island-love come September, so you'll be seeing it then! Let's hope it stays on :0
Wishing you cool water these final days of August!