Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm in love!

Meet Dritz's quick turn fabric tube turners.  I'd liked them before, but that was before I had to turn the fabric strings for Bit's swimsuit without them--they're somewhere, still packed, in a box in my bonus room.  After I tore yet another hole in the fourth ruined tube, (and after taking almost five hours to turn said tubes for my first swimsuit attempt), I gave it up as a bad job nd went and bought another set.

Oh the happiness, joy, and rapture, that comes from turning a tube in ten seconds!  My fingers are happier and less perforated, too!

This past weekend (Friday and Saturday) I've been making swim suits.  Kwik Sew 3606 for Nikki and then, when I found out she needed one, too, Lizzy.  They're surprisingly easy, and made easier once I read the Kwik Sew instructions.  For the most part, Kwik Sew has some of the best instructions on the market, and if you're making something for the first time, they're a great place to start!  I got a great deal on swimsuit lycra, you see, so it was cheaper to make swimsuits instead of buy then this year.  Especially since I prefer to have extra ones here for Gracie and Nikki.  Thing is, I usually only have one here for the girls, but since I got it in a four yard lot, that was plenty enough to make duplicates.  I did view A, with the ruffles.  Easiest.  Ruffles. Ever.  Kwik Sew 3606 was about a three hour project, start to finish!  And yes, that involves tracing the right size and cutting out, too!

And the result is attractive, too!  After looking at the pink lycra was thin, and I was afraid that the white would turn see through when wet.  So I went back to my favorite bulk fabric source, and found some swimsuit lining.  Really, it's just gunmetal gray lycra.  I wanted white, but the least expensive source was sold out of that.  Lizzy's is almost identical, except it's one size bigger, and I found some white lycra in my knit bin that I didn't know I had, so it was lined in that instead.

It was apparently a success, too, because Nikki kicked up a huge fuss when I took it off to dress her in normal clothes! 

Gracie's suit was actually the first I made.  Because of Swistle's post a year or two ago about swimsuits for her daughter, I knew that I wanted a tankini so that Gracie could go to the bathroom easily.  But, I still wanted it to look like a one piece. If only I'd seen Stef's post over on Girl Inspired a few days earlier!

The tankini I made was from Butterick 4504.  I lengthened the top by four inches, so that it would meet the bottom, and kept the bows on the bottoms.  It's cute, I guess, but not as cute as the Santa Monica Sweetheart Tankini.  Which, if I manage to score more swimsuit lycra, will be next year's model!

Evie loves it, though I've tweaked this second one, because the bottoms were much too big.  I'm hoping that this one fits better, because the first set of bottoms would have floated away because of how loose they were.  I ended up folding over the sides and stitching them down, but I'm hoping that Joanna will trade with me if this fits better.

And since I'd made swim suits for everybody else, it didn't seem fair to leave Ricky out.  So since I'd seen a pattern recently over on Running with Scissors, the Euro Swim Trunks pattern.  It's small enough that I made it out of leftovers--the green came from last year's Vampire Pumpkin costumes, and the gray was a scrap of leftover lining.  It was an easy project, too.  The thing is, it would have been even faster if I'd just left well enough alone and did it as drafted.  But I wanted to do the diagonal color blocked ones, and I wanted the top color to go all the way around.  So I redrafted the back pieces, and ended up with this--

The gray goes all the way around, due to some pattern hacking by yours truly.  Really, I just redrafted the back pieces to match the front pieces, and removed about an inch and a half from the back top panel.  It's the one incomplete one--it still needs a drawstring.  But when I head out to the Memorial Day sale at the fabric store, I'll find something that will work, like skinny twill tape or cording.  Swim suits were easier than I thought they'd be!


  1. Very cute! Great job on these adorable swimsuits. I'm sure the nieces and nephew will love wearing them. FYI: There is a cute boy's lifeguard style bathing suit pattern free on SB, here:

  2. Thanks! That's a cute pattern. :) Too bad Ricky is too big for it. He just turned four....

    Considering that everything but $0.50 worth of rattail cord was rescued from my scrap bin and leftovers from other projects (the grommets were left from the Tangled dress) it was, for once, entirely economical!