The Elusive Sun Shines! To the Beach, Posthaste!!

Kitty HugsLately, around these parts, the sun has been an elusive and mysterious stranger.  When it does decide to briefly grace us with its presence, people race out into the streets and stare directly into it!!  So, on this beautiful sunny week-end, Kitty and I were finally able to hit the beach, with me sporting my very first me-made beach cover-up and swimsuit, Jungle Boogie style!Jungle Boogie SwimsuitThe lovely and effervescent Leila from Three Dresses Project and the always fabulous Katie from Kaddidlehopper hosted Swimalong 2013.  It was great to learn about styles, sewing techniques, proper notions and history of swimsuits.  And, it gave me the green light to go ahead and sew my very first swimsuit.  You can check out the swimsuit linky party here.  The party goes all summer!Jungle Boogie Swimsuit by the LakeThen, as perfectly timed as anything could be, the very charming Kristin from Sew Classic teamed up with the engagingly crafty Ashley from Craft Sanctuary to host Show Off Your Skivvies.  It is a terrific sewalong that has interviews with designers, links to free patterns, and the goal is to sew and be brave and wear your lingerie, swimsuits and undergarments.  And, it gave me the courage to actually wear my swimsuit for the blog.  A big thanks to both of you!Running on the BeachI sewed high waisted bathing suit bottoms made from instructions and a pattern downloaded from here.  I added the gathered side panels to add some design interest and shape.  I drafted my own pattern for the swimsuit top.

Two Piece SwimsuitThe front of the swimsuit top is a rectangle measuring 1/2 the width of your bust/chest measurement minus approximately 1″ to 2″ (2 cm to 4cm) long and about 5″ wide, depending on how much coverage you want.  The back of the top is another rectangle measuring 1/2 your chest measurement minus 1 to 2″ (2 to 4cm) and about 3″ wide.  The back will be narrower than the front, so that you gather the front rectangle into the back when you sew it together at the sides.Kitty Swims

Swim Kitty Swim!!

Swim Kitty Swim!!

I then cut a lining the same size as the front rectangle and sewed in bra cups for structure.  The lining, with the attached bra padding / cups, is sewn to the front rectangle with right sides together, then turned inside out.  After sewing the top front piece to the back piece, I made a very thin strap and tied it around to cinch the middle and add shape.

Zebra and Giraffe

What do you use to line a giraffe print swimsuit? Zebra print!

I also sewed a coordinating beach cover-up called the Peachy Beachy Poolside Cover-up, a free pattern download from that I obtained hereBeach Cover-upI used a very thin burn-out jersey and the fabric edges rolled like bocce balls down a steep hill!  It was very difficult to flatten them out to sew the seams.

Beach Cover-up Neck Facing

Neck facing with 2″ drop at CF. Do you see how the fabric edges Roll Over? Bad fabric. STAY!!

One issue I had with the pattern and instructions was with the neck facing.  They wanted you to sew it around the neck, and then down the centre front about 2″ in a straight line and turn it to the inside.  I did this first, and it caused a rather unsightly bump in this area that I believe would have been there even with a good pressing and top-stitching.Beach CoverupSo, I re-drafted the neck facing to be the same width all the way around and stitched it without sewing down that length at the centre front.  When I turned it to the other side, obviously less of the beach cover-up top turned under with the facing, so the bottom front opening is actually lower than it should be and sits just above my waist instead of just below my bust.  This still looked good, just a different style.

Kitty in Sunglasses

Finally, the sun! So…bright…

I would like to know if anybody has a technique of how to work the neck facing the way they want it sewn without causing a large bump in the centre front?  Do share if you have any ideas.  Thanks!

I leave you with fabulousness.  Guaranteed. Enjoy: