Beach Babies

Nothing like a wave of 110F+ weather to tell you it is officially summer! Until 2 weeks ago I’d never ever made a bathing suit. Now I’ve made 3!

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Yep, we all match. I started with my bathing suit then had enough fabric left over to make each of my girls a suit too! No losing these two at the pool.

I wrote up a long post for the Curvy Sewing Collective all about my suit (It can be found here), so over here I’m going to talk about the kid suits and how my tankini has held up to real life.

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Lu has pretty much asked to wear hers every single day. “It has a skirt momma!” A dream come true to for my girly girl. The pattern is the Sun n’ Fun Swimsuit and Leotard from Peekaboo Patterns. I’m still kind of mad at them for a shady deal at Quiltcon this year, but I put my anger aside because they had a ton of cute kids swimsuit options.

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To add a skirt I roughly followed the tutorial from Sewlovele. I had SO MUCH FABRIC left from my swimsuit that cutting out a full circle skirt for each kid was no problem. In fact, I think the was Sewlovele constructs the pattern is better than the Peekaboo directions. It leaves a seam free finish to the inside that is much more comfortable to wear.

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The fabric is probably this one from Michael Levine’s. I bought it in person so I’m not 100% sure. It is super drapey and lovely to wear. Though I did line all our suits in power mesh because that’s what I had on hand. For fun I used the reverse side for the main body of both kid bathing suits and the shiny side for the skirts and bow in the back. It’s hard to see both in pictures and in person, but still a detail that makes me happy.

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The downside to lining the suits with power mesh is they aren’t as stretchy. Lu’s is a size 4T and Charlie’s is a size 18 months. Both kids are just growing into those sizes, but the bathing suits perfectly fit right now. I might need to make them each a new suit by the end of summer if they grow at all.

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We all have worn out new bathing suits to the pool with great success. Then today we went to the beach to beat the heat and the suits held up well to the sun and the sand too!

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Including mine. When I wrote my pattern review I was kind of sad I hadn’t made a bikini. I feel like this suit hides my waist (and smallest part). But then today wearing my tankini to the beach I was able to fully appreciate the coverage Lisette 6360 provides. Mostly that I didn’t need to sunscreen my very very pale midsection. I also felt really good walking the beach and not like I needed to hide my body. I don’t generally feel that way at the pool when I’m wrangling two kids, but a beach full of college co-eds is a different story.

Now I have  conquered making swimsuits I feel like I could sewing anything! What should I make next?

 

 

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Upton 2.0

This week I decided to tackle the Upton Dress again. I thought my last version was too big so this time I went down one full size to a 12 in the shoulders/bust and a 14 waist/hip. But before I talk about the outcome, can we admire my fabric choice?

I looooooooove this fabric, a cotton sateen I bought on sale at JoAnn’s. It’s not often that I find something so wonderful in that big box filled with disgruntled employees. In fact I’d been all ready to compare JoAnn’s to purgatory, but then I had the best visit I’ve ever had. I found this fabric, the customer services was down right friendly, and they actually had almost everything I needed in stock.

Anyways this is a stretch sateen. It was marked hand wash/dry on low and I almost passed it by because I’m not hand washing my dresses. But it was inexpensive and I decided it wouldn’t be a huge loss if I washed it and ruined the fabric. Thankfully it survived the maiden journey just fine.

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And the dress turned out quite lovely, but I have a couple grumbles. This is the smallest size through the shoulders and still feels wide. I know others loved the open neckline, but its maybe a touch too much for me. It is still a hair too wide in the back.

My other grumble is the skirt feels much narrower than 64 3/8″ through the hip. I roughly measured and it came up more like 58″, but I’m not going to stress about it. As you can see in the photos it looks good. But it feels constricting though the stomach even though the fabric has good stretch for a woven. What is likely the issue is that my hips go out in a dramatic fashion. Much faster than the hip curve of the pattern. And most of the tester versions I’ve seen are on ladies who have slimmer hips than my build. So the gored version just isn’t as nice to wear as the pleated skirt.

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The back turned out totally awesome. I’ve really been nailing the invisible zip installation recently and I’m a huge fan of the V neckline in the back.

So I’m going to wear this a few more time and see how I feel before I made another. I have a few yards of some linen that would be just perfect for this pattern, but I want to feel more confident before breaking it out. Maybe the solution is a 12/14 back and a 12/16 front. I think also a different dart shape for the front lower bust darts. All easy fixes when I’m ready.

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Also, I realize I’m nit picking. This dress is about 1000% better than anything I could buy commercially. We went to a party last night and someone who works in fashion complimented my dress! It was really exciting.

 

 

2nd Annual Anniversary Project

You may remember last year I knit a beautiful sweater in the color of my wedding dress. This year year I decided to continue the trend with my 2nd Annual Anniversary Project.

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It has been so fun working on these projects around our wedding anniversary. A time for reflection on how far we’ve come and where we’re headed next. Or how we’re maintaining our sanity while our children create chaos around us! You know, life.

What project could possibly go with a 6th wedding anniversary? Apparently this is the candy/iron/wood anniversary depending on which list your reference. Hmmm, how about socks? They were knit on carbon fiber needles…

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This is the first pair of socks I’ve made for myself and only my second pair ever (first pair being slipper socks for my husband last Christmas). I scoffed at sock knitting for many years, but I have to admit it was FUN.

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The pattern I used was Wendy Knit’s Fingering Weight Toe-Up Socks With Gusset and Slip-Stitch Heel. Long name, but it was recommended to me as a good basic toe-up sock pattern.

Can we just stop and admire the stripe matching for a moment? I suppose one advantage to knitting your first socks after becoming a fairly competent knitter means you have plenty of practice keeping your gauge consist

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I didn’t totally follow Wendy’s pattern. I decided if I was going to knit socks I was going to do everything I could to get the fit right. So I cast on for the smallest size and knit asymmetrical toes. This is my favorite feature! I did it by only working 3 sets of increases on the big toe side and all the other increases on the baby toe side of my foot. The instep of the socks were a tad bit snug, so I added 3 sets of increases just on the top half. I then decreased those 3 sets of increases out again at the ankle after discovering the ankles were all saggy.

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Lastly I worked increases every 6 rows on the back side to accommodate my muscular calves as other hand knit socks I own (generously knit by friends) are a tad tight there.

I really wanted to use up every single bit of yarn that I could, but ultimately I still have a little left over. It was a good effort for a first time. Next time I think I’ll pre-split the yarn into two even balls before I start knitting.

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The yarn is fabulous. It’s from the company White Birch Fiber Arts and the colorway is called Royal We. Perfect match to our wedding colors don’t you think? I have another skein in Release the Kraken that I’ll knit up eventually. Socks really do make perfect purse knitting! All those knitters weren’t kidding when they recommended socks as a travel project.

Next year looks like it’s the wool anniversary, so hmm…sounds like I should go big! Good thing I have a whole year to plan.