Jalie Gigi Bikini Party!

Last March my family went on a trip to Hawaii! It was a trip my husband had been requesting for our entire relationship and finally we had a good enough financial streak to make it happen. Hawaii is not cheap!

As usually happens about one week before our trip I became absolutely obsessed with making a new bathing suit and matching suits for my daughters. I made matching suits 2 years ago and they were so fun. We definitely turned heads around the pool. Also, where did my babies go? All I have now are kids! No babies!

This time I turned to the Jalie Gigi Bikini which comes in size toddler 2 all the way to the lower end of women’s plus sizes.

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After taking this one photo on our last full day in Hawaii I then proceeded to get incredibly and horribly sunburned. Multiple sunscreen applications did no good against such a strong sun. Our new suits sat unworn for months.

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And then we pulled them out for a family trip to the beach just before the school year began again. It is miraculous that the girls suits still fit after so many months of growing. If you’re interested in how my suit fits I did a write up with the Curvy Sewing Collective. I like it pretty well, but there are things I’d change if I made it again.

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The kid suits turned out really well, but I wish I’d added more length to both. Charlie at nearly 4 years old still is too small for the smallest size according the Jalie patterns and Lu at 6 years measures somewhere around a size 3-4. But both girls are more average in height. I know I made Charlie’s as a straight size 2, but I can’t remember what size I used for Lu. I added length to both pieces, but it still doesn’t cover as much as I’d like. Much sunscreen has been applied for these beach trips!

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The fabric is the prettiest swim fabric I’ve ever seen. Its from Liberty of London and I bought it at The Fabric Store (LA location before it closed). I think it must have been a defective roll because the price was not this high. Plus there was a big seam down the piece and some discoloration along the selvedge. The Fabric Store generously gave me extra yardage to make up for the flaws and that’s how I was able to make 3 swimsuits with the fabric I’d purchased to make one for just myself. Actually, I made 4 because Lu’s doll got a matching swimsuit too!

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This project was so so so fun. I’m really enjoying making these matching projects while my girls will want to match me and have doll clothes too. Right now I’m making them coordinating gymnastics leotards and they have coordinating Halloween costumes in mind too. The girls don’t always play nice, but it is clear they love each other.

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And happy birthday to my own mommy! She’s moving away soon and I’m going to be just crushed to see her go. I love you mom! Thanks for providing me a good example of parenthood.

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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?