Friday, February 19, 2016

Jalie 3350 Twist Front Swimsuit


For this project I used the Jalie 3350 One-Piece Swimsuit pattern (blogged), which was released 2 years ago and some milliskin matte poly/nylon/lycra that I purchased three years ago. 


I bought the fabric online at Spandex House in a light blue with a twinge of purple.  When it arrived, it was more of a sky blue (shown above) and I just didn't like it.  The fabric sat on my shelf for 3 years while I decided what to do with it.  Last month, I dyed the fabric a darker blue using a Dharma Acid dye.  The color turned out really beautiful!



I made view B in a size U for height and a W for length.  I had originally cut a smaller size but then I realized my fabric didn't have enough stretch, so I cut out a bigger size.  

The instructions were such a pain in the butt!  It's been a long time since I made something that was intended for intermediate/advanced sewers.  Sometimes I accidentally read steps out of order or interpreted instructions incorrectly.  I used my seam ripped constantly, but eventually I got it right.

I sewed most of this at my in-laws' house. I forgot my twin needle so I finished the elastic edges using a zig-zag stitch.  This really isn't my favorite look - I think the twin needle or the coverstitch looks much more professional, but at that point in the project the smell of chlorine pool water was calling my name and I just needed to get it done! Because, crawling baby, peeps! While someone else watches my squish sewing must happen, STAT!!!

I used the same fabric for the lining. I lined only the cup area, which has 2 lining layers and one top layer.  I would have made less mistakes if my lining fabric had been a different color than my suit fabric.  I'm not a fan of this bust area sans swim cups. I don't like the ones at my local fabric store - they are too stiff!  If anyone knows where to get seamless swim cups for a B/C cup, please let me know.  Otherwise, I will have to find some at Goodwill.


I have mixed feelings about the fit.  I love the way the fabric fits around my bust and it fit *perfectly* after it came off the sewing machine.  I stopped eating white sugar, artificial sweeteners and honey after I realized I had become allergic to it. The resulting weight loss means that the suit is now too big and needs to be taken in. I'm pretty sure I lost an inch in my waist and hips. The neckline gapes a little and the bum area is a wee bit sad looking.  I'm not planning to fix it because I'm nursing and probably will wean my baby in 4-6 months.

My dyed fabric kind of failed the pool test - it bleeds blue when it drip dries.  Well, I'm an Aggie after all, so I guess it's okay.  I just have to be really careful that it doesn't touch anything in my gym bag when it's wet.  Maybe that will stop after I wear it a few times. Also, I need to shorten the straps slightly and adjust them...no matter how I adjust them they look crooked!  


Next time I'd like to order some FILPAR rubber elastic because it is thinner and stays put when you sew.  I'm hoping this milliskin matte holds up to the chlorine okay...I was really disappointed how stretched out my last suit got. Apparently printed nylon/spandex, while pretty, is thin and loses its stretch much quicker than solids.

All in all, I'm satisfied with the suit.  It's wearable, and everything pretty much stays put when I go to water aerobics. (Yes, people, I do water aerobics!)  I'm sure this one will stretch out before too long and I'll get to make a better version of this suit.  (Plus, when I'm done nursing I won't fill the cups out and I'll really need a new suit.)

Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Loud, Too


I decided to jump on the Grainline Archer bandwagon. Its lack of bust darts makes it perfect for when I transition from nursing to weaning my daughter.

I cut out a size 6. Even though my bust was an inch too big for this size I knew that this pattern had a lot of ease and going up a size would be a big no-no.  I took in 1/2" of width at the shoulder area and I took 1" of length out at the waist area.


I loved using a fabric in my stash for this project.  I bought this Art Gallery voile last summer.  Seeing the blouse that Sunni made gave me the confidence that while this print is *loud*, it looks great in a blouse and is seriously so much fun!  I used an aqua and white gingham as contrast under collar and inside collar stand pieces.

Guess what, guys?! It fits!!!  First time, no adjustments after pattern alterations - I didn't even have to fiddle with the side seams!  It's so happy and cheerful it's like wearing a Hawaiian shirt for floral people, such as myself!


Things I did differently than the pattern:
I made a short-sleeve version with a 3/4" hem.

I did Back View A without the pleat.  I had to remove 1/2" width from either side at the shoulder area of the yoke, anyway, so when I drafted the lower back piece I turned that extra width into a gather at the center back instead of taking it out entirely.  Clear as mud?  Good!

I forgot to do the right front pocket.  I don't think I care, but I have enough fabric in case I change my mind.  The thing is, I matched the first pocket up so perfectly you can't even tell it's there.  I also made my own spacing for the buttons.  I like a button right at my bust to keep everything covered.


See?  It's invisible!

Things I Did Well
The topstitching is super even.  I put a little dot of marker on my presser foot so I could follow it perfectly and got an even 1/16" around my collar. 

I did a pretty good job with the sleeves.  I have a long history of dreading putting in sleeves.  This pattern taught me to sew in the sleeves before I sew the side seams.  That way, you can hide all your naughty mistakes and no one will be the wiser.

Things I'd Do Differently
Um...use contrasting thread, maybe?  I don't typically wear button up shirts because they are constrictive.  The relaxed fit made me revisit the classic button up.  Despite loving the shirt, I'm not loving the way it looks on me in pictures...is it because I came from the era of super form-fitting clothes??  Would taking in the side seams help?

**Special thanks to my in-laws who let me turn their dining room into a sewing workshop and made googly eyes at my baby while I sewed up a storm.  It took about a day from start to finish and it was sewing bliss to have very few distractions.   Hopefully I didn't leave too many pins on the floor.

While I finished up the collar, I had the privilege of teaching my 10 year old niece how to sew.  When she saw what my serger could do she was in complete awe!  By the end of the day, she had made an infinity scarf and a headband out of some vintage fabric her grandma gave her.  She wore both proudly the next day at church!