Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Sew bossy and culotte road test

Squeezing two things in here. The first is a pair of culottes that I made myself way back in late 2014

The pattern is the Girl Friday Culottes by Liesl & Co. They're the first ever pants I've made myself and while they have their problems (which I'll go into more detail about in a moment) I have worn them a lot over the two summers since they were made.

A "day in the life" of my culottes blog post is over on the Oliver + S website. Click on the image below to go to the blog post.

 

I made the culottes when they were first released and there was an errata with the pattern. Turned out the markings for the deep box pleats in front and back were accidentally reversed and labelled with the incorrect sizes.

If you made a small size your pleats were too shallow and the waistband ended up too short for the culottes. Conversely, if, like me, you made a larger size (size 14) the pleats were too deep and the pants ended up much smaller than the waistband. Eventually, via confused pleas for help on the Oliver + S forum, Liesl found the error and corrected it, sending out new copies of the pattern to everyone who had purchased it up to that date.

However I still had some trouble with one section of my waistband being too long. All the other notches lined up and only one back side was too long. Fearful the culottes wound end up too small I kept the waistband length and eased the culottes onto the waistband ignoring all the notches.

But.... they've always been a bit big in the waist. They tend to drop down a bit, and then with the spread of my hips the pockets gape open.

The way the pockets are designed is really genius and the side zip is hidden neatly in one of the pockets. But, if you have a low waist to hip ratio then the culottes have to spread and the pockets end up opening. If I hoick mine up to high waist (just above belly button level) then they fall much better and the pockets don't open at all.

The other problem might be my fabric choice. This fabric was a mystery stretch twill/denim that I picked up cheaply somewhere. I think I may have been better without the stretch component.

All of that aside I've worn them a lot, and I really should have bothered making the adjustments that Sew Brunswick details here in her review of them. Given how old/faded these ones are now I think I might just sew a new pair and get the fit right. Perhaps navy linen for next summer.

The reason it's taken me over a year and a half to get them on the blog? There was a lot of talk in fashion mags and newspapers at the time of the pattern launch about the resurgence of culottes - aka man repelling pants. I'd been planning a much more complete "road test" of them. It was going to include all the things that a girl can do in her culottes and culminate with a photo of the one thing a girl probably couldn't do - that is, picking up a bloke at a party.

But therein lay my problem. I needed a party scene, a room full of eligible looking blokes and a photographer to capture me, standing alone with my wine glass. Turns out I just don't get out enough or know enough men that aren't my dad's age to have made that happen.

Anyway, for a reasonably complete photo series of me in my culottes, go check out the Oliver + S blog post.

Next up: Sew Bossy


I didn't know that was a "thing" until the fabulous Ute sent me a pattern, some fabric and a bossy edict about what to do with it! ;)

Here's the result: (- and some more photos of my Girl Friday culottes)


The pattern is a German pattern: Schnittmuster's FrauMia

Ute had made a few translations for me, but by and large the construction did look very simple.
It's a raglan sleeved t-shirt designed for woven fabrics, with a facing to finish the neckline.

At first I was kinda excited as a raglan sleeve top is one pattern I don't yet have. But then I looked at the pattern pieces and thought how on earth could this possibly work for me...

You see, the pattern pieces for the top are at their widest at the shoulders/upper chest and then narrow from there, with the narrowest point being the hips. That certainly is not how my body is shaped. I've got reasonably wide shoulders, not much of a bust, then I get a bit narrower and then a whole lot wider.

(see what I mean about the culotte pockets opening up?)
I thought about making a muslin, but the more I looked at the pattern pieces the more I thought that IF I were to make a muslin I would undoubtedly never make the pattern at all. Stiff, muslin like fabric was never going to help get this pattern over the line.

Ute had sent me this beautiful Atelier Brunette cotton lawn (chalk charcoal) and while I didn't want to waste it, I figured I was "under orders" so to speak, and surely the whole point of Sew Bossy was to try something you might otherwise not have tried....

With that decision made, I made the only measurement that would matter - my hip measurement and then tried to work out which size. Curiously, the hip measurement was about the only one missing from the pattern, so I measured the flat pattern pieces and worked out I was a Medium. Seriously, I'm a medium? how enormous would a lady's bust have to be to justify a larger size than this one??
If it had been a PDF that I'd printed myself, I would have assumed I'd made some scaling error.

OK, here's a pretty unflattering photo, but just to show how "1980s eastern block female shotputter on steroids" the shape of this top is:


The only part in the construction that had me a bit confused was how to add the seam allowance to the sleeves. That's hard to describe without showing the sleeve pattern piece, but a diagram of how/where to add the seam allowance would have been appreciated. The Japanese pattern books I've used tend to do this: the seam allowance is not included, but the pattern cutting layout shows the seam allowances drawn in so you can see how and where to add them and how much.

My seam allowance on the sleeve ended being an academic problem, as once I'd sewn the sleeve underarm seam they were far too tight and I couldn't flex a bicep at all - no good for hurling that shotput after all! I had to leave about a third of the sleeve seam unsewn and taper the seam allowance down to the point where the stitching finished.


The fabric is truly lovely. It's light, soft and as pleasant to work with as only a great quality cotton lawn can be. And so, even though the pattern was not a win for me, I have, on hot, hot days, enjoyed wearing this loose, boxy top.

I wonder if the pattern would perhaps suit someone with a bigger bust and narrow hips. Those of you who can wear big, boxy tops with your skinny, tight jeans and look fabulous.

Of course I feel dreadful that the idea that Ute had for me did not turn out as marvelous as she might have imagined it. I'm also very nervous that the fabric and pattern that I sent her shall be a success. Here's hoping.


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

To all the stencils I've loved before...

Apologies for the blog silence. I threw myself completely into the pattern tracing, muslin making and construction of my dress and coat for the Dressmaker's Do.

I'm not quite done with all of that, but since I'd just made another freezer paper stencilled t-shirt for P's birthday (he's come down with horrible gastro and isn't up for modelling just yet) I thought I'd round up all my stencilled projects and share some tips.

Instagram image of WIP
 I won't write a how-to of basic freezer paper stencilling, 'cause that's been done many times already (see here and here for good basic ones - or, if you have the Oliver + S Sandbox pattern then you have a written pattern with instructions for stencilling) but rather, I'll show what I've done and give my tips and tricks. All discovered the hard way of course, 'cause I never think to research how to do something first!

Where to get freezer paper in Australia is often the first stumbling block. At the beginning I had bought one to two metre cuts from a roll at a quilting shop. That's not the cheapest way to buy it obviously. I now have a full roll, which I think came from Spotlight, but I seem to recall having to ask for it. It was "under the counter" if I recall correctly (?!)


If you live in a major city there might be a US expat shop like this one (USA foods), and that's by far the cheapest way to buy the freezer paper. Unless of course you are tempted to load your shopping cart with weird USA only confectionery! Some other online craft shop options are here and here

Basic stencils are as simple as trace or draw, cut, iron then paint. I usually take over the knife duty, but the kids can certainly do the painting. This "favourite footy team" t-shirt for kindy was done in an afternoon by P when he was five.


It's pretty easy to use freezer paper stencilling for big lettering. Just be sure to keep the insides of letters like "a and o"


More detailed lettering can be done with freezer paper if you have a steady hand and patience with the scalpel blade. For smaller lettering, and other complicated designs, I'd suggest ironing on the main stencil, then adding back in all the elements that have been cut out in order to get the positioning correct. Then peel off only the areas you want to paint. Here's a great Instagram video series of exactly that process (@craftroom101)


Of course, if you have one of those Silhouette stencil cutting machines you can cut a perfect lettering stencil in seconds from a digital file. But to me, that feels a bit like cheating. I like the relaxing approach of taking time to boil the kettle, put on the radio and painstakingly cut a stencil.

I've said it before, but anything I can do with a scalpel in hand that can not possibly result in death is relaxing! :) 

The picture above is my Slaughterhouse 5 t-shirt from a few years ago that amused me no end, and which I would almost make over again. Perhaps when he's older I can get a Montana Wildhack reference in there and get away with it. ;)

 

The Space Shutle above was done with multiple layers. Once the metallic white paint was dry, parts of the stencil were reapplied and the silver grey applied over the top. That one used a Jones Tones paint which has a slightly 3D effect and is not so easy to handle and use in detailed work.

My preferred paint is Setacolour Opaque. They mix together really well allowing me to get exactly the shade I want with only half a dozen pots of paint in the stash.

By not mixing the paints too well, you can get a nice blotchy, textured colour. That's what the kids did when they painted their Vermicious Knid dress/t-shirt.
 

 T-shirt transfer lettering (above) looks dreadful compared to the freezer paper stencil lettering  (below). It's worth taking the time to cut a stencil.
 

Blotchy, poorly mixed paint is perfect for monsters! Flipper's Father's Day t-shirt monsters were painted by the kids and then I added the hairy details freehand.

 

Single colour stencils that are more detailed to cut, but then super quick to paint can look awesome.

Here's where you need a steady hand and a good knife. I'll confess the one I bought at Spotlight is cheap and has a "looseness" that bugs me. I actually think I'd do better with a small scalpel handle from the vet clinic and a number 11 blade. If you can't pilfer scalpels from your work, look for a good quality craft knife. Cheap ones are kind of rubbish and little slips can ruin a stencil.



While a Vermicious Knid outline, or a dead bird are fairly easy to draw freehand, these more complex stencils are best traced. If you ever get to do craft during the day then use a sunny window to tape up your picture and freezer paper and get tracing.

If you're an after-darker like me then you need some kind of light box. You can buy expensive light boxes from art stores, or (again) raid your local vet clinic for one ('cause we've all gone digital and are throwing them out), or make use of your mid century furniture: A glass topped coffee table (sixties styling optional) is perfect. Put a torch or lamp underneath and you've got an enormous lightbox.
The Darth Vader stencil image, and my recent Pokemon Talonflame picture both come from DeviantArt which is a great source for images. You can purchase images, but I guess if you're using them for personal use and not for mass production and resale, a little right click and save is probably forgivable.

Searching for images will often give you almost what you want but not quite. I found the perfect drum kit silhouette for my nephew's Christmas present t-shirt, but wanted some Beatles-esque lettering. I found a font through My Fonts  that looked pretty good and then used Paint.net to overlay the two images.
 
 

Once cut and ironed down, this all black stencil took barely two minutes to paint. Don't forget to iron the dry paint (with a pressing cloth or baking paper sheet) for a solid 5 minutes to set the paint and make it washable
 


The stencils that I've been enjoying making recently use the freezer paper just to give the shape and blocks of colour. Then, the line detail is added freehand after the main paint has dried. If you're nervous about painting fine line detail, then you could heat set the paint and then use a fabric marker to draw the detail lines instead.
 

This is where the Setacolour paints are worth the pricetag. They're opaque and thick enough without being gloopy or lumpy. I'm yet to use them, but I love the look of the Setacolour translucent paint to give watercolour lines as in the t-shirt here




I found a few other pictures of clothes I've made for the kids that have been painted freehand, or stamped, but I thought I'd keep this to a stencil round-up. In looking at all the pictures I'm aware that my painting style is very much a tightly controlled copyist :), but I do love the idea of watering down the paints one day and making some Nani-Iro-esque fabric. Here's a great post from You and Mie about letting go and letting the kids do the fabric painting.

But for these type of stencils there's really nothing more to it than some patience, precision and practice. Final tip: If you paint BEFORE you sew, then you can always chuck out the t-shirt front panel and start over.

Now, I need to get back to coat making and pretending to manage the household...

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Little Kunoichi stencilled tee

A friend of A had her birthday today. Last year she was the recipient of the Moon Bunnies skirt and headband, and so this year I thought it would be fun to make her something again.

This little friend happens to do Taekwondo and ages ago, when I bought Sanae Ishida's book Little Kunoichi; The Ninja Girl, I had bought an extra copy knowing that I'd save it for her birthday.
 

Around lunchtime I had the idea that we could stencil Little Kunoichi onto a t-shirt. The idea was given the thumbs up from A, and so we headed out to the fabric stash to find a suitable bit of fabric.

I had just the right blue/grey colour for the t-shirt and there was one long sleeved t-shirts worth of fabric left. A bit of purple lightweight jersey was perfect for some shoulder frills.


The beauty of freezer paper stencils is that once the image is traced and the stencil is cut, you can let the kids do most of the painting as it doesn't matter if you go "over the lines"


And yes, as far as I'm concerned a plastick-y princess costume makes a perfectly suitable art smock!

Once A had done the bulk of the solid colour work, I let the paint dry while we ate a late lunch, then I added the details over the top free hand.

Then, that evening I ironed the heck out of the paint to set it, and then sewed up the t-shirt after the kids had gone to bed. Voila, from an idea at lunchtime to a t-shirt just before midnight - with all the necessary play, housework and meal time breaks fitted in too.


The pattern is the Oliver + S School Bus Tee, size 5 width with size 6 length (it's what I had already traced that seemed about right).

I added the shoulder frills by cutting a rectangle of fabric, folding it in half and then sewing gathering stitches along the raw edge. The gathering stitches curved towards the folded edge at each end. The ruffle was gathered, basted to the sleeve with a zig zag stitch and then the sleeves attached.


It was A's idea to add Kunoichi's pet ninja rabbit and I'm so glad she suggested it. How cute is that bunny?!

The kids have decided that no gift is complete without a Schleich animal from the local toy store, so a little dappled pony was added to the pile and the gift was complete.


I hope she likes it!

P's birthday is coming up soon and I seem to have created a mini tradition of stencilling his favourite "thing of the moment" onto a t-shirt for his birthday. Stay tuned for a Pokemon t-shirt stencil, and this time I might take some more detailed pictures for stencilling tips. If you sew for kids and haven't tried a freezer paper stencil yet, then I hope I'll inspire you to give it a go!


Sunday, 15 May 2016

...and a Bambiblauw kitten pullover

Once I'd settled on using the Bambiblauw sweater panels from Maaidesign, it was easy to choose which one A would have - it had to be the kitten!


The temptation to try and cut a dress was strong, but she really does NOT need more dresses. She needed warm tops to wear with skirt or pants (please!) during the colder months ahead.

Again, I wanted to go with a tried and true pattern, so I chose pattern "r" from Girl's Sassy Clothes by Yuki Araki. I've made the top once before, when it was the base for the insane Beaded PixCell Deer Project and the dress version (pattern "h") all the way back here.


A gloomier indoor photograph turned out to be the better exposure to show off the pale pink and fabulous yellow of the background fabric - and another label thanks to Maaike!

This time around I made the size 120cm (previous versions being 100cm and 90cm) and with no alterations the fit is perfect.

I was very careful to cut and preserve as much fabric as possible, which was much easier than with P's Snow Tiger. And I'm glad I did as I'd misread the confusing pattern layout and added the extra shoulder length to the left front rather than the left back pattern pieces.


I almost let it slide, but it would have meant the button placket would overlap forwards rather than to the back, and I knew it would bug me.  Luckily it was the front panel with the image that was longer than it should have been, and I was able to cut another back panel from what I had leftover.

Now I have a cute pink and yellow spotted t-shirt shaped remnant. I'll have to find a complementary sweater knit for the back and sleeves and make a hooded t-shirt or similar before she outgrows the size.

In a twist of good fortune, I had some buttons that were just the right size and colour. If I remember rightly, they came in a little package from the lovely Mel of Stuff I Make when she sent me an hand me down dress. Thank you!



I'm always delighted by my very basic, mechanical sewing machine's approach to buttonholes. Anytime, anywhere, any fabric she says. Admittedly, the ones that are this close to thick, folded edges take a bit more concentration and pushing of the fabric, but the result is still a very nice buttonhole exactly where you asked for it to be.

In extra happy news the sweater has been very warmly received and is bound to be in frequent rotation. I had some ideas about teaming it with beige, grey or light blue pants, any of which would have been great for the photoshoot, but no, hot pink ruffle skirt it was.


At least I have the power to crop pictures! :)

Thursday, 12 May 2016

A Snow Tiger on a Nature Walk....

After drooling over the Bambiblauw panel prints on the Maaidesign website I finally threw some in a shopping basket and hit the purchase button quickly before I could change my mind again.

After much deliberating I'd managed to narrow it down to one panel each and I went with the French Terry loopback knit, as both kids were actually in need of washable pullover jumpers. Buying for a purpose which can't be fulfilled by the fabric stash is OK (right?!), especially when the fabric is just fantastic and unlike anything you own already.


For P, I was tossing up between the Snow Tiger and the Fox but eventually settled on the tiger, which he has since declared is his favourite animal and the subject of his current "inquiry" at school. Nice one mum!

The fabric is a lightweight loopback terry. It's as soft as can be and feels like it should be made into baby clothes. It comes as a set size panel with a selvedge on all sides and the image at centre bottom. The absolute challenge in dealing with these panels is in choosing a pattern and designing a garment in order to utilise the image to its best potential. I'll confess my extreme cutting nerdiness and say that this puzzle was a big drawcard for me!


The fabric arrived one morning very promptly after I'd ordered it, and a perfect warm, windy day that coincided with a rostered day off, meant it was washed and dried by lunchtime. And then I thought, and thought and thought about how to use it...

I'd have loved to make a hooded pullover such as the Rowan Tee, then considered using the Greenstyle Shawl collar pullover pattern that I have. But it became clear that if the panel was to be used for the whole front there would never be enough for either the back or sleeves, let alone a hood.

I was also aware that these panels aren't cheap and I didn't want to try a new pattern on an expensive piece of fabric, so you know what I did of course: Oliver + S


The pattern is the Nature Walk Pullover. I haven't made the top in almost 4 years, although I've used the pants part of the pattern many times over, and for many purposes (school shorts, swimmers, disco pants, elephant costume, Evel Knievel jumpsuit...). The more I thought about it, the more perfect the pattern seemed. There's a pocket, which is a must for this kid, but it's behind the front panel which meant my tiger wasn't going to be stitched on or covered up. Most importantly it's designed for colour blocking, which is what you have to do when you don't have much fabric!

I drafted off the size 7 with size 8 hem and lower sleeve length then puzzled and puzzled to get it all on the panel. The bottom section of the pullover is double layered both front and back. This provides the pocket at the front, but at the back is technically optional and could be left off.

But P is a kid who seems to really feel the cold. The terry knit is relatively thin and as a single layer is more like a thick long sleeved tee than a jumper. So I was going to make that double layer work somehow....

The inner back panel was made by using the small side sections that were left after cutting the lower front panel centered on the tiger. They were joined with the narrowest of seam and just made the width. You can see the selvedge of the fabric was all that was left for the seam allowances:


In my excitement of washing new fabric I hadn't paid much attention to how I pegged the fabric on the line and my panel was a bit skewed and warped. That only complicated the cutting puzzle further! I ironed it and smoothed it flat as best I could and thought I had it all correct. But, when I came to basting the two front panels together at the side seam it was clear that one side of the inner panel was half an inch shorter than the other.

The lower hem would normally fold up and meet the inner panel, overlapping by a half inch or so. The shortness on one side left an opening or "hole" in the pocket so I used a tiny remnant scrap to patch it.



Just on a whim I'd cut the sleeves with an extra inch of length at the hem and I'm glad I did!
I didn't want to lose any of my tiger by doing a double fold hem as per the pattern, so I cut a 1.5" strip of fabric, finished one edge with the overlocker then stitched it to the hemline right on the selvedge edge, making a hem facing finish.
So, effectively, I've added 1 inch to the total body length as well.


He kinda likes the kangaroo style front pocket!

The grey sweater knit is quite thick and matches the doubled terry panel thickness perfectly. It was a leftover form my nephew's knight hoodie and was just the right amount for the upper body and sleeve panels.

The final leftover scraps from the Bambiblauw panel, when arranged flat, only covered about two thirds of an A4 page. Like I said, you've got to love a cutting puzzle - or have really small kids!



Monday, 9 May 2016

Choose your own synthetic character fleece adventure

Both kids were very much in need of new dressing gowns and slippers, and if there's one kind of fabric where I just genuinely do not give a shit, it's synthetic fleece.

Until there is a Nani Iro equivalent in polar fleece then it may as well be licensed characters as far as I'm concerned. So of course, that's what they chose.


The pain of purchasing such dreadful fabrics was lessened somewhat by Spotlight having a sale on "licensed character fleece" and then completely removed by how much the kids really love this kind of thing.


The dressing gowns are made using Kwik Sew 2654 which I'd made previously and hated making. The result was fine although it seems to be one of the very few things I've made and never photographed.

I suspect it was in my very first days of sewing knits and I definitely didn't own an overlocker. I figured maybe it wasn't the pattern, it was me, and I should give it another chance.


Since I already had the size XS (4/5) drafted I just added length to the sleeves and hem to make A's version. probably about 1.5"on the sleeve and 2" on the hem length if I remember rightly.

This Disney princess fleece is disappointingly thin but she was sold on it. The proper weight, contrasting fleece on the shawl collar adds a bit of warmth at least.


P's Marvel comic version is the straight size 7/8 and fits fine. The great thing is that as they grow, you just unfold the cuffs and keep using it. Once the length gets to Hefner style hip height, it's time for a new one. Easy.

I had planned to use the sewing machine just for the facing steps and do everything else on the overlocker, but the fleece shifted in such a way that the overlocked seams were likely to miss the bottom layer. I ended up basting on the sewing machine then overlocking every seam.

It was no quicker or easier than my first version, but they do look nicer on the inside.


There was just enough leftovers to cut a pair of Happy Feet slippers each. Hers are Kids Medium and fit well, his are Kids Large and are a bit small. I'd traced around their feet on paper to get the sizing and knew his would be close, but I guess the seam allowances took more out than I'd figured. So, really, still shy of 8 years old he has small adult slipper sized feet??!!

I redrafted the tops of the slippers slightly to be a bit higher at the back heel and to come further up the foot at the front. It reduced the opening size considerably and at least they don't fall off as readily as previous versions of this pattern.

Using tissue paper to stitch through I've added these mini soles of carpet underlay to the undersides. If you like your kids as sliding missiles you can skip this step (at your own peril).

I'm not going to kid you, sewing yucky fleece into boring garments like slippers and dressing gowns did drag on. But it was worth it in the end....


... and while I was faced with the task of stitching the icky fabric I hit the Maaidesign shop and bought some much nicer fabric!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Endless summer of swimwear

And here it is, my last swimwear blog post for this summer (yep, it's half way through Autumn already, I know).


When I first made the Ottobre Seamus trunks for P and they were too baggy, I put the pattern aside for a bit while I sewed A's swimmers. Then one morning he was riding to school in the Nature Walk shorts I'd made him 2 years ago. They're made of an athletic knit and are now kinda tight and resemble cycle shorts.

It occurred to me I had my perfect boy's swim trunks pattern right there in front of me all along.

And so, I'm over at Oliver + S showing how I've used their patterns to create beachwear. Until Liesl gives us the long wished for swimwear pattern this is as close to Oliver + S swimmers as I can get.


I decided to make the swim trunks a bit more interesting by splitting the pattern pieces to allow for some colour blocking and the faked flatlocked seams.


The rashie wasn't really necessary since he had a couple of shop bought ones that still fit, but the temptation to make something that matched was too strong. The little remnant of the orange lycra, which I'd already used a bit of here, was just wide enough for a sleeve of the Field Trip Raglan T

I toyed with the idea of inserting a short, exposed zip at the back neck, but decided it wasn't necessary so why bother. Instead I just added about 1/2" width to the neckband pattern piece to give it a slightly higher neckband and left it at that. With the neckband sewn on with the overlocker and then twin needle stitched down it has plenty of stretch to get over his head without needing a zipper.


The charcoal grey fabric is a mystery textile that was purchased out at Eliza fabrics. It's definitely synthetic, has four way stretch and one shinier side, so I'm calling it lycra, but who knows. It's thinner than the orange dancewear lycra/spandex that came from GJ's fabrics and I expect it will wear out first. But the way this kid grows I don't expect more than season from his swimwear anyway.

Both the shorts and the T-shirt are made two sizes down from where his measurements would put him. Of course I had to add some length to the t-shirt and considerable sleeve length. I think it may have been as much as 4 extra inches of sleeve length - the kid has long arms! The good thing about a raglan sleeve is that you can measure from collar to wrist and that's the sleeve length you need. Easy to get right.


He loved the beach and enjoyed riding his boogie board and catching waves.  It amazed me that even though this is probably the most well known and commercialised bit of coast the whole way around Australia, and even thought the high rise apartments come right down to the sand, the beach still felt almost empty. Not empty by Aus standards, but certainly empty compared to any well known beach in any other part of the world.


After we got back from the Gold Coast I realised it was A who needed a rashie as hers had been very faded, worn and saggy. Of course that meant she needed a pair of swim trunks to match it, so I set about "girlifying" the Nature Walk pants to suit her.


This is at a much less glamorous, colder and generally less photogenic bay beach in Melbourne and I hadn't expected the kids to go in, but once they see water there's no stopping them.

I made the neckband on her top a bit wider again, adding a full inch to the pattern. Thus the folded neckband is 1/2" wider than intended. It works for a rashie, but is right on the limit to my taste. I think it would be visually far too thick and chunky for a regular t-shirt.


Her shorts were drafted to have an extended side section which is then drawn up and ruched by virtue of a casing and drawstrings. The casing is done in much the same was as this skirt which I adapted and photographed for another Oliver + S tutorial here.

Making this set exactly used up the remnants of the floral lycra from The Fabric Store (used here) and another of the small remnants I'd picked up at GJ's.


These are now her favourite swimmers which is kinda funny since I simply cannot convince her to wear shorts or pants in any other situation.

I love the idea of the new Lisette B6358 one piece swimsuit for me, so next summer, that's on the cards. Meanwhile I want to track down some of this VITA swimsuit fabric - it's made of 100% recycled waste nylon. I love the idea of swimming at the beach wearing a swimsuit made of recycled fishing nets that had been cleaned up off another beach somewhere in the world. But that's a long way off, it's starting to get cold around these parts...