I know I am not the only one who spends their Sunday nights staring at Pinterest, pinning away. It is the modern answer to a vision board (something I never would have had the patience to do, lol!) And Pinterest has slowly become one of my very guilty pleasures.
My boards are mostly, you guessed it, sewing related 🙂 I love clothing and used to tear out magazine pages, and then immediately misplace them, for inspiration. Now I just have a bunch of boards dedicated to different designers, seasons, styles and of course, FABRIC I love! So you know I have a board dedicated to @pheefabrics which I have aptly named, “PheeSpirations.”
And then this came up, I swear in the same color as the Khaki Steel Tricot although I can no longer find it anywhere, and I knew I needed to recreate it.
To be completely honest, it has been a long time since I have actually wanted a real one piece swimsuit, RTW or me-made. I have a longer torso and for a while I was intimated by adjusting a pattern to fit. The good news about sewing swim is that it generally does not use much fabric, compared to say a dress or even a shirt. So my theory was that even if I needed to make 2 or 3 I would not blow through my entire stash.
And of course, first times the charm! (mostly 😉 ) I used the recently released Minute Maillot from Patterns 4 Pirates as the base, and didn’t have to do much to get the look in my Pinspiration. I adjusted first for my height by adding 1 1/2″ in length and then lowered the back by about 2 inches, following the curve on the pattern piece. The elastic for the neckline needed to be adjusted for the change in height. I used the pattern as written for the high rise leg and low front neckline.
Then just to add the fun cage back, the “piece de resistance”! I cut long piece of the same tricot, 1 1/4″ wide (although I would make them 1 1/2″ the new time). right sides together and serged down the long sides, used my handy tube turner and cut to the size I wanted.
I just pinned the straps in place where it looked closest to the Pinspiration and attached them while topstitching the elastic to the back neckline.
Voila! I absolutely love the color of this fabric and it is heavy enough to not need a lining. I did add the shelf bra as mentioned in the pattern (this is fully outlined in the pattern already) and used only @pheefabricspowernet and elastic. There are steps for adding bra cups, but I tend to feel covered and supported with just Phee powernet.
I hope this helps inspire some fun Pinspirations, err, Pheespirations 😉 Make sure to follow @pheefabrics on Pinterest here for more great ideas!
A year ago I had never heard of Tricot – in fact I had not heard of most of the fabrics that @pheefabrics carries and what they are used for. Today, I would say I am a bit of a fabric snob. Sewing a garment takes time, and my time is worth money and I am not willing to use a poor quality fabric. Even the best of patterns are only as good as the fabric you use, IMO.
There has been a bunch of talk about Supplex, powernet and Rayon Spandex (my ride or die for everyday, everything for the whole family) from @pheefabrics but there is a new(ish) kid on the block and their name is Tricot!
4 way stretch with a decent weight of 9.5oz -11.5oz
Iron on vinyl can be added to them
Fabrics are from the USA
Tricot reminds me of the feeling and look of swimsuits (check back next month to see what I made), but I wanted to show how versatile it can really be for everyday clothing I will wear all summer – day and night! Since @pheefabrics has so many beautiful colors to chose from, you are sure to find something for your next project.
Confession – I am not a huge fan of shorts. Years of having them ride up my thighs turned me off but I am coming to terms with it and when I made my first pair of Heat Wave Hot Pants from George + Ginger Patterns. You can say it was it was love at first wear! I just had to have a pair of them in the new Navy Tricot and they are summer nautical perfection! I used the tall waistband and pockets – yesssssss! These shorts sew up really quick and have a polished fit from the darts on the front and the back.
So what to wear them with? How about my fave Greenstyle Green Tee? This one is blue and white matte stripe nylon/spandex that @pheefabrics carried last year. I knotted it up to show off the high waist on the shorts and I can see wearing this outfit to the park or brunch any day.
I love the look of yellow and navy so I paired it with the top I used for my costume I wrote about on the blog last year. The yellow is also tricot from Phee but the color is no longer in stock. A few accessories and I am feeling all the retro vibes in this outfit ✌
I still had some of the Navy Trciot left and I have been threatening to make the George + Ginger Road Trip Bodysuit since the pattern released but had not yet even cut my size let alone made one! I made a tiny change and cut a V-shape down the center to add a panel of Navy Powernet and my Pinspiration is brought to life.
Even with all of the bindings, the fabric was super easy to sew. It is a little slippery, yet it did not slip and slide on any of my machines. There really are not “tricks” to working with this high quality fabric! Just be prepared to fall in love with Tricot.
PS- If you love Phee Fabrics as much as I do, please use the affiliate links in this blog to shop. I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) I can’t wait to keep sharing my adventures in sewing all of these incredible fabrics and look forward to hearing about yours!
Full disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means, at zero additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase.
I don’t like using patterns. Weird, right?
But, before you get any wrong ideas, let me explain:
I am short. And, I am also lazy. Both things have absolutely nothing to do with how I feel about pattern makers or their abundant skills. In fact, I believe that so many talented pattern makers are currently producing beautiful and creative styles. But, regardless of the great work that pattern makers breathe into existence, I am still short. And, I am still lazy.
I can now look at any pattern and see exactly where I am short and where the pattern will be too long. And I can begrudgingly sense the amount of time it will take to make petite adjustments. Initially, learning how to make petite adjustments was a huge challenge. The “knowing” is still a mountain to climb, but just not as daunting. But now, the true challenge is finding the motivation to do the grunt work and actually make petite adjustments.
Hopefully what I teach in this post will help you with your “petiting”. Most of what I do as my petite protocol before ever cutting into fabric was learned through trial and error. So much trial and so many errors. But, I have gotten it down to a process (and I just need to motivate myself to do it).
Jalie 3134 – The One Piece Racerback Swimsuit
If you’ve been following along with my posts, you know that I broke my arm at the very beginning of this year. I’m pretty limited in the activities that I can participate in (such as the things I freakishly love like volleyball and tennis), so I decided to take up lap swimming for cardio.
Also, if you know me, you know that I’m always in a two-piece bikini. I have resisted making one-pieces because I just knew I would have to make length adjustments. Did I tell you I’m lazy?
But, now that I’m taking up swimming, I thought now is a good time to conquer my apprehension and my laziness. So I chose to make the Jalie Racerback Swimsuit. I love how it resembles the super athletic swimwear worn by Olympic swimmers. If I can’t swim well, at least I could try to look the part. (Just indulge my hopefulness, won’t ya? lol)
My “Petiting” Process
This swim pattern involves a lot of pieces. I do suggest using a simpler pattern for your first round of “petiting”. Heck, you might even find that you won’t need to make any petite adjustments! Just in case you do have to make adjustments, feel free to try out my method:
Identify the shoulder line, bustline, waistline and low hip line of your pattern. With Jalie 3134, the notch marks on many of the pieces corresponded with these landmarks. After identifying your landmarks, draw horizontal lines on all the pieces that correspond with your landmarks.
2. On your pattern, measure and record the depths between the landmarks. Then, subtract any seam allowances (most notably at the shoulder seam).
3. Next, measure and record your body’s depths:
4. Now compare the pattern measurements to your body measurements. Before comparing, first subtract a “shoulder drop” value from the pattern’s shoulder-to-waistline measurement. A common industry standard measurement for shoulder drop is 1 5/8″. In other words, this is your formula:
Shoulder to waistline – 1 5/8″ (shoulder drop) = Pattern center front waist length
Compare that value with your body’s center front waist length.
Move on to compare the remaining pattern and body measurements. Did you come up with any discrepancies?
Typically, my body’s center front waist length is anywhere between 1 1/2″ to 1 5/8″ shorter than the pattern’s measurement (depending on the pattern company). And that difference is usually distributed between the B and C sectors in Figure 3. In other words, I almost always have to raise the pattern’s bustline as well as raise the waistline.
For this pattern, I didn’t have to raise the low hip line. But I normally do for leggings patterns.
Now, what do you do next after making these comparisons?
5. Slice the pattern!
Make sure to cut the pattern at areas with the least amount of curvature. Blending (i.e. truing) the pattern will be so much easier that way.
Draw a straight line all the way through the center of your pattern and perpendicular to the landmarks. Then, start from the top and work your way to the bottom. Imagine that you have to shorten your pattern between the same landmarks as I do:
First, start between the shoulder and the bustline. Raise the bustline by the amount that agrees with your body’s measurement by sliding it along that vertical center line that you drew. Then, tape your pieces together and true up the pattern. Re-measure the center front waist length of the pattern.
Second, raise the waistline by cutting your pattern in between the bustline and the waistline landmarks. Again, slide the bottom piece along that vertical line. Tape and true.
The scenario described above was exactly what I had to do for Jalie 3134. I initially chose pattern size S because it matched very closely to my current body. But, after making the flat pattern measurements, I knew it would end up being too long.
It was also a little too wide through my waist and bust. However, after reducing the width of the back band, I couldn’t get the damn thing over my thighs and hips! So I had to split the back band and use a swim hook to close the back.
Another pattern adjustment I made was adding a built in shelf bra. I did a tutorial on this a while ago, so check it out here: How to Add a Padded Shelf Bra
After petiting, I believe I achieved the fit that I wanted. But, what I truly love about my new swimsuit is the fabric!
I’ve been eyeballing Phee’s Insane in the Membrane fabric since summer 2018, but never knew what to make with it. I couldn’t resist the fabric’s beckoning any longer, so I decided it will be perfect with my Jalie suit. Let me just say that I am so impressed with the quality of Insane in the Membrane. It feels luxe and has the thickness that I search for in swim fabrics.
In the past, I’ve had terrible luck with neon swim fabrics. They would bleed all over everything once wet. As soon as I got Phee’s Neon Yellow Tricot, I cut a 2″ x 2″ swatch, soaked it in water and laid it over a piece of white cotton jersey fabric. I checked on it the next morning, and guess what?
No bleeding! I’m so thrilled to have finally found a neon fabric that doesn’t bleed! My ’80s baby heart is ssssanging, y’all!
We sew our own things because we want to get the best fit, right? My process doesn’t account for FBA or SBA, and doesn’t go into the width adjustments that I also make. But, I’ve found that it’s typically in the vertical measurements where I fall short (get it?). So hopefully my petiting method will help someone out there achieve a better fit. Talk to you, soon!
Sometimes the smallest things are what challenges us most. Zippers, welt pockets, buttons….these things don’t bother me. In fact I enjoy the challenge. But Lace is something I struggle with making it look nice. For one,getting the right side up is a challenge in itself. It’s so delicate, and I’m so far from delicate it’s not even funny. Add that in with bra cup pieces that are all cut in mirrored images and my brain just goes to mush. So my goal is to force myself to do a lot of these projects to get practice.
My second challenge for this project is I completely lost my momentum for it. Well, let’s be honest, I lost momentum for everything. I cut the pattern out before things got super busy. Lately I want to sew, but then I realize that I’m rushing through and not paying attention and everything is going to crap. I just don’t have the brain power to think things through before I do them, and we all know that can lead to trouble.
I ordered all my supplies a while back, however when I went to start, I wasn’t happy with the color choices I bought. I searched my stash and found this hot pink tricot and knew that was it. I love how it looks paired with the gorgeous amethyst lace. At 6.25” wide, you can use it for a bunch of different things. If you’re not familiar with tricot, it’s a type of nylon spandex and It’s great for swim. It’s also antimicrobial and moisture wicking.
I found the Thyme Bodysuit pattern on Mood.I figured it would be great for practicing and it’s a free pattern. I did a lace overlay on the cups and a solid tricot bottom rather than lace. I did also line the cups with powernet and put elastic around the outer side edge. It was gaping really bad before. It’s kinda wrinkly now but better than it was. I just used 1/4” clear elastic, also from Phee. but I’d use swim elastic next time. The bottom part fits great….the top is still not great. I also added elastic under the cups on the front.I used 1/4” swim elastic. I also made the bottom one solid piece rather than putting snaps in because I will probably only wear this around the house.
If I were to make this a bathing suit, I’d line the whole thing, do elastic around the legs and work on making those cups more secure.
The pattern calls for French seams which I honestly forgot about doing, the entire first half of the project. French seams are really easy and they make the project look well finished.
I also decided to try the Tundra Bra Cage from Ohhh Lulu Lingerie. It’s a pretty quick project. If you need to practice making bra straps, this is the pattern for you! It gives the captive bra look that you can wear with any bra.All you need is some bra strap elastic,rings, and sliders.
All of my materials came from Phee Fabrics. I’ve never been disappointed with anything I’ve gotten from there. Everything is high quality for a great price. I made sports bras and clothes for me and my toddler last year and they still look new.
Practice makes perfect!If there’s a skill you’re looking to hone, sewing or not, practice will get you where you want to be with it. Find a fun project and practice, practice, practice!Thanks for reading!!
Heads up: this post contains affiliate links which do benefit me but it just supports my fabric addiction;)
I love the idea of a body suit but I always think I’d like to wear them with pants that hug the booty BUT I hate panty lines SO I did something about it.
I mashed the Tai bodysuit with the Greta Thong from Made for Mermaids and voila!! It’s perfection and seriously so comfortable! I do believe a lot of the comfort has to do with the amazing Rayon Spandex from Phee Fabrics! I used the navy and also lined the crotch with the winter white (no longer available) For the leg bands I used the Navy 2.5 inch lace and I cut it in half to use for the bands (it worked out perfectly!) for my body I did the scoop back and 3/4 length sleeeves.
How I made my mash. I first used the high waisted Greta thong option (you could use any height, I just did the high waisted cause that’s what I’m going to make for the thongs and it made my life easier 🤷🏻♀️ Lol) I laid the Greta pattern piece on the Tai body suit and lined the Greta crotch piece up with the end of the Tai crotch and that traced the Greta till I got to the sides of the tai and than used the Tai pattern piece for the rest of my pattern. Mine looks like this:
I sewed the crotch as directed for the Greta I than serged the lace to the front and back leg openings. I than sewed the shoulder seams, added the sleeves, than the neck band, sewed up the sides and MAGIC! This is going to be my go to for the summer! Super comfy and no panty lines 🙌🏻
Thank you so much for reading along and any questions please feel free to ask!!
One of my favorite things to do when creating a garment is experimenting with fabrics. Getting to know a fabric is much like understanding technology… you figure out what works for a design and what doesn’t.
I especially love to take on the challenge of making a garment out of a fabric that isn’t recommended. And again, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t! I have lost a lot of fabric to the cause…
I’m happy to report about a case in which it did work in my favor!
This patten is drafted for woven fabrics, which are cut on the bias. However, I used my favorite rayon spandex and cut with the grain. When patterns call for fabric to be cut on the bias, they are capitalizing on the amount of stretch that is inherently part of the weaving process.
Because my fabric already had 4-way stretch, I didn’t want to add additional stretch and risk the garment bagging out on me. I assumed that cutting with the grain would prevent excessive stretch and allow for the right amount of feminine flutter that makes this romper so pretty.
Instead of making trim, as the pattern outlines, I chose to use some gorgeous 2 1/2″ stretch lace trim. It coordinated with the navy rayon spandex perfectly! I folded it over the raw edge and attached with a zig-zag stitch along the scalloped border and the folded edge.
My plan was to add a couple of extra inches to the length with some additional lace around the legs, but, sadly, I didn’t have enough on hand!
So, it’s very short. Very short.
But I have to say… rayon spandex is a perfect fabric for this garment! It’s incredibly soft and very easy to work with. Sleepwear made from this amazing fabric will always be great choice.
All in all, the Evelyn Romper came together without an issue! I would highly recommend this pattern to anyone interested in sewing sleepwear or lingerie.