Friday 11 February 2011

Going Dotty

Ooops, I disappeared for a while there didn't I! My computer is dying a slow death, making posting pics a very tedious business, I'd like to help it along, perhaps through the window, but anyway...

Here are the bathers! (Cossies, Swimwear, whatever you like to call them).

Yes the clip matches, I'm weird like that!

The first pair for Miss L were supposed to be a one piece but then I got her to try them on before joining the two pieces together she asked if i could just put elastic in the waist of the pants - so I did.

Both these first two pair were made using the leotard pattern from Ottobre 1/2007, patterns 29 and 30.
I cut them sleeveless then once I had the bathers together I tried them on the child and drew onto them where I wanted to cut to lower the neckline and make the arm openings larger.

The next issue of Ottobre is going to have patterns for swimwear in it - so I wll be making sure I get that one.

You can trace off your own pattern from existing bathers.
Dana shows you how to do that here, as well as giving a bunch of other helpful hints and links.
Check them out - it saves making mistakes that someone else has learned from. 

Oh to have such a cute little bottom!
The ruffles are just done with a rolled hem on my overlocker.

This is the second pair - I am not so sure about the large ruffle around the chest, but she loves them - and they stood up to several hours of pounding in the surf while boogey boarding, without incident, or wedgie! (go on, click the link, you know you want to!)

A perfect fit for my long and lean child

No need to buy size 10 girls bathers that are too 'mature' for her anymore.

So, onto the details.

Before you sew lycra, read this post by Amy at Angry Chicken and make sure you watch the YouTube clip she links to of the man (yes man) sewing in the elastic into the legs. You'll be glad you did.

It's particularly important to use the right needle. Make sure you rneedle is fresh and a STRETCH needle.

Don't do a straight stitch around high stretch areas where you have elastic, such as the arm, leg and neck openings.
Instead do a zig zag or a twin needle stitch so that there is more 'give' in the stitching.
If you have a coverstitch machine then that's clearly the way to go (lucky you!).

Lycra doesn't fray so there's no need to turn things under multiple times - that makes it warp and sit funny.
(again, watch the YouTube thingy).

I joined the chest ruffle into the garment - in hindsight I think I should have sewn it on top of  the completed garment as it created a little too much bulk.

I didn't elasticise the arm openings on these ones, but I will in future to make them sit flatter, they curl a little.

I'd probably also line the bathers to give them a little more strength and body.

This fabric cost me $35 for a metre from Trimmings and Remnants and is really lovely quality - nice and thick.
From one metre I got these two pair and the bottoms and some binding for the smallest child's pair (which I will show you soon), so I think that's pretty good value.

I have to say that overcoming my fear of messing this up was the part of the job that took the longest.
When I dived in with an "it's only the cost of some fabric if I mess it up" attitude, it was pretty easy.

I will definitely be having another go at doing this because I was able to get age-appropriate bathers that fit well and are comfortable for my kids, so they tick all the boxes for me.

Go on, don't be scared, give it a go!


Rachel said...

Those are great! I tried one for my daughter last year. She is a tall 7 y/o. I would love to try one for myself.

Jennifer said...

Great bathers Karen. I have had so much trouble this year with trying to buy a pair of swimmers for Ella that dont give her a big wedgie. I will have to add some to my list to make for next year.

Christy said...

Great work - I'm yet to venture into any stretch sewing, let alone lycra. The look awesome!

willow and moo said...

Fabulous swimmers! I really should make Moo some. I had to buy her size 10 ones too!!! Thankfully I found a simple one for swimming lessons at Target and a cute rainbow striped one at Gumboots, but it did take looking around!

Tanya said...

Well, that was a cheeky and chatty post and very fun to read AND informative. I clicked the wedgie link- gee, that could be a minefield, I restrained from clicking on the 'buttock' link in the wedgie section- because, well, I have just turn the computer on to get an address on White Pages and happened to float by here...
The bathers are classy- I have issues with age appropriatness for a tall girl too- plus I hate branded stuff.

Nikki said...

Love ya work!!! They're perfect for your gorgeous long-and-lean girls! I recently went to Kmart for size 6 bathers... oh dear, age inappropriateness galore.

make it perfect said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE them Karen - great job!

Anonymous said...

they look wonderful!!!

Little Munchkins said...

They look amazing! You did a great job with them.

Nic said...

Oh so gorgeous Karen. I love a red cossie with white spots, i have one myself! I hear you on the computer - I had the same problem until i bought a new one a month ago!

Seaweed and Raine said...

Great cossie's! What a shame you are all out of that gorgeous spot fabric - I would have put in an order for a pair for myself! ;D
Lucky girls!!!
I think you are quite brave taking on swim wear :)

sophie said...

Fantastic Karen, nicer than anything I have seen this summer. I am keen!!

Liz said...

They look fantastic!!
I so get what you mean with age appropriateness - some of the bathers out there for kids are wayyyyyy too mature!!
Thanks for all the links too - will remember to check them out next time I make a pair of bathers.

Corrie said...

gorgeous! hello, when did your twins grow up so much! they look like they could be in year 1 already!!!!!!

all gorgeous, I did a great stretch sewing class down in melbourne in the city! it was great and helped me do a leotard and tutu for keira and then nothing but I think with an ottobre subscription it's good to have no fear and get stuck into the stretch sewing!


Sally said...

I am feeling all inspired... but I might leave it to next summer to give it a go.

Those swimmers look so gorgeous on Miss L. A great skill to have - I so detest the swim wear in the shops for young girls. Highly and so weirdly inappropriate. What is wrong with the retailers of this world???

Anyway - fabulous fabulous - and totally loving the red polka dot lycra. GORGEOUS!