Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Rose the One

Some months ago I saw a Dolce and Gabbana rose print swimsuit online.  It was the perfect swimsuit - the swimsuit of my dreams.  Beautiful and stylish and modest and exactly what I had been looking for.  The problem was, it had a $700 price tag.

I searched for more D&G swimsuits (self-torture) and found this one, equally as beautiful:

I wondered.  Could I make a replica?  I could sew the design, certainly.  But could I find fabric in this print?  Swimsuit fabric?  Answer - yes!

Spoonflower.com is a website where you can design your own fabric or buy fabric from other independent designers.  It can be printed on just about any type of fabric:  silk, cotton, linen, even poly nylon spandex a/k/a swimsuit fabric.  I searched for "redoute rose" and found a designer who had a print that was somewhere in between these two D&G prints and as close to exact as I could hope.

Redoute Rose Print Fabric on Spoonflower by Peacoquettedesigns

To put my suit together I used a Beverly Johnson Pin Up Girls Pattern for the top and drafted my own bottoms with the knowledge gained from Beverly Johnson's craftsy class - Make your own panties.

Image result for three sisters bikini pattern


Here's how my knock-off version turned out*:
*I have a "no swimsuit pictures of myself on the internet" policy.  It's not because I have body issues.  I like my body.  It's because it does not empower me to show myself in swimsuit to the internet.

I loved custom drafting the bottoms.  They are exact to my measurements, so the fit is perfect.  I needed the leg cut slightly higher than the D&G version to be comfortable and the waist is lower on mine, because it is more flattering to my body shape.  I studied the photos of the D&G suit and mimicked the seaming in the back, front and sides.  The seaming adds diagonal lines that are very slimming and flatten the stomach.  Genius D&G.
My top is only similar.  I could not find a pattern that matched exactly.  I'm pleased with the fit of it and it is very comfortable. 

I ordered all my supplies from Sew Sassy Lingerie supplies.  I always use them for lingerie supplies.  They have all the linings, elastics, underwires, channeling, hooks, rings, etc.

If you've never tried making your own swimsuit, I highly recommend giving it a go.  It's a surprisingly quick and easy project and you can not only have a custom fit suit, but at a considerably lower price than $700.  In fact, all total, with fabric, supplies and even fabric and supplies for the test suit I made first, I spent about $50.

Make something beautiful!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Burda PJs

Burda Style, English edition, is my favorite magazine.  Not only is it a bargain - about $6 and issue which comes with 30-40 patterns and variations, but it is also a great fashion, sewing and crafting resource.  I never part with them - I've got years worth expanding in my basement - and I never seem to get far enough ahead to actually sew a garment in the same month as I receive the issue.  That said, the December 2016 is one of my most favorite.  They featured a beautiful set of patterns for knit and woven pajamas - slips, camisoles, pants, etc. 

I was shopping at Soma and they have wonderful, comfortable, beautiful pajamas - that are, in my opinion, way over-priced.  Every time I've picked up a pair of their cute PJ shorts or pants and tried to talk myself into buying them, I simply can't, knowing how easy it is to make them.

So I made them using Burda 12-2016-110.  If you're unfamiliar with Burda, that is December 2016 issue, pattern number 110.

The fabric was in my stash from Girl Charlee fabrics.  It's a cotton lycra blend that feels very similar to the fabric Soma uses for their PJs.  The stretch lace was also in my stash from Sew Sassy Fabrics - I bought one of their grab bags at an excellent price and it was stuffed with all widths and colors of beautiful stretch lace.

If I round on the high side I spent just under $10 for these.  Soma's are $32.

This is an excellent pattern - very versatile.  It's designed for wovens, but can be used for knits too.  The inseam without lace would be about 2.5" to 3", but with the lace mine are 4.5" - and I prefer the longer length.  They could easily be upgraded with pretty details like piping on the side seams or a ribbon tie waist band.

I used a couple of techniques I learned from Alison Smith's Lingerie class at Craftsy
  • First is the lace.  I sewed it wrong side to wrong side with a straight stitch and the folded the right side of the fabric up and stitched the top edge of the lace and the fabric with a zig-zag.  It makes a very neat, strong seam.

  • Second is the waistband/elastic casing.  I folded and pressed the waistband allowance then edge-stitched the top edge and then stitched the bottom edge.  It makes a sturdier casing.

Customizable, gorgeous, comfortable PJS are within your grasp! 

Make something beautiful!