Monday, 24 October 2016

A Summer Sophie Swimsuit

I've got something very topical to share with you today on this wintry blustery Monday. Or not.
I don't know what it is about October; maybe its the nights closing in, or the colder weather, but it does terrible things to my sewjo, or sewing mojo if you will. My list of sewing projects for the autumn/winter grows and grows and yet it feels like too much effort to actually start one.
So whilst I try my best to regain it, in the meantime I have something I finished back in August to share with you. Unfortunately I'm not going to be modelling this one for you... Mr Makes wasn't oh-so-keen on the idea, and given the average temperature currently I don't fancy standing in my little courtyard garden in a swimsuit.
The Sophie swimsuit is by Closet Case Files, and is available in two styles, a full swimsuit and a bikini with high waisted bottoms. As this was my first ever attempt at a swimsuit, and the first time in a long time that I've sewn with stretch fabric, I decided to enrol in the online Sophie workshop. The cost is $49 (£38, at least at the time!), which seemed a lot when I had just finished paying for a honeymoon, but does also include the pattern. Heather is a brilliant teacher, and goes through each bit in plenty of detail so I found it completely invaluable and as a result found it quite an easy sew!
The best bit I found was the first lesson when she talks in detail about each material you need (there's a lot!) and alternatives if you can't find exactly what she suggests. There's even a list underneath with suggestions on where you can find supplies online for those in the US, Canada and even the UK! Although it can add up to quite a bit with all the bits and bobs you need, I almost have enough to make another entire swimsuit, or a bikini top at the very least. Heather also outlines how you can make the bikini into a long line bikini and options for colour blocking etc, which is something you wouldn't get with just the pattern.
Whilst I found the instructions fairly straightforward thanks to the lessons, I couldn't find a stretch needle, or the patience to wait for one in the post, so I settled for a ballpoint one. That would have been okay if it weren't for the fact it was a little old and blunt, so it kept skipping stitches in the zig-zag stitch. As a result, this is a project I am simultaneously proud, and not proud of. I mean, I made a swimsuit! But if you look close, on the inside the stitching is a bit of a mess all round. I also didn't take the advice to spread the weight of the straps through the bra cups, and so they are pulling the fabric awkwardly at the top.
The fit is pretty good generally, I'm happy with the bodice, but the bra cups are a tiny bit on the small size. I think I would go up a cup size on the next one, or just a half, but take out a lot of fullness from the centre. 
So there we have it, my first attempt at a swimsuit. whilst I'm not sure how much wear this one will get as the fit could be better, I will definitely be using this pattern again and for all my swimsuits in future!
Emily Kate.