Soma Swimsuit

Until recently, I had put sewing swimwear in the too hard category. Right up there with sewing bras or shoes. Turns out they are actually surprisingly simple and one of the most rewarding things to sew. The whole way through this whole project I kept saying to myself “I’m making a bikini. I’m actually sewing togs here. Togs! I’m. Making. Togs!”

Soma Swimsuit by Papercut Patterns

I was offered a Soma Swimsuit pattern by Katie at Papercut Patterns (seriously guys, Katie is awesome!), but when she also offered me a browse of her fabric stash, I couldn’t even feign polite reservation … It was heaven!

After a little pep talk to myself (I was daunted by the whole idea of sewing this!), I opted to make the bustier version. I love it! It’s a little puckered in the middle of the top because I did a last minute hack to give my girlies a boost. The pucker disappears when I’m wearing it, but because I’m too shy to post photos of me in a bikini, you’ll have to take my word for it.

Soma Swimsuit

The Technical Stuff This is a great pattern and Katie explains techniques well. I made the XS version, based on my previous makes with Papercut Patterns and it was spot on. If I were to be picky, the cups are a smidge spacious for my little curves, so next time I might attempt blending an XXS cup size with the XS top. I also cut padded inserts from an old bikini and hand sewed them in for a little oomph and also to stop visible high beams when cold.

I was worried that the lack of clasp at the back would lead to  an awkward ‘halfway-out-and-I’m-horribly-stuck-oh-my-gosh-I’m-panicking-and-can’t-breathe’ moment in the bathroom after. But to my relief, they stretch enough that I don’t have to face that situation. And did you know that swimwear fabric was in the dance wear section at the fabric store? Good to know. I would’ve hunted forever.

All in all it’s a great pattern and not as intense as you might expect. Please don’t let yourself be intimidated by this make. It’s surprisingly rewarding for a small amount of effort and doesn’t it sound impressive to say you made your own togs? The simplicity of it will be our little secret though ;)

Saltspring + Sigma = SpringMa

The second dress made for my sister is a combination of my two current favourite patterns. It also came together just in time for FrankenIndie with The Monthly Stitch, so a big hello to any Monthly Stitch visitors! To recap, my sister Kelly is off overseas and needs modest dresses for some conservative destinations. I wanted to help boost her wardrobe for the adventures ahead and offered to make a couple of dresses for her to wear.

Saltspring Dress by Sewaholic& Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns

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Sewing for Travel

My sister, Kelly, is about to embark on some overseas travel and isn’t one for sticking to the usual tourist traps. She wants to eat with locals, wrangle language barriers and thoroughly explore a rich new culture. Such fun!

Kelly will be in places that dress modestly, which she will need to respect if she doesn’t want to draw gasps of horror everywhere she goes. The dress code essentially boils down to “no shoulders, no knees, and no skin in between”, which sounds simple enough but was proving a challenge for this intrepid explorer.

So Rosie Miller (another sister) and I collaborated to make Kelly a couple of dresses that would keep her feeling fab and cool in the heat. Rosie generously provided some gorgeous cotton fabrics from her stash, while I got sewing.

First up was a Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns, but altered to a mid-calf length.

Mid calf Sigma dress by Papercut Patterns | Offsquare.com

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Refashion: Leather Belt

You know those purchases that you get home but never wear? This belt was one of those. I bought it about a decade ago on a whim, but the leather is just too thick. I tried it on with dozens of outfits but it just never ever looked right.

One wide leather belt cut into three. Who would've thought?!So I got ruthless. The design means it was perfect to chop into three strips, although if that failed I was game to unravel the leather and try plaiting it. Continue reading