Bombshell Swimsuit (+ Perfect Pattern Parcel)

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I’m so excited to be part of the blogger network for Perfect Pattern Parcel #3! PPP offers a great collection of discounted indie sewing patterns with some of the proceeds going to children’s education charities. Included in Pattern Parcel #3 are the following patterns:

Poppy Tunic by Make it Perfect
Water Bottle Tote by Radiant Home Studio
Jorna Tank Dress by Jenna Brand
Staple Dress by April Rhodes
Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files
Bonus pattern: Prefontaine Shorts for Women by Made with Moxie

After my love affair with the Closet Case Files Nettie bodysuit (see makes 1, 2, and 3), of course I was going to make the Bombshell swimsuit. And, no surprise, I love it! Heather is so amazingly talented guys – her patterns so far have just been perfection <3

This is my favorite swimming suit ever. And the only one I’ve felt truly comfortable in. Wearing bikinis has always felt a bit too much like wearing underwear in public for me, but I wore them anyway because one-pieces tended to be boring or matronly. This suit is fantastic because it provides a decent amount of coverage while still being super cute and flattering. It’s so empowering to be able to sew exactly what suits your lifestyle.

This was my first experience with sewing swimsuit lycra, but it went surprisingly well. I used a stretch needle and my walking foot for basting and applying elastic, and sewed the seams with my serger. There were some spots I had to go over a few times with the serger, and I’m pretty sure I left most of my basting stitches in… luckily a busy print and some ruching will hide any number of sewing sins ;)

I got this crazy colorful fabric, along with my lilac lining fabric and swimsuit elastic, from The Fabric Fairy. They have a great selection of swimsuit fabric, including lots of fun prints!

I added cups from an old swimsuit for a little extra shaping. They were easy to sew in, though I may not have gotten them exactly symmetrical.

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And yes, I totally climbed into a creek to get these pictures. I’d been planning on using Barton Springs pool as a backdrop, but it was closed for an indefinite amount of time due to flooding from all the storms we’ve been having lately. So my husband and I took to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, looking for the swimming holes we’d heard were there. We never found them, but we did find this surprisingly pretty little spot underneath a highway bridge. Added bonus: no one else was around to watch my swimsuit photo shoot – I imagine that could’ve gotten kind of embarrassing…

Perfect Pattern Parcel #3 runs through June 13th – make sure to get it before it’s gone!

Buy Pattern Parcel #3

And be sure to check out the following blogs over the next couple weeks for some more great sewing inspiration!

Parcel #3 Inspiration Tour Schedule:
Friday, May 30
Sew Busy Lizzy || Pienkel || SeamstressErin

Saturday, May 31
Design By Lindsay || the Brodrick design studio || Cookin’ and Craftin’

Sunday, June 1
Diary of a Chainstitcher || a happy stitch || Disaster in a Dress || sew Amy sew

Monday, June 2
Idle Fancy || Casa Crafty || Kadiddlehopper || Dandelion Drift

Tuesday, June 3
Our Family Four || Casa Crafty || Cookin’ and Craftin’ || a happy stitch

Wednesday, June 4
Lexi Made || The Quirky Peach || Stitched || a happy stitch || Casa Crafty ||

Thursday, June 5
verypurpleperson || Casa Crafty || sew a straight line || Sewbon

Friday, June 6
Shawnta Sews || Mama says sew || a happy stitch || Cookin’ and Craftin’

Saturday, June 7
Casa Crafty || sewninestitches || ‘So, Zo… What do you know?’

Sunday, June 8
oonaballoona || A Stitching Odyssey || Sew Charleston

Monday, June 9
Sew Sweetness || True Bias || Ozzy Blackbeard

Tuesday, June 10
Welcome to the Mouse House || Sew Caroline || Adventures in Dressmaking

Wednesday, June 11
Peneloping || YoSaMi || sewVery

Thursday, June 12
la inglesita || La Pantigana || Sanae Ishida

Friday, June 13
Seamster Sewing Patterns || Paunnet

 

<3 Lindsay

Pinstripe Sleeveless Archer

Every Archer I make seems to have less sleeves than the one before it… first long sleeves, then short sleeves, and now sleeveless!

I followed Jen’s tutorial on making a sleeveless Archer. You basically just shorten the shoulder seam and take a couple slivers off the armholes. I also made a couple other adjustments to the pattern to make it fit a little better, namely shortening the bodice by 1.5″ and taking in the side seams by .5″ on both the front and back pieces.

I think this is a great summery look that’s a bit preppy without going overboard.

I debated whether or not to leave the collar off. Really I think it would have looked good either way, so I decided to go the route of less work ;)

The pockets are my self-drafted pockets that I use in various sizes for most of the shirts I make (including menswear). I prefer the pointed shape, and I think smaller pockets make the shirt a bit more feminine.

The fabric is a lightweight cotton pinstripe shirting that has such a lovely hand. It was really easy to work with and feels great to wear. Amazingly enough, it’s from Jo-Ann’s! Every once in a while they have some really nice fabric. My local store no longer carries it (it’s from the spring collection), but it’s available online in both the navy/white and red/white colorways.

My husband likes my shirt so much that I’m about to order more of this fabric to make one for him! Don’t worry – we won’t wear our matching shirts at the same time. We’ll save stunts like that for entertaining ourselves in our old age ;)

Thinking of making a sleeveless Archer yourself? Check out what these lovely ladies did for some more inspiration:

How about Katy’s butt ruffle version? Or Lauren’s lovely floral? Kyra’s sashiko embroidered yoke is just gorgeous, but you can’t go wrong with Rebecca’s classic gingham. And I love Tante’s adorable bow pockets!

Endless possibilities! Happy sewing, everyone!

<3 Lindsay

The (Accidental) Nettie Shirt

Nettie number 3! (See 1 and 2.) This was actually supposed to be a bodysuit, but I blithely ignored the suggested amount of vertical stretch the fabric should have. I thought it would be fine because my last bodysuit wasn’t very vertically stretchy either, but I think this one has practically none. Lesson learned.

I was almost finished, the leg binding was on and everything, when I tried it on and realized that crotch was not gonna snap. Or rather, it maybe would, but then the neckline would be pulled indecently low. I thought of adding an extra piece of fabric to make it a bit longer, but I decided to just turn it into a shirt instead.

So I took my rotary cutter to it right above the leg openings (goodbye perfect bindings) and cut a new strip of binding to finish the hem. I’m happy with it, even though it’s not what I originally planned.

I did both the scoop neck and scoop back on this one. Paired with some shorts it’s perfect for summer!

If you haven’t hopped on the Nettie bandwagon yet you should check out this inspiration post Heather Lou just did in preparation for the sew-along. Netties, Netties everywhere! I really want to try that triangle cut-out. Maybe Nettie #4…?

<3 Lindsay

Me-Made-May Weeks 1 & 2 Round-Up

Here’s my first weekly round-up…er…make that bi-weekly. Oops. At least I’ve stuck to my pledge of wearing me-made everyday!

I’ve also been posting my daily outfit pictures on Instagram – find me @designbylindsay!

 Day 1 – Archer shirt

 Day 2 – Lady Skater peplum

Bonus Day 3 – Nettie Dress

Day 4 – No picture, but I wore the same outfit I wore on Day 7

Day 8 – Archer shirt (same outfit as Day 1, but different hair at least)

Day 12 – No picture, but I wore the same outfit I did on Day 5

Wearing me-made everyday hasn’t been hard, but trying to come up with new outfits has been a bit of a struggle. I still need to make more basics: t-shirts, bodysuits, and shorts mainly. Maybe a dress or a blouse. And one day I need to conquer my fear of making jeans as well.
How’s your Me-Made-May going?
<3 Lindsay

Nettie & Tania in NOLA

Last weekend my husband and I took a quick trip to New Orleans for my 24th birthday. Neither of us had been there before, and it’s within reasonable driving distance from Austin, so we figured “why not?”

I made these Tania culottes a few weeks ago, but hadn’t worn them yet because I didn’t have a top that would work with them. Enter the Nettie bodysuit. It really is the perfect accompaniment to skirts/culottes.

Incredibly, I’ve never owned culottes or a bodysuit before. But let me tell you they are both brilliant pieces of clothing. Seriously. I need about ten more of each. So breezy, so comfortable, so practical yet effortlessly chic. The next day I wore jeans and it was really amazing how hot and uncomfortable they were in the New Orleans humidity compared to culottes.

I’ve never been much of a skirt girl because I hate worrying about things like indecent breezes and carefully climbing in and out of cars. They’ve always been more of an occasion piece, and less of an everyday staple. Culottes are set to change that. While they’re not totally foolproof, they certainly decrease the likelihood of flashing passers-by, and when they’re paired with a bodysuit there’s really not much to flash.

The culottes were pretty easy to construct. As many others have mentioned, you definitely want to let them hang overnight before you hem them. Mine grew by a couple inches in some places. Certainly the most time-consuming part of this make is evening out and hemming the two wide circles of the legs.

I cut an XS, and was planning on cutting the length of a L, but I didn’t have quite enough fabric (these are total fabric eaters, by the way). I was worried they would be too short, but they ended up being a great length. They look a lot shorter on the model than they do on me, which I’m assuming is because I’m 5’4″, and not model-height.

As if it wasn’t enough to discover the wonders of culottes and bodysuits while making this outfit, I also discovered my new favorite fabric: rayon challis! I don’t usually go for big, bold prints, but I fell in love with this red floral from The Common Thread in Austin. This fabric is so soft and lovely and drape-y, but also very breathable.

(In the pictures below you can see how the culottes look with a tucked-in cami instead of a bodysuit: not so good.)

I’ve already sung the praises of the Nettie dress in this post, and the bodysuit is just as great. For this version I went with the scoop neck, high back, and short sleeves.

The fabric is a lightweight cream-colored jersey from Jo-Ann. So lightweight that it’s actually see-through. In order to keep my bra hidden from view I doubled up on fabric in the top half of the bodice. I basically added the optional shelf bra, but without any cups or elastic.

The bodysuit fits great, is easy to get in and out of, and is super comfortable. I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I’ve never worn a bodysuit before, but I really love it.

New Orleans was a blast! It’s such a beautiful and culturally rich city. And those lax liquor laws…let’s just say I’m all in favor of drinking cocktails from plastic cups while looking out over the Mississippi. And if you want to buy beer at 8am on Sunday morning, hey, why not?

<3 Lindsay