I think it’s time for a progress report.
But first, how about some mental anguish? 😉 As I was procrastinating and freaking out about this project, I had a breakthrough that now seems completely obvious (funny how that happens sometimes).
I expect to create the perfect suit.
Despite the fact that I rarely allow myself to be a perfectionist in my sewing, despite the fact that I understand that skills take time to build and ‘finished is better than perfectly unfinished’, I’m putting a perfectionist’s pressure on myself with this project. Of course I’m procrastinating and freaking out! That’s completely unrealistic! I may have made suits before, but it takes time (and considerably more practice) to become skillful.
I guess it just goes to show that perfectionism can sneak up on anyone.
Once I realized this, I decided it was time to chill out. So, I put on some surfing to distract me and psych me up to sew bathing suits and got going. Now we can talk progress.
This is year three of attempting to create a bathing suit that I love. The last two years have (sadly) been fails. Year one was a pretty spectacular fail due to my not clueing in to some very awful print placement, forgetting to add in the necessary internal support, and the fact that it came out too big. That suit just got cut up to become bottoms.
In year two I made every iteration of the Soma Swimsuit by Papercut Patterns.
I wanted to practice and then hopefully create a tankini by hacking my favorite bikini view. Unfortunately, I have no practice constructing bras, so I couldn’t create the desired support well. I wore the tankini once, but by the end of the day, the structural elements started to come out of their places, so…no good. I also decided I wanted bottoms that offered fuller coverage.
So here we are at year three. I finally found a fabric that I completely love at the Fabric Fairy (she has a lot of excellent swimsuit prints), but I can’t find a tankini pattern that I’m really excited about.
I’m using the bottoms of the Jalie tankini (#3023), but I’m not jazzed about the top. It’s good, but I wanted something a little different. So my solution (which I realize may lead me to another fail) is to use lisette/Butterick 6295, a work-out top that I really like, and to add extra elastic to the neck and arms.
Here’s where I am as of Wednesday evening:
After putting so much time and energy into searching for a pattern I love, I’ve decided that this is what I really want:
I want a pattern designer to create a tankini pattern that has interesting details to set it apart from the crowd, offers full bottom coverage and the option for internal support up top (in the form of underwires). I think you could (please!) also include a sports bra pattern as another view with the same optional underwire support and cool details. That would make me so happy. Jalie? Fehr Trade? Closet Case Files? Someone? Please?
Until then, I’m working away at this as well as several bathing suit experiments that will not be for me. After this, I just want to make something easy for myself. I want to return to my selfish, simple, sewing ways. Well…until I find the next exciting challenge.
- I’ve mentioned how much I like the podcast Thread Cult and I’ve also mentioned the 3-D printing company Nervous System. Guess what? In episode #40, Christine interviews one of the founders of Nervous System about 3-D printed clothing, and it is FASCINATING. The dress Nervous System made is a thing of beauty (and wonder!).
- It’s been so much fun to discover new artists via Instagram. One of my current favorites is Anisa Makhoul (@anisamakhoul on Instagram). I love her saturated colors and cool style.
- Watching surfing movies has helped me make it through the last few winters, but now it’s bleeding into other parts of life as well. I’ve decided it’s my new figure skating–fun to watch when doing projects (as I mentioned above–good for when you are sewing bathing suits!). If you want to start down the surfing rabbit hole, let me enable you. The World Surf League app, which is free, lets you watch surfing live when events are on (or you can go to their website). I follow them on Instagram (@wsl) so I always know when an event is happening. My favorite is when I can watch the women surf.
- I have to dedicate this video to my husband’s family. I think they played this song a lot when he was growing up, but I doubt they did it like this.