Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Splash redux - pink palm trees?

One of the Sewing Lawyer's extra-curricular activities is swimming - twice a week, month in, month out. I swim in a master's swim club. It is hard work and it is early in the morning. The trick is not to think about how much you would prefer to stay in your nice warm bed. Set the alarm, get up, and go.

Anyhow, swimming pools are hard on swimsuits. For years I bought suits and had to replace them annually or more frequently if by mistake I bought one that had any lycra-laden fabric in it. Swimming pools are especially hard on lycra.

Old suit
Then I was lucky enough to buy some 100% poly swimsuit fabric at the Fabric Flea Market one year (2010 according to this post). And I snagged a bit more similar stuff the following year. In 2012 Jalie 3134 came into my pattern stash. And I made a suit.

Last month it served notice that it is reaching the end of its life. That is more than 3 years worth of swimming twice a week! The Speedo fabric is still going strong, but the lining (100% nylon) ripped so badly I ended up cutting it out of the CF piece. I'm still wearing the suit, but ... it was time for a replacement.

I present to you my pink palm paradise swimsuit!
Replacement suit

It's pretty perfect (with PALM TREES!). My lane-mates will be all befuddled when I show up in a not-blue swimsuit.

(Though I found I had a bitty scrap of the Speedo fabric left too - so I cut out another blue one too.)

Technical info:

This fabric is slightly stretchier both in the length and the width than the Speedo blue so I cut it per the pattern whereas the blue one was lengthened (per my 2012 post).

I had mostly run out of 1cm (3/8") elastic, which the pattern calls for, but had plenty of 7.5mm (1/4") elastic in stash so I used that instead. To be honest it doesn't seem that much different.

I used my coverstitch machine with wooly nylon in the looper (tension 3, 3, 0, stitch size 3.5). I had to use the narrow setting due to the narrow elastic. It's not perfect but at 6am there are very few sharp eyes watching out for wobbly stitching.

I had everything in stash except lining. I had to go to a fabric store to buy fabric! But I came away with only 100% nylon swimsuit lining, cut it out the same day and now I have extra in stash for the next time. My stash-busting virtue is intact.

You may hear a bit more from me in the next few weeks as I'm on my annual 5 week leave from work, in which I sew, knit, curl, swim, ski and otherwise loaf. I'll leave a bit of time for blogging.


  1. I love your swimsuit - those pink palm trees are so much fun! And it fits you beautifully too. Great job!

  2. It looks great! I may have to look for all poly swimsuit fabric in New York next week. :)

  3. Great job on the swimsuit. I've never made one but now I am very tempted.

  4. Great looking swimsuit!.. great fit. Those straps look so comfy. I have recently bought two Jalie swimsuit patterns now to get brave and try making one. Love the palm trees... kudos for getting up early and getting in the pool!

  5. The suit looks great on you! Good job. :) I'm a bit jealous of your 5 weeks off!

  6. Interesting post! I got as far as buying, printing and sticking together the same Jalie swimsuit pattern and even bought fabric and lining fabric...but I think I've lacked the courage to get started! I need a new swimsuit and trying to get a RTW one is difficult because I'm tall. You've given the the kick I needed to start cutting out...a challenge is a good thing and it's good to force yourself out of your comfort zone, isn't it?