Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jan 28th

Yep, today has been my Birthday. My sweet sissy came by to watch my girlies while I did some errands. I'm totally tired because I stayed up too late last night. Hoping to get all the laundry and dishes in hand before the hubby comes home. Probably gonna play Ticket to Ride or Catan tonight. We had celebrated early and had dinner just the 2 of us, about a week ago, so no big date night tonight. Its been a good day. I caught a short nap with my youngest and wish I could still be sleeping :-) 

And for my birthday I'll share a photo of me at a very young age. In this photo I'm wearing a dress-up 'bride' outfit that my Grandmother made from the leftovers of my Aunt's wedding gown. My Grandmother had also made my Aunt's wedding gown. You see folks, it was destiny that I be a seamstress. My Grandmother, my Mother, and now me. Love it!!! :-) 

So this is me, as a little princess. Spoiled by my sewing Grandma, and my sewing Mother. Its so much fun to be able to spoil my girls today :-) Speaking of which.. I need to post what I made for Jubilee for Christmas...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mother - Daughter Suits

This was an order for Mother and Daughter suits.

In this photo, the black skirt is not actually the bottoms that were ordered with the suit...its just a skirt that makes a perfect photo prop, no matter which top I put with it :-) 

And the top, just like the little girl's scrunch top, without ties... I've done it with a woman's size too...  The reason I came up with not having ties on a girl's suit was my imagining that children would play with the strings. That they might easily become untied, or pulled on, even become a hazard in the water. You never know with kids! Anyway, I've taken that same idea and applied it to an adult's top. Not for the same reasons though. The reasons I tried an adult's top is in theory it was going to be easier to construct than the original scrunch top, and in theory it would take less fabric, because I knew it took some less to do it this way. Well, the using less fabric thing didn't pan out like I thought it would, at least it didn't make as big a difference as I had hoped. And I'm still fine tuning the making process. Though it does seem to be a simpler design. The only thing with this one, is that the length is not adjustable. I guess its all in how you prefer it!

This one had lining in only the chest, and in the front. I've tried a few different ways. Either a whole shelf lining in front and back, or a full front lining. I'm liking the full front lining at this time. At least that is the simplest, most strait forward way of going about it.
 This original style done first by my Mother, many years ago, now appropriately named for her, the Donna Marie.

As always, thanks for reading and looking! :-) Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A suit for Christmas

Each Christmas we draw names with my husband's family for Christmas. This year I got my Sister in love, Amy. She's the only girl in the family, and being a girl myself, I like it when I can draw either her, or my Mother in love. Its just more fun for me to get to think of something girly to give! I decided to make her a new swimsuit. I knew she had grown a lot (mostly in height) and would need a new suit for the coming Summer. Her mom made her last suit and did a really good job! I knew a suit was going to be a good deal of work, but it would also make a great gift! I had 2 pieces of scrap fabric, where there was just enough to squeeze this out. And the best part was, that they went together pretty good!!

I know it doesn't look quite right on my size 8 dress form. And there's a reason for that. Though Amy measured a perfect size 8, she was a perfect size 8 in everything but height. At a 60" tall, she hits the height for a size 14. I had to bunch the top even more than it was, for it to look anywhere near right on the dress form. It still looks a little long for it. Since I'm still experimenting with this style, I hoped that I got the length right for Amy. 

And what do you know?? It turned out perfect!! 

See what I mean? Tall and slender! Wears a 14 slim because of her height, but in all other respects, she measures an 8! Talk about trying to throw me off lol! I was just happy it fit her right! :-) 

Scrunchables! Love it! So this is my new girl's design that I've been working on. It coming along!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Water Birth Suit

Inspired again by questions from my customers :-) I love you guys! You keep me writing!!! A customer wrote today asking about what I could do for her as she's going to be having a water birth with her soon expected child. She asked about a skirt with panties that snapped at the crotch. I wondered how comfortable that would be. I gave her some pictures of what I'd done for my most recent birth, which was a water birth.

I simply bought a maternity tank and panty off of ebay, for like $15. Yeah, lets do this as smart as possible! Am I right? 


I knew I wanted a pair of panties and a skirt, but I wanted them separate, not together. So when it came time to push a baby out, I could still be wearing a skirt and not feel like I was naked. Brilliant right? I thought so! I got this cute brown suit off of ebay and paired some solid brown fabric with it, making a skirt with a comfortable belly band. 

  I didn't finish the top edge on this one, whereas usually I do. I didn't care if it was finished or not. The fabric won't fray anyway. Its folded down a little in the picture because my mannequin is unrealistically tiny in the waist lol! I was not that tiny near my due date! So I filled the belly band out nicely.

I also couldn't stand that the top had a peep hole in the chest, or that the neckline was so low. Even in my own home, with only my birth team around...I still didn't want my chest hanging out. Not acceptable at all! Well, it would have made me feel immodest anyway! To fix that little problem, I cut out a piece of the solid brown fabric, hemmed the top edge, and tacked it in, in such a way that I could untie the peephole and pull the brown fabric out of the way to nurse. 

 I know some may ask.. "Why didn't you just wear a maternity top that you had made??" I really had to ask myself the same question. I mean..I make swimwear.. so why buy swimwear? Kinda didn't make a lot of sense. But ultimately I wanted to buy a tank with thin shoulder straps. I didn't want any extra fabric around my shoulders/neck/back. Because I know that when I'm working through contractions I get hot flashes that make me feel like I'm gonna pass out. So my birth team puts cold cloths on my neck/back/arms/face to help me feel cool. And that's why I didn't want extra fabric that was just gonna be all wet!

 And that's how it was done! I love, love, loved the skirt!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Heavy weight

In my fabric choices you'll find some that are labeled "Heavy Weight" Well, what does that mean? Today I'm going to talk about heavy weight swim fabrics. These are different than the standard 6oz fabrics that I grew up with, these are 8oz fabrics. What are the differences? I'm about to tell you. 

In 2012, after 20+ years of being around swim fabrics, I thought I knew something about them... Something, maybe, but everything? No. My first encounter with heavy weight fabric was when the supplier sent me what I thought was the wrong fabric. In truth, I may not have read through all the details before purchasing. What happened was I had bought a small piece of yardage, in a print that I liked. I did this to get a feel for what kind of fabric it was before buying more. Because, as I've said before, its difficult to tell the type/quality of a fabric when you're just looking at a picture online. When I received the fabric in the mail, I was really happy with the quality and went to order some more... only this time when it came, it was a heavier, thicker weight. Also the texture was different, slightly more rough on the outside. It doesn't give to stretching as easily as a medium weight fabric does. It still stretches, but with more resistance than a medium weight fabric would. 

This was the fabric I ordered

I really liked the print, it was different!! Like some kind of abstract art lol! 


And I think this one came at the same time 

My first though when I received my first piece of heavy weight fabric was "Oh no! I can't use this! Its heavy, its thick, it doesn't stretch as easily.. What will it do to my machine?!" So for months, it sat and I did nothing with it. I tried to avoid buying anymore because I didn't know what I'd do with the pieces I already had! Eventually I made something for me out of the 2nd picture. Just because I liked it so much. And also because I was still playing with the design of the nursing suit. While still in the testing stage of a design I try to use a fabric that I don't think will be good for other things. This turned out really cute, but as it was a heavy weight, it didn't want to give much grace for stretching and was rather difficult to get over the shoulders when taking on and off! There was something about the bunching up of the fabric at the sides that made it all the more difficult... It wouldn't be as bad if it were not a scrunch top, but a simple tank.

I've come to learn that these fabrics are great for some things and not so awesome for others... For example, they may not be so great for a scrunch top (regular, or nursing, and definitely not maternity!! That would be the only one I would say for sure not to do, is Maternity.) The best use for them is the style we've called "The Ice Skater Suit" And if you were to use it for a girl's suit, it would be to your best advantage. Why? Well, when handling the fabric one day, just observing it. I noted that it was more durable, and if I took my finger nail and tried to scratch it, snag it, rough it up... it refused to snag! Incredible! Here was the answer to the problem of being around pools/rocks and not being able to sit on concrete or a rock without messing up your suit! This heavy weight fabric would last through so much more than a medium weight fabric ever could! This was an amazing discovery!! I was SO EXCITED!!! Here's a girl's suit done in a heavy weight fabric. 

A girl's Ice Skater Suit

 My friend Corinne ordered this suit from me and she writes this:

"Oh my goodness, Savannah! I got home tonight and my suit was here. I tried it on, and it is absolutely lovely! It fits so nicely, and I like the fabric so much. The gold and blue are so pretty! And, I really like how heavy the fabric is; it makes me feel like it will last and that I don't have to be so careful and dainty with it. I am very pleased; thank you so much for making it so pretty!" :-)

She's right about that fabric. Its gorgeous and durable! :-) Thanks for reading y'all!!