Swimsuit sewing



I have avoided sewing a swimsuit sewing the past several years for many reasons.  Chief among those reasons being that I don’t really swim, I sunburn easily, and before now, I’ve not been able to figure out how to keep tiny people safe in the water, especially when I don’t really swim.

Now my two oldest have had a few rounds of swim lessons and can be a little bit more independent in the water, it’s about time for me to have a swimsuit that’s not falling off of me …

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Summer pajamas and tees



Do you sew for the glamour of creativity or for very practical reasons?

As creative as I like to be in the sewing room, there are times when I just need to get a job done.  There are times when a Bleached Marigold Dress, Blockprinted Catalina Dress, or a Bird Tessalation Dress are simply too fussy and time consuming.  And to be honest, it’s good once in a while to take a break from my attempts at innovation and just do some fast, down and dirty kind of sewing.  I, like my Great-Grandma before me am not the type to sit and twiddle my thumbs at the end of a big project.  I’d prefer “resting” by working, although in a different sort of manner.


This weekend, I decided to do make up a large batch of pajama tees and shorts and some extra tees for my two oldest boys.  #1 outgrew all of his pajamas some time ago, so all of this has been much needed.  I recently bought a bunch of boy friendly fabric and it was high time that I cut into everything.  So I cut, and I cut, and I cut some more.  I actually had no idea how many things I had cut out until I sorted all my little stacks when I got to my sewing group on Saturday.  As it turned out, I had 12 things things cut out.  I was able to complete 8.8 in 3 hours.  I couldn’t finish all of them because I ran out of elastic (hence the .8) and cut out neckbands with the wrong stretch (my boys have big heads, so it ends poorly for all when neckbands don’t have enough stretch).


I set about following my procedures I’m assembled for batch sewing and I had a very easy, stress free time of making tees and pajama shorts.  I sincerely love how batch sewing affords you the opportunity to really fine tune your efficiency and improve your construction methods.

I read a bunch of material this week on industrial sewing, and though I had to stop because the particular author was very critical of home sewers, it was fascinating  to think about the ways that you can do the best job you can in the time you’ve been allotted.  I certainly appreciate the difference in our stations–she’s trying to make a living by motivating the elves working for her.  If elf #1 does her own thing in her own sweet time, the whole line breaks down, and the customer has to wait.  For home sewists, we’re chief, cook, and bottle washers in our sewing rooms, so we can’t possibly produce as much as a whole fleet given ultra fast machines and stacks of fabric at their stations can.  I would love to sew in a place where I had an industrial machine and people giving me already cut-out projects, but then again, if I was doing that, I probably wouldn’t enjoy my work as much as I do.


The tee pattern is Blank Slate Pattern’s Tee X3, and the pajama shorts I drafted myself from a pair of my son’s woven shorts.  I finished up everything plus a couple more tees for good measure.

At the end of it all, I’m very glad that everyone has drawers full of clothes that fit again and that I can move on to projects I can take a little more time doing.  At least for a few months.

Do you ever do large batches of relatively simple sewing for the sheer practicality of it all, or do you prefer to do one project at a time?
Elizabeth Made This


My full review of TeeX3 is here.


Bleached Marigold dress

After months of dreaming about shirtdresses, I think I finally made one that I am really really going to enjoy wearing. This Bleached Marigold Dress is another example of my love of taking a good pattern and mixing it up with a whole lot of DIY. I started with a cotton/linen curtain panel that was…

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Mississippi Ave Dress

  Of all of the challenges for The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month, there’s nothing that strikes more fear in my heart more than this week’s theme–New to Me.  I’m very cautious about what patterns I choose outside of my Burda/Ottobre/Jalie bubble of warm comfort.  I check, double check, and triple check the measurements, other…

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Surprising things about upholstery

The couch is finished!  After a couple of rounds of the wrong staples (see #3), my husband and I pulled a late night finishing everything off.  I’m really glad I went for the contrasting fabrics.  They both have such unique texture and they match the bookcase well.  The couch has really started giving me a…

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Marigold Peplum and Jalie yoga pants

For my contribution to The Monthly Stitch’s Separates Challenge for Indie Pattern Month, I made up Blank Slate Patterns’ Marigold Peplum and paired it with a severely modified version of Jalie 3022 (yoga pants). Perhaps I’ve had shirtdresses on the brain for a while, or maybe it really is true that nearly everyone who is a…

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Eraser printed leggings

Good old pink erasers–the big blocky kind that you used it school are great for printing.  You can easily carve them, and pretty sturdy, so you don’t have to mount any stamps you make from them.  But this tutorial requires no carving.  Using the parallelogram shaped sides of the erasers, this fast and easy tutorial…

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Baby rompers X2

I really can’t get behind the whole jumpsuit trend where adults are concerned.  As a 5th grader, I remember having a floral jumpsuit and being rather uncomfortable wearing it…that puppy trapped sweat like nothing else.  And trapped sweat in Houston is a gross clammy thing to be avoided. But for kids, I say bring on…

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