I have never liked shirts - I don’t like wearing them, and I definitely don’t like making them! I don’t think there is a particular reason for it, shirts have just never fulfilled my personal sense of fashion and style: I dislike how I look in them. What’s more, when I started making my own clothes, shirtmaking resulted in being the most dreadful experience from both the patternmaking and construction point of view. Needless to say, I have very few shirt-like garments in my wardrobe.
Earlier this year, I decided to face my hostility towards shirts by making one. I picked this oversized blouse with back pleats as an alternative to a classic shirt. I prepared the pattern, cut the fabric and started sewing, but, after finishing the pleats and attaching the yoke, I put the blouse aside for a few weeks. When I picked the shirt up last month to finish it, I not only loathed sewing the intricate shirt seams, but I also couldn’t imagine when I would wear it. I thought about how much time I had already spent on it and how much more I would waste sewing it. Was all this effort worth it? No! So I binned the shirt and started working on bikinis :)
To date, I’ve made two swimsuits: the Soma one piece swimsuit and a bikini, using two different Burda Style patterns. Sewing swimwear was not as difficult as it had seemed to me in the beginning. The only annoying thing about working with swimwear is to find and put all the haberdashery together, such as special swimwear elastic, lining, fold-over-elastic, bra strapping, bra rings and, in some cases, bikini clasps, but once you gather all the necessary bits, you are good to go! Over time, I’ve collected various bits and pieces which fit into a medium size box: ready to go when spontaneous bikini envy hits me.
For my first bikini I used the Soma swimsuit patterns, bikini variation 1, with the mid-rise bikini bottoms. I used an XS size for both: top and bottom. For the previous Soma swimsuit, I made my own binding and straps, but this time I purchased fold-over-elastic (FOE) from this online shop. Although it was so easy to sew with the FOE, I ended up making a pair of self-fabric bra straps to balance the excess of red colour. Since the fabric is relatively thick, I did not line the bikini, same as most of my ready-to-wear (RTW) swimsuits. Overall, it took me a few hours to complete the project, and I had lots of fun working on something I knew I would like!
Now, all I need is more warm sunny days in Dublin, like today!