June 28, 2010

Proof of concept

Right now, it's that particular sticky summer weather, which seems to leach away all your energy. Of course, it doesn't get to really impressive temperatures here in the Netherlands, but other people, who have reasons to know, have ensured me that the humidity makes both heat and cold have more impact.
Why am I complaining about the weather yet again? Well, I need a bit of an excuse for slacking on the pinstripe project, don't I? At least you guys have almost brought me around to the idea of making a dress out of it... Goodbye practicality, hello fabric origami/tetris!

So, this weekend, I started work on another project which has been on my mind and planning for a long time: a retro bathing suit! I think I have wanted to make something like this (please excuse me for the very rough little sketch) for about two years now, being held back first by a lack of proper machinery and later by a lack of time.
I made the pattern (based on a stretch body sloper made last year), cut out the pieces, some in the lining and all in black lycra, planning to use both the matt and the glossy side. Today, I started assembling, only to be disappointed almost straight away.
As it turns out, this lycra, which has been in my stash for at least a year, is of a particularly nasty quality. Its worst feature just has to be that of 'recovery', or, more to the point, the lack of it. What I mean by this is the ability of the fabric to resume its former shape and look after having been stretched out. A quality one would look for in a fabric for a bathing suit, I would say. A quality which this particular piece of lycra sadly lacks... It already showed some odd bulges just from holding it, so you can imagine what happened when I tried on my half assembled bathing suit.
This is it, so far. I think the fit is basically OK, but I will need to tweek it a bit. The inseams on the panty bit need to be shortened, so they won't show under the skirt bit. The whole bottom, panty and skirt front, should be lengthened by about 2 cm because I like the length the way it is now, but I haven't hemmed anything yet. I'm not so sure about the cut-out at the back. It seems too wide, but it's really hard to judge it without assembling the rest of the top and applying all the needed elastic edging. And I'm certainly not going to waste more time, energy and supplies on an item which I'll never wear.
Last Friday, I was given a gift certificate for the local fabric store. So it shouldn't surprise you that right now, I'm feeling really tempted to grab it and run to the store for some proper lycra (I may have to go with a two colour look though, most lycras don't have a matt reverse side)


  1. Can't wait to see your finished project!

  2. hola no hablo ingles pero me a gustado mucho tu block espero sigas asi con tu ropa que haces.

  3. Your design looks very promising - shame about the fabric, maybe the lycra content has perished a bit with time. At least now you can cut your new lycra with confidence, and use this one for testing your stitching, etc!

  4. The suit looks great! It may turn out to be a blessing in disguise that this is your practice run.

    Also, if you're looking for spandex this is a great source:

    What kind of stitches are you using for this super stretchy knit?