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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tankini Time


With swimming lessons and a trip to the family (in-laws') lake cabin looming, I knew I had to get cracking on  some swimwear. Both are now past (phew! swimming lessons with 5 kids are a chore and a half); worm holes are always stealing my time.

I still do buy some of my kids' clothes (seriously, I don't have THAT much time!), but the girls' swimwear available in the stores appeals to me very little, especially when I know I can make it cheaper.


And when I make it, my girls can be super picky. Trust me, they totally take it for granted that they can have custom designed swimwear - or any clothing!

I bought a NEW swimsuit pattern (Jalie 3023) for variety and because I plan to use this one (or a variant of it) for myself. The oldest girl was sure to like the tank top. However, neither regular swim bottoms, nor a swim skirt (the horrors!) were okay with her. The only thing she could see herself wearing were swim shorts.

So I slept on it. I could use a legging pattern, but what do I do about the lining piece? Hmm... Then I remembered the unitard pattern I've used (Jalie 3138). Aha! I'll use the bottom piece of the unitard and attach the swim skirt waistband to it. It worked perfectly. (See above.) The shorts are entirely symmetrical, meaning the front and back are the same, but it works all the same.

For a detail photo of the unique crotch lining piece, look here at one of the unitards I made previously.






The swim skirts are very cute and I did get to make some for the little girls. There is a contrasting wide waistband, which you can't really see here.



How about the fit? Other reviewers of the pattern did mention the tendency of the front yoke to gape, especially when wet. I found this to be true - but made worse by poor posture or scrawniness.

On two of Sara's (below) suits, I added a little elastic at the top edge, but that wasn't the right solution, as it gathers the fabric but doesn't snug it inward. Next time, I'll try stretching the yoke width-wise when attaching it. Either way, the gaping isn't all that bad. Always striving for perfection, right?

Otherwise, the fit is great. I think all 3 girls are skinnier than the pattern indicates for their size (by height), so there's a little additional ease in the tops.






27 comments:

  1. All the suits look great! I recently purchased that Jalie swim pattern too. K wants a swim skirt so bad. It is equally hard for us to find store suits that fit her modesty. They are so skimpy at the store.

    K has become very particular with her clothing too! She can be so exact in what she thinks I can make for her. It's funny.

    Love your suits.. now if I can just get to make one for K and one for me :) I'll add them to the list and I'll keep in mind the gaping problem

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    1. It's so funny - if you can make ONE thing, they think you can make ANYTHING!

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    2. Hey Joy, I finally made this top up today for K and I had such a head scratching time at the straps. I winged it in the end but kept thinking "man, someone has to have better pics of those straps somewhere out there" After a quick trip to PR I found your review and it pointed me to the right spot. THANK YOU!!!
      I also have the gaping neckline problem on K. Sigh. Still, better than the store versions. I just ordered the new swimshorts pattern Jalie released because K doesn't want a skirt....... ;-)

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  2. You are truly amazing with the amount of beautiful handmade pieces you make for your children!

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  3. Those look great! I have to remember this if I ever want to get brave and sew swimwear. Good job there!

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    1. Thanks! You should do it! It's sooo much easier than you'd think.

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  4. Those look fantastic! Shopping for a new swimsuit is a struggle. Making them is definitely the way to go and all of yours turned out so nice.

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    1. Yes, sewing the suits is much more pleasant than shopping for them - especially for me!

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  5. Those girls look so sweet! It truly makes me chuckle that they have such firm ideas (especially your eldest, I feel!). imagine the hours spent trying to find something agreeable if you had to traipse around the shops for everything, it might actually be quicker to make it! ;) Her shorts sets are really cute but practical too and she looks very happy with them.

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    1. I suppose by making them custom clothing, I'm only training them more and more to have specific ideas about what they want!

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  6. They all look adorable. I like how you've put the colours and fabrics together. Totally cute.

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    1. Thanks! It's especially nice when fabric manufacturers think up those coordinating fabrics for me (as they did for two of these suits!)

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  7. These swimsuits are amazing. My fave is the last one! Your lucky girls!

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  8. These are really cute! I'm sure that one day our kids will appreciate the custom made clothing they get....perhaps when they are adult and can no longer buy clothes to fit! Love the fabric choices and you saved yourself a bundle.

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    1. Thanks! I'm sure I did save a bundle, especially since they were made-to-order!

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  9. Great suits! I have recently learned to swim :O)... I wanted to do a triathlon...I could run it , bike it but ermmm I didn't know how to swim LOL :O).... Now I swim one mile several times a week at the gym. My favorite suit is a tankini type top and running shorts with the built in undie liners... I find they are perfect swim suits! Maybe as your girls get older that may work in for you some way.. make the super cute tops as you do and then the running shorts with built in liners just make it so easy. Stylish and functional and not skimpy! Though the shorts you made your girls are super cute :O)... its just a idea for later if you need a fast fix :O)....

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    1. Awesome learning to swim! Swimming would definitely be my weakest of the three. Good luck! Your suit sounds very practical and comfortable.

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  10. Love the suits:) I thk my girls would live those. I guess I will have to add that pattern to my list!

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    1. Not another pattern in the list ! (:

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  11. Your girls look happy and ready to go swimming in their new suits. What a lot of sewing! That is a wonderful swimsuit pattern. I may have to add it to my collection.

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    Replies
    1. It really is a great pattern. I haven't been disappointed with Jalie yet.

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  12. Oh my gosh, all your girls are adorable. They'll appreciate that custom made clothing one day!

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    1. Thanks! And so will yours, I'm sure!

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  13. Oh goodness, these suits are all adorable. I like Sarah's little swim shorts, but the skirts are just too cute as well.

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  14. These came out so well! It's so much fun, (and so cheap) to make suits for kids! :)

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