Sewing swimwear 👙

Hey guys,

Wow that was a long unintended break! I do find it takes a lot of effort to write a blog post sometimes, but once I start, I really get into it!

Today I’m going to talk to you a bit about one of my most recent makes which is the Cottesloe Bikini by Megan Nielsen.

I’d never sewn with swimwear or active wear fabrics before, but I actually found it really easy. If you have a bit of experience sewing with jersey, you’ll find this no bother at all 😁

For my bikini, I used a swimwear fabric from Crafty Sew and So which I’d had in my stash for over a year! It felt very satisfying to finally use it!

I decided to make view D of the pattern which is the high waisted pants and bikini top. I really like the fact that the pants cover up a lot, but you’re still wearing a bikini (if you get what I mean!)

I think I had 1m of fabric and I definitely had quite a bit left, so I think the estimation on the pattern is pretty accurate.

I fully lined my bikini in recycled nylon from Sew me Sunshine and I really like this finish. You don’t have to fully line if you don’t want to, but I was paranoid the fabric would be a little bit see through as it was light in colour.

You also need some different elastics to complete this make, and after a bit of research, I went for rubber elastic as it’s quite long lasting and the brand I went for was also eco-friendly. I got two widths which were 6mm and 20mm. The 20mm is slightly narrower than recommended, but it worked just fine. Both elastics were from James Tailoring and I would definitely buy them again 👍🏻👍🏻

6mm and 20mm rubber elastics

So on to the sewing….

This garment actually comes together really quickly and the pattern is great as it explains how to sew and attach a lining, and it also talks you through how to attach all of the elastic. One thing I would say though is that I will probably change where I sew the elastic in next time as it tends to roll out. I was advised by a friend that I may need to cut the lining slightly smaller and this would encourage the elastic to roll inwards, which would sit better. I’ve also heard that various other patterns have different techniques so it may be well worth checking those out (specifically Friday Pattern Co).

Cottesloe bikini

I’m definitely planning on making another swimsuit/bikini – I’ve recently bought the Sandpiper bikini by Helen’s Closet, so I think I’ll be giving that a try 😁 I never even imagined I’d be able to sew my own swimwear, so needless to say I’m very pleased with this make.

Let me know if you’re planning to make your own swimwear or if anything is holding you back! I promise it’s not nearly as difficult as you imagine 😉

Until next time, take care guys xx

Fabric from: https://craftysewandso.com

Pattern: https://megannielsen.com

Elastics: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/890096983/6mm-activewear-rubber-elastic-oeko

Swimwear lining: https://sewmesunshine.co.uk/products/white-lining-econyl-recycled-nylon-activewear-swimwear-jersey

Lovely lounge wear! (The Stella joggers by Tilly and the Buttons and the Jarrah sweatshirt by Megan Nielsen)

Matching lounge set

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while, but I’m back on the blog today to talk all about loungewear, as it’s what we all want to sew at the moment – am I right?

I resisted the lounge wear craze for a long time as I’ve never been one for really having separate “lounging” clothes (I’m not sure why??). I guess over the last few years I have been wearing jogging bottoms in the house, but they’re just plain ones from Marks and Spencer – definitely nothing special!

As we’ve all been spending a lot more time at home recently, it definitely felt appropriate to start making loungewear, and I wanted to start with the jogging bottoms. Now I had two patterns in mind to choose from for this and those were the Stella joggers by Tilly and the Buttons, and the Hudson pants by True Bias. Predictable I know, but they are popular patterns for a reason!

I do love the look of the Hudson pants, but I was worried about the super fitted leg, and I’ve also heard a couple of people needing to adjust the rise, which I think I would have to do! In the end, these little niggles nudged me more towards trying the Stella joggers which are from Tilly’s book “stretch.”

I’m normally a size 4 in Tilly patterns but I didn’t want these to be too tight so I made a size 5. This turned out to be the perfect choice as although they’re fitted, they’re definitely not tight.

Stella joggers in size 5

I think one of my favourite things about the joggers is the thick waistband – it feels super comfortable and the joggers feel such nice quality!

I used a french terry from Guthrie and Ghani with this amazing tiger print on – I absolutely love it and had no problems sewing with it. If you’re new to jersey, french terry is a great one to try as it’s so stable.

One of the only things I changed in this make was to use eyelets instead of button holes – I didn’t really want to attempt a button hole on a knit fabric, and I also thought that the eyelets give a nicer finish. I also used some of the “anorak and parker cord” from Prym to make the ties.

Prym eyelets

I also had to take a little bit of length off the leg to accommodate the cuff – I found this very unusual as Tilly patterns normally come up a little short on me. I’m 5’6” for reference. I think it was approx 2-3cm that I removed.

One last tip for the joggers is “don’t skip the stabilising pockets stage!” I didn’t have the right interfacing so I just went ahead and made them, but I do think they stretched out a tiny bit. I really don’t mind that much as it’s not noticeable to others and I will only be wearing these at home 😉

So on to the jumper – if you’ve never made the Jarrah sweater by Megan Nielsen before and you prefer a slightly less relaxed fit, I would suggest sizing down, maybe even by two whole sizes! My measurements put me between a size 10 and 12 on this pattern, but I actually make a size 8, and I would still class it as a baggy fit.

I love the Jarrah for the amount of different options it has – this version is the plain sweatshirt which I’ve made three of now, and I’ve also tried the tie front. I’m yet to try the funnel neck or the dropped hem but I’m sure I’ll sew these up at some point.

The standard sweatshirt is a great sew for beginners as it’s very straight forward, but it’s also super satisfying for those looking for a quick sew too! It can also all be done on the overlocker if you have one.

Jarrah sweater in size 8 (standard version)

I love the contrasting ribbing for these makes as it just compliments the colours so well! I got it from The Makers Merchant.

If you’re looking for any other suitable loungewear patterns, I would suggest the Billie sweater and dress by Tilly and the Buttons, the Hudson pants by True Bias and the Hot Coffee jumper by Made by Jacks Mum. The Hot Coffee and the Hudson pants also have male versions which is awesome if you want to go for “matchy matchy” with your other half! 😁

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog and thanks so much for reading! I’ll hopefully be back soon with more makes. Take care and happy sewing xx

Patterns and fabric mentioned:

Tiger fabric – https://guthrie-ghani.co.uk

Ribbing – https://themakersmerchant.co.uk

Tilly and the buttons patterns and Stretch book – https://www.tillyandthebuttons.com

True Bias (Hudson Pants) – https://www.truebias.com

Made by jacks mum (Hot coffee) – https://madebyjacksmum.com

Megan Nielsen (Jarrah sweater) – https://megannielsen.com

Prym (eyelets and cord) – https://www.prym.com

Sewing for kids!

Hi everyone,

I’m back today with a little blog about sewing for kids. I’m aware that this may not be of interest to everyone, but I can assure you, if you have kids yourself or have any children in your life, then making something for them is not only super quick, it’s really fun!

I have a little boy who is two and we’re finally at the stage where he doesn’t grow out of clothes straight away (well not for a little while anyway) 😂 it’s a lot more rewarding knowing that a garment will last him a little longer now.

I’ve made him a few things so far….the first was a pair of tangerine trousers by Sew over it. This pattern ranges from ages 0-24months. It’s so simple, it’s literally two legs and a waistband. Just make sure you get the legs the right way round! 😂

Recently, I’ve been making a couple of Made By Jack’s Mum patterns, namely the Hot Chocolate jumper and the Explorer Raglan Tee. What can I say, I absolutely love these patterns!!! They are super simple but absolutely perfect for little people 😊

Hot chocolate jumper
Explorer Raglan Tee
Explorer Raglan Tee

My little man absolutely loves it when I make him something new – just look at that smile 😉

The amazing thing about both of these patterns is that they go up to age 12!!! That means I will be able to use them for many years to come.

I think the best thing about sewing for kids is how little fabric the patterns actually use. I can buy half a metre and get at least two, if not three garments out of it! Incredible 😊

I’ve just purchased the Made by Jacks Mum double trouble joggers and the free download of the lightning leggings, so I’m excited to try both of those!

As you’ve probably guessed, all of the items I’ve discussed are made from jersey fabrics – I find that this is the easiest thing to sew with for kids as it’s very stretchy and comfortable, perfect for all their “playing” needs 😂 obviously there are kids patterns out there that use woven fabrics, but for now I’m happy sticking to my jersey fabrics so that I can whip up something quick and comfortable.

I hope I’ve convinced you to make some garments for the little people in your life – you never know, giving them handmade clothing may make them appreciate garments a little more and show them that a lot of love goes into handmade items. You could be setting a great example for years to come 😉

Until next time, happy sewing x

Patterns mentioned:

Sew over it – tangerine trousers (www.sewoverit.co.uk)

Made by jacks mum – hot chocolate jumper/top, lightning leggings, double trouble joggers, explorer raglan tee. (www.madebyjacksmum.com)

Hot chocolate jumper made in monster truck french terry and black ribbing from the Makers Merchant. (www.themakersmerchant.co.uk)

Explorer raglan tee made in dandelion jersey from Felicity Fabrics. (www.felicityfabrics.co.uk)

A tale of two pretties – The Sage Brush top by Friday Pattern Company

Say hello to the best friend that I didn’t know I needed 😂 the sage brush top!

Let’s just take a minute to appreciate how cute this top is 😊 I mean check out those poofy sleeves and that little ruffle!!

When this pattern was first released, I wasn’t blown away, but the more versions I saw of it over on Instagram, I couldn’t resist buying it any longer!

One of the best things about the sage brush top is how versatile it can look when made in a variety of fabrics. I made my first version in a cotton gingham which means the sleeves have quite a bit of structure, but I had seen lots of versions in softer fabrics which means the drape is very different.

Construction wise, the Sage brush top is a really easy top to put together, but has a few interesting details. The little ruffle on the front is super easy – it’s just made by sewing some long gathering stitches and pulling them tighter to make a ruffle. It looks so pretty!

The only fiddley bit really is using the bias binding to finish the neckline. You have to catch the folded over binding by “stitching in the ditch” on the front side of the garment. If you don’t manage to catch it quite right, you can always go back over it or use a couple of hand stitches to secure the binding.

So on to my second version….

I made this one in a double gauze from Rico Designs – this fabric is on the expensive side but you definitely pay for the quality. It’s beautifully soft and isn’t crinkled like a lot of double gauzes I’ve seen. It’s super easy to cut and sew, and didn’t seem to stretch out of shape.

I decided to keep the sleeves as per the pattern on this one unlike the first version I did where I chopped about 8cm off. I think I like the longer sleeves to be honest but maybe not if they were more structured – I’ll just have to try it again and see! 😊 I made a size medium for both of my versions and it fits me perfectly.

I love to finish my makes off with a cute label – I used a kylie and the machine label here which says “size me.” 🥰

Overall, I absolutely love this pattern and can envisage many more versions in my wardrobe. I’ll have to experiment and see if I can make a long sleeve version to see me through autumn and winter 😊

Thanks for joining me on the blog today – I hope you have enjoyed what you’ve read! I hope to be back again soon with some more makes!

Take care and keep crafting!

Gemma X

Sky blue cotton gingham from – eternal maker (www.eternalmaker.com)

Rico designs cotton double gauze from – Studio Jepson (www.studiojepson.com)

Size me label from Kylie and the Machine (www.kylieandthemachine.shop)

Well hello there!

My name’s Gemma – I also go by the name @thedalythread over on Instagram, and now on my very own blog! I thought it was about time that I made the most of my little corner of the internet and started sharing my makes and creations.

I’ve always had an affinity for craft and I’ve been drawn to it ever since I was a child. I was lucky to have a Grandma who taught me how to do embroidery and a Granny that tried to teach me how to knit (even though she had a background in dressmaking!)

My passion now is very much sewing and dressmaking, and I love the sense of achievement you get from making your own clothes. I’m still relatively new to this as I only started dressmaking in early 2019. I have a lot to learn but I’m proud of my achievements so far!

Prior to dressmaking, I was really into weaving or tapestry as some may call it. We have several hanging up around our home and I found this a very therapeutic pass time. I’m sure if I ever need a change from sewing (not sure when that’ll be haha) I will pick this up again.

I’ve tried many other crafts in the past and I always want to do all the things!! I wonder if anyone else feels like that? I would love to be good at calligraphy as this is such a beautiful and useful craft. I have all the supplies, just not enough time to practice it. I’ve also tried my hand at needle punch (this is so cool and I wish I could pursue it further), needle felting, paper cutting, wire brooch making, and Pom Pom making. Who doesn’t need a Pom Pom in their life right!? Haha!

Needle punch
Weaving/tapestry

So what does craft mean to me? Well I guess it is an opportunity for me to use my creativity and it is a means of escapism. I can’t really describe how important I find this. Everyone needs that one thing (or several things if you’re lucky) to be passionate about and allow that passion to take you somewhere – my Dad always tells me that and I’m trying to live by it 😊 I also think there is something special about making something with your hands. In a time where technology is everything, using a sewing machine and being able to cut out fabric by hand is so satisfying.

Stay tuned for more crafty blogs – I imagine they will be mostly about sewing and dressmaking, but I’ll try and include other crafts here and there if that interests you! Please leave me a comment and let me know what your craft or hobby means to you and let me know if there’s an exciting craft I have yet to try! I would love that.

Until next time, take care and keep crafting 😉xx