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