Firstly, allow me to highlight the very unofficial but much relied upon product making this blog post possible:
With that said, I will introduce the topic of this blog post:
Yes, dear readers, the four letter word in every woman’s wardobe.
For decades I got by with nothing more than a servicable, black, one piece suit which I would slither into only under the most dire circumstances, perfecting my phenomenal out-of-body transference skills by chanting in my head, “I am not here. I am not half naked. The tag on this Mircalesuit said I would look 10 pounds thinner. I do look 10 pounds thinner, don’t I?”
At 5 years old I was perfectly fine running around in one. Who needs clothes when there are purple bikinis with pineapples on them, right? Yet, by 15 years of age I wouldn’t be caught dead in one. At 25, I might be seen out of doors in one, but not for long and I certainly wouldn’t be caught dead being photographed in one. Somehow, here I am at 35, not only wearing them with ease, but building a collection of them. Cheetah print bikini. Coral ruffled tankini. Grape Koolaid colored halter neck a la Bettie Page. Check, check aaaand check. Now to add, a proud owner of a s***suit I made with my own hands. Which I am about to show you… photographed, posted on a public website for all to see, shared with the world.
Really??! Is this the Ashlee I have known my whole life talking? Well, yes, dear self, it is. And how did I get to this point?
Believe me, it isn’t easy. I’m being a little goofy about it. But for me this is kind of a big deal.
I moved to Florida and had to adapt to the beach going way of living if I wanted to have a social life of any kind. I saw 70 year old women, pregnant women, little women, ugly women, gorgeous women…all of them on the beach seemingly enjoying their lives, wearing all kinds of s***suits. Why shouldn’t I?
As I got more active in the sewing blogosphere I saw all kinds of sewists making the cutest, sexiest, prettiest, sassiest, most well-fitting, most fun s***suits I’d ever come across. Everyone seems to be making them. Again: Why shouldn’t I?
Ladies, I know you know what I’m talking about when I say there at least 100 reasons we have had both gifted to us and conjured up by ourselves throughout or lives as to why we would decline such a grand opportunity, right?
Then, sometime during May the Curvy Sewing Collective announced June would be Swimwear Month and it was kind of the kick in the pants (or should I say bikini bottoms) I needed.
Here it is the July 4th holiday weekend, June ended days ago, and I had yet to blog about my creation. Well, frankly, I didn’t think I was in the mood to take selfies. Not in my s***suit, at least. I had plenty of excuses. I didn’t have time to shave my legs in the morning. I wasn’t tan enough. I had recyclables to sort. People will see my stretch marks and my thighs touching. People might say mean things like what happened to Jenny. I made these excuses basically until I was so sick of hearing them I just looked in the mirror and said “WTF?! You’re alive, right? Your life isn’t miserable! Put on your damn SWIMSUIT girlfriend, and go show some people what you made!”
So I got myself some spray-on tan, put on some lip gloss and broke out the old selfie stick.
I had a lot to learn about some standard operating procedures for sewing lycra. Slippery stuff it is! The series Curvy Sewing Collective did on the topic of swim construction was extremely helpful, no matter what figure type you have. I used this pattern from Mimi G for Simplicity. It has a good size run, but honestly it may be made for ladies more well-endowed in inverse proportion to my own self. If I am to do it again, I do need to adjust for a little more room up top and less on the bottom. Otherwise, it’s a well made pattern with clear instructions and simple assembly. I added a shelf bra inside and slashed open the ruffle pattern piece to give myself some extra flutter, but otherwise it’s a very quick and dare I say fun project.
Now that I have accomplished the last sewing project I ever thought I would do, I am embarking on a project for the remainder of the Summer that comes from Gillian at Crafting A Rainbow, #sewingdares! I have challenged my friend Riva La Diva blogging goddess extraordinaire. We are each making a version of the same challenge, so it’s double trouble for sure! More to come on that at the end of the season…