Thursday, August 28

the soma swimsuit

I am celebrating four weeks without a glandular fever flare up with some sewing. To be able to sit up straight concentrating for a couple of hours each day is infusing me with joy - that, and the spring air which is whispering to me that better days are here. My heart feels like it will explode with relief that the lighter months have come, the illness ones receeding. I make sure that I inhale my daphne at least twice a day, and stock up on sunshine.

A few months ago, my sister spied this magical mermaidy fabric in the sale bin at The Fabric Store. I decided then that I would make my own swimsuit, as soon as I had the skills. Usually retailing for $28 p/m, I got 0.7 m for $5.

The photos do not capture the shiny scaly shimmer of this print. It is my favourite fabric to date, and the best bit is that I didn't massacre it and therefore will be able to wear it all summer.

The Soma Swimsuit pattern was marked 'skilled', but I decided to go for it despite my decidedly beginner status. I thought I could manage it after making a couple of intermediate patterns recently. It came with clear instructions and diagrams, and I found that Papercut Patterns had put out plenty of photo tutorials for it. I made the Variation 2 bustier top, with high waisted pants.

The XXS small fits me perfectly when on - but getting it on and off is frightening. The first time I tried to get it off I thought: halp, I am going to have to cut this thing off me! It would not budge past my shoulders without creaking. At a later fitting I left a couple of pins in the back, and because it was so tight and twisted going over my shoulders, the pins drove right into my flesh. In my panic, I had this image of me in Emergency wearing an unfinished bikini, for pin removal. That image inspired me to take a deep breath and inch my way out of it. Next time I will size up the back for ease of dressing.
However, it is the loveliest print and fit I have ever worn, so I will gladly spend three minutes dressing myself.

I also made my third version of the Moss Skirt by Grainline Studio. This time, it was in a luxe black wool that I got from the Alannah Hill outlet. Neither of my earlier attempts were as good as I hoped for, but this one came out as close to perfect as I hope to get. The fly worked , the fit was a dream, and the hounds tooth lining was just right. This experience reminds me that if I don't manage it the first time, it doesn't mean I am incapable of it. It means that I have to do it several more times before I do manage it.

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