Something other than a #9! Number 8 on my holiday to-do list: the cactus flower rash suit and swimming bottoms for Miss 10yo. Sometimes I swear I must be the world’s slowest sewist as these seemed to take so long to come together. I thought they’d be nice and quick (fatal assumption!) but the bottoms took a couple of hours by the time I’d oh-so-carefully matched up the edges and lining, and ensured a lovely neat finish on all the elastic. Then the needle decided to go blunt and two of the seams on the top needed unpicking before I worked out that the needle was the culprit for the missed stitches. I am pleased with the outcome though and the fabric from Spoonflower is just fabulous. I love it so much I think I’ll make myself a rash top the same with the leftovers! The one thing that would make them better would be buying an overlocker since the top, while lovely on the outside, is not as neat on the inside as an overlocker would make it. If I were going to make lots of swimwear I think it would sway me to buy an overlocker again.
It was really hard to photograph – the black matte lycra looks like it’s a different shade than the print but in reality they match beautifully. I didn’t want to put a fully dressed photo up online buy here’s a little peek of the child to show how nicely it fits. She’s looking kind of mutinous but is really very pleased with the togs.
The bottoms are from Kwik Sew 3605, size XL, and the top is New Look 6241 view A in size 12. I sewed the bottoms exactly as per the pattern. For the top I straightened the bottom edge and heightened the neckband slightly which suits the swimwear style better. Apart from wanting to try out the Spoonflower lycra fabric, I partly chose to make a rash suit because ethically made swimwear options for tween girls are so few and far between, not to mention what is available is really expensive. So I was keen to add up how much these cost. The cactus fabric is $42 Australian per yard which is pretty bloody steep! But, I do have enough for another two child size rash suits or one adult one, so let’s say $14 for that (I’ll conveniently ignore the postage since I got another 3 fabrics at the same time..) Then there’s about $6 worth of ordinary swimsuit lycra from my local fabric shop, $1 or so of swimwear elastic I picked up cheap, and about $1.50 of thread. We won’t count the patterns even though I suppose I technically should. They’ll get used again. So that’s $23.50. Pretty good really (as long as I do use up the spare fabric), and at least I know they’re ethically made and the seamstress was provided with ample breaks, cups of tea and Netflix to watch while sewing.