Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Holiday sewing - a Jalie tankini for moi

I publish this post with much trepidation, after all, posting pics of myself in my bathers on the internet is not something I would normally do. I once gave Mr Meggipeg a dressing down (ha ha) for putting a picture of me in my togs on facebook and insisted he remove it. I am trying to convince myself that this big reveal is done in the name of blogging and sewing and is somehow therefore ok. Sort of.

So here we go. While Mr M was in Canada recently delivering his Mum back home after her visit with us (explanation here), I ordered some Jalie patterns for him to bring home. Jalie are a Canadian company so I saved heaps on postage, and of course when I saw that if you bought three patterns you could get one free, well I just had to choose four! More on the others as I make them. The first pattern I tackled was the tankini. Find the pattern here. To see the Jalie jeans I've made click here and here.

I began by making a muslin with some lycra I had in my stash. I blended the top pattern to a larger size at the waist and below as I didn't want it too close fitting around the tummy. This is what I ended up with:

While the general style was quite nice, there were a couple of things (apart from the fabric) I wasn't thrilled about. The panel across the chest and the top of the waistband went wavy with the topstitching which made them gape. This is a three-step zig-zag.

I didn't add the elastic to the bottom of the waistband as it was tight enough without it. The pants were a nice style but I prefer a slightly higher waist to cover the wobbly tummy area (!) also the elastic made a bulge in my upper thigh. Any additional bulges are definitely not required.

I quite liked the finish on the leg openings and the drawstrings at the sides were a nice feature.

So I went on and made another pair in a combination of turquoise and brown lycra, also from the stash. I fiddled about with the pants to try and make the waist a bit higher but I wasn't terribly happy with the fit of the waistband in the end. Again it gaped a bit and created a line which showed through the top. I think the next time I make it I will just fold over the waistband, rather than cutting it out as two sections to sew together.

I made another alteration to the pants, which was to add bands on lycra to the leg openings instead of elastic. This was more comfortable and flattering to wear as it didn't cut into the legs at all. These were attached with the serger and topstitched with regular zig-zag.

Here is the top. I eliminated the topstitching along the top of the chest panel, but it is still a bit gapey. Overall I'm quite pleased with it. I didn't put any drawstrings on this version. The hem was finished with a twin needle and the straps with zig-zag. This looked fine, but I heard threads snapping as I put it on. Ideally it would be finished with a proper cover stitch for max stretchiness

You can skip the next few pictures if you like ;)

I think the next pair I make will be improved by the elimination of topstitching on the chest panel, making the waistband out of one piece of fabric folded over and choosing some really lovely fabric, maybe a nautical stripe. I'll let you know when I've done them, but I'm not sure if I'll be brave enough to post any more pictures!

Feel free to ask me any questions about these or (even better) send me some tips.

These pictures were taken in the lovely town of Dunsborough in south west Western Australia where we had a summer camping trip.


Brooke said...

You did a nice job on you swimsuit! I made the Jalie Tankini top to go with some bottoms I already had. I raised the neckline on mine so I would feel more comfortable bending down to help my young children, and didn't have any gaping problems. Also, being a bit on the busty side I added a bra to the inside instead of their built in support. :) I made one for my 3 yr. old daughter,too, to match mine and put a ruffle around the bottom of the skirt. It was fun to see your version! (and you look lovely in it)

Megan O said...

Hi Brooke, thanks for the tips. Making the neckline higher is a good idea. How adorable to have a matching one for your daughter. I would so love a little girl to dress up, but I have to make do with trying to make 'cool' boys clothes! Thank you for your comment, Megan

Meigan said...

Your suit looks really nice. I am in the process of making this pattern right now. You are right about the topstitching on the chest panel. Mine was fine and smooth then I topstitched it, and it became a bit wavy. Next time I'll skip it. :)

Megan O said...

Thank you so much for the comment and I am pleased that it's not just me who had trouble with that topstitching!


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