Have you seen the fancy sweatshirt trend? Or maybe you’ve heard it called the dressed up sweatshirt? Well, I’m official on that train. Today I’m over at CaliFabrics sharing all about the fabrics used in this post, and why I’m loving the fancy sweatshirt trend.
The pattern I used to make my fancy sweatshirt is the Lane Raglan by Hey June Patterns, of course! (affiliate link- thank you for supporting our sewing) It perfectly echos and accentuates the flocked scrollwork designs of the lace overlay.
Now here’s the happy ending to this story. Or at least I’m trying to be happy about it! I made this sweatshirt for my little sister and actually managed to ship it to her. She has been really busy lately and hasn’t had time to sew for herself, plus I’ve already sewn myself a couple of sweatshirts this winter.
I sewed myself a Tallinn Sweater (affiliate link of course, it’s a Hey June Pattern, and awesome as usual!!!) from this amazing fabric, and it’s perfect for feeding the baby too!
Also, I share a little bit about the evolution of the design of the Reversible Beanie pattern. And this is your last reminder here on the blog that it’s FREE until 1/1/2018. After that, we’ll gladly accept your $3 for it!
And now we’re taking a small break until 2018 to spend some time with our family! See you next year…we can’t wait to share some of the fun stuff we have planned!!!
I’m so excited to share with you my newest pattern for Savvy Patterns! It’s the Reversible Beanie, and just perfect as a scrap buster plus it sews up in no time at all! It can be made in 7 sizes from newborn to adult. The pattern has layers (which means you can print only the sizes you want) and has been fully tested by my wonderful pattern testers. And here’s the best part…you can grab it for FREE from now until January 1, 2018!
Here are some pictures:
Annie is wearing the junior size small. We gave you a sneak peek of this hat in yesterday’s post. If you want a very slouchy beanie, be sure to use fabrics with good drape.
Baby is modeling the child’s size small. You can see the 4 ways it can be worn; tight as a skullcap style on either side with a contrast band, or as a slouchy beanie on either side. 1 hat 4 looks!
I am wearing the adult small. Please note that the funny bump in the back is my bun, not faulty hat construction!
Thomas is modeling the junior size large. He refuses to wear it beanie style, but it could also be worn that way! 😉
Today we’re going to sew the ruched tankini front panel on View B of the Grace Tankini. This is the part that gets the most questions, so we thought a photo tutorial would be helpful. It’s worth it to make the ruched panel on View B…it’s many people’s favorite part about this view!
Cut out the front panel. As suggested in the Grace Tankini pattern, do not cut it out on the fold, but open up your fabric, cut 1/2 of the piece, flip the pattern piece over and cut the other half.
After sewing the gathering stitches on the sides of the ruched front panel, gather it. It is helpful to lay out your side piece to see how far to gather the front panel. Start the gathers at the dot, below the notch where the top of the side panel goes.
As stated in the pattern, you can concentrate the ruching wherever you want to! More ruching=minimization of that area. Try to keep the gathers even from side to side so they don’t slant diagonally across your body. End the gathers 1/5” above the bottom of the front panel so it doesn’t sag down across the bottom. (Apologies for the blurriness of this photo. It’s the only one I ended up with!)
You can see how I’ve pinned down my side piece to keep it from moving as I gathered the front panel. When you are finished gathering, the bottom of the front and side will line up. The top of the side piece will be at the notch of the front panel.
Once the front panel is the same length as the side panel (from the notch to the hem,) pin them right sides together. Gently curve the shape of the front panel and the side piece to match up.
Sew the front panel and side piece together. We’ve found it more helpful to have the ruched front panel down against the feed dogs to help pull the gathers along evenly.
There you have it! Continue with the instructions to make the rest of the Grace Tankini.
We’ve got a tutorial for you about sewing a circle cut out in the back of the Grace Tankini for View A. This part is not hard at all and adds such fun to the back!
You could actually use the back pattern piece to add a circle cut out to the back of View B also. Or use a CD and place it in the center back (between the shoulder blades) of your favorite swimsuit pattern, and use this tutorial to add a circle cut out to the back of your swimsuit! Once you have cut out the pattern pieces of both your main fabric and your lining or shelf bra, follow this photo tutorial.
Line up the two circles and pin. The right side of your main fabric will be facing up, and the wrong side of your shelf bra or lining will be facing up. In other words, right sides together!
Carefully sew around the edges of the circle, using a 1/2” seam allowance. Stop and adjust the fabric as needed. It’s easiest if you put your needle down in the fabric and adjust the layers. Alternately, you can baste, check it, and then sew. If your fabric is thin and doesn’t have good stability, you might try marking the circle onto the back of the fabric and sewing this step before cutting out the fabric from in the middle. This will ensure your circle doesn’t end up stretched out of shape.
Snip around the circle, up to but NOT through your line of stitches you just sewed. This will allow the circle to lay flat. I’ve found using just the tip of a sharp scissors to be the key here.
Here’s a close up so you can tell how close to go to the stitched circle.
Pull your lining or shelf bra through the hole so it is now on the wrong side of the swimsuit back where it belongs. Carefully press around the circle to get it to lay flat.
Sew around the circle again with a 1/4” – 3/8” seam allowance. As you sew, you want to gently roll the lining/shelf bra to the underside so it doesn’t show on the right side when you are finished.
And there you have it! In the above photo you can see the inside and outside of the circle cut out. Your circle cut out in the back of a swimsuit is completely finished! Bring on the sun…
Today we’ve got a special tutorial for you on how to modify the Grace Tankini pattern to allow for removable bra cups. This is useful for breast cancer survivors who may have mastectomy prosthesis to insert into different bras or swimwear, or to allow for any other inserts.
Cut out 2 shelf bra fronts from lining fabric. They are pictured above at the top right.
Cut the straps off of one of them. You will do this below the center of the armhole, and across to the neckline, leaving a portion of the neckline intact so you can catch it in the elastic later.
Serge/finish top slanted edges you just cut so they hold up better when inserting and removing bra cups.
Sew together the two shelf bra front pieces with a straight stitch down the center, from the neckline center to the bottom center. See the dotted line in the photo above. This is to help keep the bra cups in place so they don’t migrate around during wear.
Treat the 2 front layers as 1 as you are sewing the suit following the instructions.
When you assemble the shelf bra into the Grace Tankini, you want the side with the cut off shoulder straps touching your body. There will be an opening where you cut off the shoulder straps to insert bra cups or mastectomy prosthesis.
From the outside, the suit looks exactly the same! Above you might notice the other modification made to the Grace Tankini by making it into a cropped two-piece suit!
Now she can transfer her removable bra cups from suit to suit!
This tutorial can be used with any swimsuit pattern that has a shelf bra. Of course we recommend the Grace Tankini!
Special thanks to tester Tee Bee for photographing this tutorial.
Some of the fabulous testers of the Grace Tankini went on to sew additional suits and make some really genius hacks to the pattern. Today I’m sharing some of them with you for inspiration.
Rebecca changed the top of her Grace Tankini to have a skirted top! It looks so comfortable. To make this change, you could cut the pattern off below the bust and add a gathered rectangle of fabric to the bottom of it.
Melissa omitted the side splits on the sport skirt and added a ruffle. And just like that, everyone else needed a ruffle on their skirt too!
Tee Bee made so many versions of the Grace Tankini! She was definitely the tireless tester! But now she has an amazing selection of mix and match swimwear! Her hack was making the Grace Tankini into a bikini by using the shelf bra only and some high waisted panties. She also helped test a tutorial for removable bra cups which is coming next week.
Synthia made the top of her Grace Tankini reversible by making the shelf bra removable and using fold over elastic on the arm and neck holes. It’s so pretty, and she’s got two looks in one suit!
Remember Tiffany’s beautiful Grace Tankini from the original testers post? Well, the secret is that the circle skirt is removable! This makes it into a kind of cover up, and gives her a sort of 2 in 1 suit! Several of the testers did this also.
Katrina used power mesh only for the back of her view A top, and ended up with a sassy, see-through suit! You can also see a little strip of mesh on the side of her panty. She got all sorts of creative! Plus she’s my grammar and spelling police, so I kind of love her!
Other amazing things testers did with the Grace Tankini pattern:
Shortened the sport skirt by 3 inches to just cover the panty.
Added flat seam piping to the side seams.
Used the panty pattern pieces to make themselves underwear, or knickers if you’re in the UK.
Added side accent strips to the sides of the View A top.
It’s pretty amazing all the things you can do with the Grace Tankini pattern! What are you waiting for?
The Grace Tankini pattern is finally available for purchase! Grab your copy over at Savvy Patterns…on sale for 25% off this week.
The Grace Tankini is a vintage inspired swimsuit with lots of options. On top, you have 2 choices, both fun and classy! Choose from a circle skirt, a sporty bottom with or without ruching, or a panty for the bottom. Each of these 4 bottoms can be made either high waisted or to sit on your hips. The Grace Tankini is the ultimate feminine swimsuit. Feel confident and look classy!
The View A top’s best feature is in the back. A circle cutout adds a fun, playful element. Each view has a supportive shelf bra.
This top can be combined with any of the 4 bottoms. Here you see the circle skirt, which really is a full circle. This skirt can be made to sit on the hips, or high waisted for extra tummy control. Hidden underneath is the fully lined panty, which can also be made as a stand alone bottom piece.
If you’ve never sewn swimwear before, don’t worry, the pattern is loaded with tips and links to video and photo tutorials to help you through the process.
The View B top has a ruched center area which is customizable to flatter your figure. The fun side panels offer a place for color blocking if you want. Both tops can be fully lined if you choose.
This top is shown with the ruched sport skirt. Both the ruched and plain sport skirts can have pockets added to them. Each also has a panty concealed underneath, and can be made high waisted or to sit on the hips.
The Grace Tankini pattern also offers the option of adding a card pocket, perfectly sized for securing a credit card or room key while you swim.
With so many options, which one will you decide to sew up first?
You want to be sure to use elastic specifically made for swimwear when sewing the Grace Tankini. Cotton swimwear elastic is stretchier than other elastic, and holds up better to the ravages of chlorine water. The Grace Tankini pattern uses 1/4″ swimwear elastic on the neckline, armholes, and leg holes. You can buy it at your local sewing shop, and online. You can even buy it by the roll on Amazon if you plan to sew a lot of elastic!
The other place elastic is used in the Grace Tankini is on the shelf bra. Since this width is a little harder to find, you can either use regular 3/4″ elastic, or buy it by the roll on Amazon.
There are 2 ways to sew elastic into swimwear, and we’ve created a video tutorial to show you both ways. Try them both, and use your favorite method.
The other notion you might use when sewing swimwear is boning. Boning is useful for giving a shelf bra extra support on the sides. When there is wrinkling in the bust area on the sides of a garment, that area could benefit from boning.
You can buy boning by the package or by the yard at your local sewing store. Boning often has a cloth cover over a plastic or nylon insert. Here is how we suggest adding boning to the Grace Tankini:
Zig zag your side seam allowances to the back of the shelf bra. By doing this, you create a channel to insert the boning. Continue with the pattern until you have inserted the underbust elastic.
If your boning has a cover, pull it back. Cut your boning to match the length of the channel you created, minus about 1/2″ at the top of the side seam where you will be installing your armhole elastic.
Slide the boning into the channel. That’s it! Finish constructing your Grace Tankini, and forget worrying about having enough support!
Some people consider the notions to be the trickiest part of sewing swimwear, but we’ve made it easy for you with these swimwear notions tutorials.
For almost 1 year I’ve been working on my next pattern, and today I’m finally calling for testers to help get the Grace Tankini ready for sale! It’s a really exciting day, and I’m so glad for everyone’s help.
The Grace Tankini is a vintage inspired swimsuit with lots of options. View A contains a circle skirt and a top with a playful circle in the back. View B has ruched center areas which are customizable to flatter your figure. The sporty bottoms can be made with or without matching ruching. You can mix and match the 2 tops with 4 bottom options. Include the 2 perfectly sized patch pockets to keep things stored while you swim. The secure card pocket can be added to any of the bottoms. Both top views include a shelf bra. The Grace Tankini is the ultimate feminine swimsuit. Whether you’re looking for a suit with more coverage due to modesty or skin sensitivity or some other reason, the Grace Tankini is the swimsuit for you!
Testers will be notified by email by May 30. You will have 1 week to source fabric (I know not everyone has swimsuit fabric laying around!) and the test will begin June 5. If you can fulfill those time requirements, please fill out the tester form below.
Don’t think you can sew swimwear, or need some inspiration? Right now there’s a swimwear tour filled with all things swimwear sewing. Check it out: