Sunday, 1 June 2014

Emerald Bombshell Swimsuit and Perfect Pattern Parcel 3!

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Emerald Green Bombshell Swimsuit

Perfect Pattern Parcel No.3 has just launched and the patterns included are no less of an amazing selection than last time.

In case you need a recap, Perfect Pattern Parcel supports independent pattern designers and also raises money for children's education by asking you to suggest an amount of your purchase price to donate to Donors Choose to support classrooms in need. The funds raised from each Pattern Parcel sale go to help K-12 students in minimising educational inequality and encourage the creation of a community where children have the tools and experiences necessary for an excellent education. So far almost $4,500 has been raised!

Each parcel, containing five PDF patterns from a variety of Indie Designers, is available for two weeks. So you have until 13th June to snap up this one. The brilliant thing about each sale is that you can name your own price for the bundle (yes, really!) and give the indie designers and Donors Choose the support you want.

The patterns included this time are:
Pattern Parcel #3

Last time I decided to make up the Lady Skater Dress and with this parcel I again chose to make up the pattern that I've had my eye on for a long while and have seen many many other incredible versions of; the Bombshell Swimsuit from Heather Lou. I'm just going to tell you straight up right now that this pattern is AWESOME. Her new pattern, the Nettie Bodysuit, is now at the very top of my 'to sew' list.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Emerald Green Bombshell Swimsuit

Considering that I still consider myself a knit/stretch newbie and am still making making slow progress along the road to confidence using my overlocker I was more than a little apprehensive about making this up. But I seriously enjoyed every single step and could not be more delighted with the result. I felt a little unsure at times about whether what I was doing was turning out right but now I've got my head around the construction and know it will turn out great I'll feel so much more confident next time!

One of the things I felt most uneasy about was the insertion of the swimwear elastic (I got mine off UK eBay FYI, bargain!) as I've barely worked with any kind of elastic before. I'm never sure about how much to stretch as I sew, the right type of zig zag to use e.t.c but all those details are included and I'm super pleased with the finish and the snug secure fit.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Emerald Green Bombshell Swimsuit

I'd always heard talk of how great stretch fabric was to work with, how it gives you more freedom and it's more forgiving when it comes to errors and inaccuracies but I don't know that I'd fully understood that point of view until I made this. I'm not saying that I'm now the queen of knits or anything but I sure felt like it for a little bit.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Emerald Green Bombshell Swimsuit

Heather's instructions guide you through the whole process so smoothly. It's a genius design with lots of parts joining other parts so has the potential to get quite confusing and while Heather herself mentioned that a couple of times in the instructions, taking it small step by small step as she does meant it came together beautifully and with a very limited amount of brow furrowing! Basically I was high-fiving myself throughout the whole process and was in love with the thing by the time I made the final stitch. 

And then I put it on...

I was beaming. I spent a good five minutes in front of the mirror marvelling. I feel so great in it. I love the halter neck, the shape of the back, the gathered skirt and the fit all over. With all the gathering it felt like a lot of fabric to be putting into a swimsuit and I was thinking how flattering can adding this much volume be but the cut of it is exquisite. Heather you sure have an eye for shape and style and what looks good on a body. 

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Emerald Green Bombshell Swimsuit

Ok, ok enough of the gushing. What went wrong you want to know? Well I was cutting the lining for both versions of this at the same time and was clearly not thinking straight that night. The last piece I had to cut was the front lining piece for this version. And it wouldn't fit on what I had left. After some minor hysteria I realised I could get the pattern piece out of my leftovers in two parts. I drew a line across the pattern piece under the bust, added a little bit of seam allowance and voila. One quick line of overlocking later and I had my complete pattern piece. I actually think this worked a little in my favour as placing the seam where it is gives a tiny bit more support in that area.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Emerald Green Bombshell Swimsuit

The only thing I did struggle with was simply that it is so hard to get exciting/decent swimwear fabrics in the UK! I mean it's hardly a surprise with the lack of call we have for beachwear around here but it was a massively frustrating hunt. I gave up on a print in the end but was still dismayed by the high prices and shipping costs online. However, I struck gold in Orya Textiles on Goldhawk Road during Rachel's epic blogger meet-up and picked up a metre each of some great quality matt black nylon lycra and a nude version that made a perfect lining for just £9 total. I'm not a fan of the shiny shiny lycra that is more easily available so was delighted to find the matt version but unfortunately not in many inspiring colours. I'd got it stuck in my head that I wanted a green Bombshell so in the end just bought some shiny emerald lycra from the new Goldhawk Trims shop that used to be above A-One and decided to see how it looked using the matt side of that as right side. if it was a disaster the metre only cost me £6. The good news is it turned out great so if you're on a fruitless hunt too don't rule out the shiny dance wear stuff!

It also turns out that nylon lycra is pretty great to sew with. It's a little tricky to cut, I'd probably recommend a rotary cutter if you have one but my machine (with stretch needle) loved it.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Emerald Green Bombshell Swimsuit

So yeah, in my opinion this parcel is worth whatever you can and want to pay just for this treasure of a pattern. But if you're still undecided there's a special surprise involved with this particular parcel! Choose a price of $28 or greater and you will automatically be sent the Bonus Pattern! The Bonus pattern is the brand new and exclusive Prefontaine Shorts for Women by Made with Moxie.

Make sure to check out the finished projects of the other bloggers participating in the huge blog tour; there's sure to be some beauties!



Buy Pattern Parcel #3

P.S. Apologies for the lack of modelled pics in this post. In grey old London I was not feeling up for modelling a swimsuit outside my back door, as great as I do feel in it! There's another Bombshell already in the making though so expect a post with modelled pics of both when I find a suitable occasion to wear them.

27 comments:

  1. I love the bombshell swimsuit, I made one last summer in navy blue and love it to pieces. Great patterns!

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    1. It really is isn't it?! I've already got a black one cut out and ready to sew up as I just had to try the other variation!

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  2. Hey, you managed to find some green stuff! Fantastic! It looks great, and I'm so pleased it all went well for you - it really is an ace pattern. Nettie is next on my to sew list, but trying to find suitable fabric for that hasn't been any easier! Can't wait to see your black one as well!

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    1. I did indeed! I just went with the most matt shiny lycra I could find and it turns out the matt side is pretty matt! It's a shame you haven't been able to find fabric for your Nettie yet, I'm tempted to look online but like you were saying really want to be able to feel the stretch for myself

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  3. Looks great Fiona! I'm also a little intimidated about working with swimwear fabric and elastic, but it seems like the whole process went so smoothly for you. Great to hear! Hopefully you'll get some warm weather to show off all your hard work. :)

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    1. I was intimidated as well (fear of the unknown!) but it's definitely not all that tricky! Heather's instructions really make you feel like you know what you are doing so I think you should give it a whirl!

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  4. Gorgeous, love the green even though you battled to find decent swimwear fabric.

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    1. Thank you! Now I know that the shiny lycra works ok on the reverse I feel like a whole rainbow of options has opened up!

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  5. Your bombshell looks fantastic! The lack of decent swimwear fabric in this country has put me off making one in the past, so it's great to know some can be found on Goldhawk Rd - thanks! I hope we start having some nice weather here so you can show it off!

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    1. Me too! Though I think I might have to start saving for a beach holiday to give a proper wearing! There's not the most amazing variety of options on Goldhawk Road but better than I could find online!

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  6. Oh, no Fiona, this swimsuit fabric is just perfect. That emerald green just reminds me of Daryl Hannah in Splash. I too, fear knits and the swimsuit project, but after seeing the Bombshells on the tour I think I may just have to go for it. Your version is dreamy! :)

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    1. That is such a fantastic compliment thank you! You definitely need to try out your own Bombshell, it's a fantastic pattern and a great inclusion in the Parcel. I hope the sale is a big success!

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  7. This looks great! I love the color!

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    1. Thank you! Green's my favourite so I'm glad I plumped for it in the end!

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  8. What a beautiful colour! This looks great, and I'm can imagine looks amazing on - it just seems to do that for everyone!

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    1. Thank you Helen! Hopefully I'll get some pictures of me in it to show you soon! It's so cleverly drafted!

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  9. Your bombshell looks amazing! This my next sew project to make and I can't wait to try it :) Hope you get to enjoy yours on a lovely beach!

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    1. Thank you! Good luck with yours and I hope you get some beach time for it too!

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  10. Cute and great colour!! Great job on sewing what can be a tricky fabric :)

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    1. Thank you! I actually found it strangely enjoyable to work with, my overlocker liked it and the stretch needle worked it's magic! No pressing either was a treat!

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  11. I bet you look fabulous in this! The colour is beautiful and perfect for a quick dip in the sea.

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    1. Thank you Claire! It feels real fresh and summery and makes me long for the beach on a hot day!

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  12. Beautiful colour Fiona. The construction looks fab.

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    1. Thanks! I'm really proud of it...it's basically down to Heather's fab guidance though!

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  13. This is the prettiest Bombshell ever! That color is so lovely.

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  14. Your swimsuit is gorgeous!! I'm still intimidated at the prospect of sewing swim fabrics but one of these days I'll give the bombshell a go!

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  15. I vote we head down to Brighton and model our Bombshells if we can find a sunny enough day!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!