number 3 – rain rain maybe you should stay for the good of all design students

I’m with everyone here – rainy days means less procrastination, less wishing we were lying on the grass in the sun, and less taking lunch/coffee/snack/even TOILET breaks every half hour – because doing so means you’ll end up looking like a drowned rat. Nobody likes fuzzy hair!

Thursday was my second day in the studio, and it was AWESOME. I’ve done the unimaginable and nearly finished my sample swimsuit! (well the pattern anyway, which is the hardest part) . I have a habit of doing about 5 samples until the final ‘sample’ for sample review.. only to make it one last time as the final garment. I guess it’s a good thing as once i get to the final, I’ve done it so many times it’s manageable and not too scary. On the other hand, i waste a lot of time and fabric.

Anywho, nothing changed this semester, I have so far made about 4 unfinished samples in two days, which was pretty much essential because I had to do the following process:

1. Drape shape on mannequin. Cut into it, pin/sew/tuck/whatever, until I was happy with the look.

2. Pull it off the mannequin. Cut along seam lines, trace, get pattern

3. Cut out of new fabric, put together, put back on mannequin – does it look the same as step 1? If not.. find out what i need to change, and start the process again! And again.. and again… and again.. until it’s perfect!

First thing I did on Thursday morning bright and early, was continue on the shorts dilemma. Once i’d figuered that out, it was pretty much smooth sailing!

p40200012          p40200022        p4020003

You can see the progression on the last one, where I’ve started to experiment on how it would look with the front two pocket seams sewn together. I was really loving the way that the short gathered on the thigh at this stage, You can’t see too much from the picture but it’s EXACTLY what I envisioned…!


Next step…. work out how the top will fit into all of this.

p4020006                         p4020007

After cutting the pattern of the same top I had fitted two days earlier (and adding some extra to curve around to the back), I tacked the top onto the bottom to see how it would work. Gillian gave me the idea of fitting the pockets into the top seam by pleating it, so it would drape nicely. So far so good, but I still had to figure out a way of gathering those two front panels together. Could it really be as easy as sewing them together!? I was unconvinced, for some reason i thought it would be too bubbly, and wouldn’t drape properly. Well, apparently so and apparently not! I just had to chop off a bit of fabric to make it sit high enough so the front wouldn’t bubble.

p4020022         p4020027

You can kind of see what i mean here by ‘bubbling’. The front crotch area that runs off the pockets is sitting slightly low, making it come away from the body in a sort of pouch thing. There was a really easy solution to this, which was altering the pattern and making the top area which is folded into the seam shorter.

So, time for another sample! I altered the pattern and started again 🙂

This time I also worked with lining for the top half of the swimsuit, which raised a few other nitty gritty problems…..

To cut another long story short, I just cut out the altered pattern, two of the top (one for lining) and sewed it all together as neatly as possible, writing the process as I went along so I wouldn’t forget..

p4020029   p4020032     p4020035

I mastered the zig zag machine, and the elasticator (see side of bust in pic three – very small but it’s there), and I am SO happy with the front of the garment!!!!! It’s pretty much exactly what I want. ONE question –> should I make the pockets even MORE draped??? Or is it fine the way it is? At the moment it’s not too dramatic (which fits in with my wabi-sabi theme pretty well), it’s very wearable and I love how it sits. However, the bigger hipped the lady gets, the more the draping is lost…. hmm dilemma. Thoughts?

Now for the back… throughout the process i’ve experimented a lot with how the back will work. Here are a few images…

p4020004      p4020015      p4020033    p4020034

The last is a side view of the third option. Which is better?! Another option is to eliminate all drape from the back, instead redistributing it to the pockets (that is, no little pocket thingie on the centre back. Gee my terminology is so professional…). Thoughts again??

The last things I have left are:

1. Figuring out the straps. I’m trying to decide whether I will make them continue on from the top half as a single pattern piece (fabric length permitting) OR making them a completely separate piece all together.

2. That darned back. I’m sure i’ll figure it out with the help of my lovely audience…!

3.  A nitty gritty thing – if you can see the final photo above, the side of the swimsuit that leads to the back is pulling in a weird way. Must fix this – it’ll just be a pattern issue.

Then to my FINAL sample (!).

How exciting!




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