Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Open-Source Bathing Suit Sewing?*

Now tell me this isn't a great idea. I just inspired after reading this post. I have bathing-suit sewing on my mind because I have a nearly finished project (which is significantly different from the unfinished, abandoned-for-months version) slumped on my daybed. Wouldn't it be great if you could just send all your measurements to Kwik Sew or some other company and they could send you customized pattern? You could tell them you want a tiny keyhole opening at the neckline, a ruffle here or extra straps up there. Of course, the whole shebang would be customized with your measurements. They could tell you based on the latter that version A is a lot more likely to fit you than version B. (Which is what I found out when I last took out the pieces for this pattern in March). While, technically, my newfound creation did fit in all the proper spots, I had the hardest time wiggling my hourglass figure into my work of art. I'll be darn if I didn't pop a few seams, but I did make it. I was motivated big-time - I was looking forward to a soothing hot shower, a few minutes in the whirlpool, and relaxing exercise at the four-lane pool at the McGaw YMCA. Now I have to perform this jiggle every time I want to go to my water aerobics class. Every time! Now thankfully no one has made any comments about my odd little pre-water aerobics locker room dance, but I'm just waiting. I don't have any sarcastic reply in waiting though. I should.

Actually, hopefully I won't have to wait. I'm making another bathing suit which should slide on like second skin. In fact, I'm mildly disappointed it's not ready for its baptism this morning. I threw out my two-tone bathing suit (lavender in the back, royal purple in the front) after Monday's ablutions. It felt painful to toss it out, knowing that my new suit might not be ready for today's routine. And it's not, but I simply could not wear the purply suit again. It had gotten so sheer in the back, it looked indecent. I was doing the towel cover-up constantly. I'd wear it over my backside backing into the pool, grabbing it again for coverage up the steps into the locker room. After Monday, I vowed no more such textile tactics! Instead, I'd finish the suit in double-time if I wanted to spend quality-time in the pool. So here it is Wednesday. I'm thinking more about going to the SnB at this restaurant, and less out about stitching on the elastic on my suit in the privacy of my own home with handy Hamlet on my side. That's all I need to do, the elastic! Then I'll be done. No fuss, muss or hemming! Yes, the lining is all locked in - the hardest part awaits - cutting the elastic into proper lengths, dividing into quarters, zig-zagging it into the place with thread, folding over the fashion fabric, doing another row of zagging and zigging. Then I'll be ready to stretch my legs in the water.

Now, of course, I've only made major progress on one suit. I really need to make at least two. The last time this pattern and I met...I made three suits, which is most excellent for the chlorine that loves to snack on my swimsuit polyester. After a month of three-times weekly water aerobics, my bathing suit looks like it's been through the 2012 Olympics and back. It's also good to have more than one suit, so when Monday's version is drying out, Wednesday's is raring to go.

If you're wondering just how much weight I've lost doing water aerobics, I have not. Not an ounce, if I can tell. Water aerobics are great for toning and helping you sleep deeply at night. That's about it. If you want a flat tummy, make like 90-something Jack LaLanne. Or pop in Chris Freytag's Ultimate Walking Workout DVD in your laptop. I have done neither, but I just ate an apple. I call that progress after eating at this show and snacking on the complimentary eats at this new venue. I'm munching on more of the same when I return to the latter at noon today. I figure if I cut out the breadsticks and French bread, I shouldn't have too much trouble getting into the suit when it's finally completed in time for Friday's turn in the waters. It's completely doable even though I'm attending another event tomorrow night.

If you're thinking about sewing a suit, I'd highly recommend picking a beautiful print. I've got enough solids to suit up a team of local triathletes. You're more likely to get excited about your suit if it's pretty, not so practical-looking. It will also help when you finally put it on (I hear a spray tan is advisable when testing ready-to-wear suits, but I haven't gone to such extremes yet). Yes, I'm taking my own advice. My newest creation looks like something Will Ferrell's sister might wear out on the ice rink in the sequel to "Blades of Glory." Yes, my fabric is wildly busy with orange, black and fuchsia splashes and dots (see above). My 70-something male classmates should get a kick out of it (naturally in the water, not on land). I'm just looking forward to having something that covers me up and gets me back into the four-lane pool pronto. Is that too much to ask? It's not like I need an outdoor pool in this wonderful weather or even a handsome lifeguard watching my every move I make (I wish. He's usually nearly falling asleep with the warm air circulating above at this particular pool.) No, this is not a slick suit you'd find in a Berkeley flick, Esther Williams movie or even on "Baywatch." Even so I'm proud. Just hear me bragging to the life guard, usually the females. They're so impressed, that usually keeps them awake for at least 30 minutes, the amount of time I spent jogging in place.
* I just did a test-run of the suit, minus the elastic. Man, there is cleavage on this thing. I'm not too pleased.


Melissa Fehr Trade said...

it's not EXACTLY what you're envisioning, but this site has a ton of free swimsuit patterns and for a couple of designs, you really can just input your measurements and get a swimsuit pattern spat out!

Me, I've bought all my materials, but it hasn't really been hot enough here to prompt me to actually go and make one...

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