Thursday, July 6, 2017

Grace Tankini Pattern Test

One of my favorite things to make or do in sewing is to try something I've never done before. Thanks to the Grace Tankini from Savvy Patterns, "Make a swimsuit for myself" is now "Make a swimsuit for myself". It was a pleasure to test the pattern and see all the care that went into making it just right. I've sewn children's swimsuits before, but swimwear for grown women is an entirely different beast. Audrey (pattern designer at Savvy Patterns) has tamed the beast.

There are so many things I love about this pattern. First off: options. I love options! I feel like I'm getting more for my money when there are multiple views I can make with a single pattern. The Grace Tankini gives you two options for the top and four options for the bottom.

There is also a high waist cut line that was added to the pattern, giving you eight different options for the bottoms instead of just the four.

The second thing I love about the pattern is the coverage. I don't go to the pool by myself. If I'm at the pool, my kids are with me. I need to swimsuit that allows me chase after the children, pick them up, dry them off, apply sunscreen, carry towels (etc., etc., ad nauseum) without needing to fret about which body part has escaped the confines of my suit. It's one less worry as I try to pay attention to what really matters: which child is about to dive into the pool.

Another great thing about the Grace Tankini is the fit. There was a lot of tweaking done in testing to make sure the fit was spot on. The only modification I made was to shorten the waist, which is a very typical alteration for my balloon animal body type.

Finally, the pattern comes with instructions for using lining or not using it. With my test muslin I fully lined the suit and found it to be a bit more snug than I expected. I omitted the lining for the final suit you see above, and the fit was right where I felt it needed to be. This fabric was a thick, high quality swim knit and required no lining. For a thinner knit I would certainly recommend using a lining and sizing up from your measurements.

If you're looking for a comfortable suit with a great fit and that keeps everything where you need it to be, I highly recommend the Grace Tankini. As a bonus, it's on sale. Yay!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Paro Cardigan

Itch-to-Stitch is at it again with another great pattern! This time around it is the Paro Cardigan. It is so lovely and feminine. I knew exactly which fabric to use. It's a floral ponte I've been sitting on for close to a year. I had planned to make it into pants, but it screamed to be a Paro Cardigan.

I feel like commenting on the quality of the pattern is a foregone conclusion by now. Itch-to-Stitch patterns ALWAYS go together for me so beautifully that it is easily my favorite brand.

So let's talk about the details. The Paro Cardigan can be left open or closed with whatever awesome button you think would compliment your fabric. I like the look of mine open, so I omitted the button.

Closed isn't bad either, but I prefer this one open on my body
My fabric has so much going on that it's difficult to see the beautiful pleats in front and back. They give lots of room for movement and comfort, as well as a lovely feminine touch.

Front and back pleats

The band is meant to be centered over your true waist. my true waist is almost comically high up on my body, so I used the lengthen/shorten line to take off two inches from the upper bodice and back.

This is before I took off the extra inches. My true waist is sitting at the very top of the band. I also first thought a black band around the neck would be most flattering. I'm glad I went with the coral in the end.
The Paro Cardigan pattern is on sale this week for 20% off. Yay! That's really a steal for a pattern that is so well drafted and so very beautiful. Don't forget to pick it up while it's on sale. And stop by the Itch-to-Stitch blog to see other great versions from the testers!