vacation, all I ever wanted

swim_sewstylist.pic5A friend is getting married later this fall, and as part of the lead up to the big day a group of us took off to Palm Springs for a bachelorette celebration! (Unrelated: Should bachelorette parties maybe just be an annual thing, celebrated each year of a ladies ongoing singlehood? It’s just a little disappointing to wait until you’re signing off to celebrate, but I digress…) The lead up to this little vaca provided an awesome opportunity to go into sewing overdrive mode as I attempted to throw together some new Palm Springs appropriate me-mades. I ended up with two dresses and this suit, but I only ended up wearing the suit, partly because the slightly hasty way I threw together the dresses made me feel less confident about them. All those little details that take a piece from “homemade” to “handcrafted” take time, and I was in a weird not wanting to take time kinda mood. In the end, you reap what you sew. (Hah! I’m so fired for that one. )

swim_sewstylist.pic6I put this suit together at the beginning of the week, so finishing on it is pretty good. I’ve had this deep green lycra on hand for a few months now, with plans of making it into some sort of swim thing. It’s a good weight, maybe just a little heavier than average for swimwear, and has just the slightest bit of sheen and a really nice cool, silky hand. I serged the edges and am finally getting a feel for how to use that machine without it chewing up/screwing up everything! I used a double needle to hem the leg openings around an elastic band. I was skeptical about the addition of an elastic band hugging my thighs, but it turned out to be totally comfy and was pretty helpful in keeping the bottom half of the suit where I wanted it.

swim_sewstylist.pic4I lined the bust and between the legs with a plain mesh lining. I probably could have gotten away without any lining at all, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to wet fabric, so. I was back and forth over which pattern to use because there’s a couple lovely indie options I’d still like to try, but this time around I decided on this vintage pattern I’ve been holding for a bit. There was a little vintage quirk to some of the construction info. For instance, it’s clear stretch fabrics have come far enough by now we no longer require a zipper to get into a fitted bathing suit! And I’m not even going to admit to how much effort I wasted making that silly little neck strap the way they told me to… But all in all, this came together pretty easily.

I really like the details on this suit. The keyhole under the bust is a cute little touch and makes it so you can wear the suit with or without the halter strap. Had to be with on me cause otherwise we were edging into accidental exposure territory. I think the overall bust area was probs a bit too big for me, but all the gathering concealed that nicely. I did find myself fussing with keeping it up a bit more than I would have liked (=not at all). Oddly enough, once the suit was wet it stayed put quite nicely. Go figure. I also really like the low cut hips + full coverage over the rear. Even though the top half was a little fussy, the bottom half was solid, more so than any swimsuit I’ve ever owned. Between this suit and my growing army of Netties, I’m a low cut leg opening convert. Sooo much more comfortable, and cute too.
swim_sewstylist.pic1If I were to change one thing about this suit it’d be to drop the back down for a bit more exposure. Although, given the small trouble I had with keeping things in place up top, I’m pretty sure this suit isn’t properly engineered for that low-back look. Kelly posted a great vintage Stretch & Sew suit on her Instagram feed a month or so back with the sort of rear view that I crave. But in exchange for a low back I got bare shoulders, which I have to say was really nice.


Here’s a paparazzi pic of me inching my way into the pool. It was insanely hot down there, like over 100 degrees every day, so we basically never left the pool. And get this, one of those brilliant people brought the most awesome little koozies + mini-champage bottles to go in them! As you can see, I took mine everywhere.


MeMadeMay: week one

“I, ebony h. of the SewStylist blog sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavor to wear one sewn, refashioned, tailored, or upcycled item at least 5 days a week during the month of May 2013. I will take pictures of my outfits and post them all at the end of each week.”

I’m so excited to use this opportunity to share some of what I’ve created! And now, without further ado…


Day 1: I like to call this one my Chakra Tank because the round orbs in the center of the print happen to line right up with my heart, navel, and sacral centers. It’s a Tiny Pocket Tank with the tiny pocket omitted.

ChakraTank-3I altered the arc of the neckline at front and back, and I slashed and spread open the back pattern piece, which resulted in a pretty a-line silhouette.


I wore it with an H&M cardigan, MiH jeans, and No.6 clogs.

IkaatDress-2Day 2: This cotton ikat dress is probably the make I’m most proud of, mostly because it looks just as good on the inside as it does right side out. Nothing but french seams here, even around the pockets.

IkaatDress-3It’s the Tiny Pocket Tank again. It’s got the same alterations around the neckline as the Chakra Tank, and of course I lengthened it and added pockets!

IkaatDress photo bomb!IkaatDress photo bomb-2

So, these aren’t the greatest pics of me and the dress, but check out my cat Fig photo bombing! What a card! (Yep, he’s in both shots. Keep looking…)

IkaatDress with coat-2

I wore it with an H&M coat and Loeffler Randall boots.

PrintedPortraitBlouse-4Day 3: I made up this top using the Portrait Blouse pattern from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. It has the most perfect little capped sleeves. Don’t you love how the classic shape looks in this funky print?

PrintedPortraitBlouse-5Here you can see that I didn’t sew the darts all the way down to the bottom hem because I didn’t want the top too clingy around my middle. Also on display is my hand-picked lapped zipper. Well, you probably can’t quite make out the hand-picked part, but trust, it’s there. I did a bunch of hand finishing on this top and in that way learned how much I absolutely love hand sewing. Love! It’s so relaxing, and the perfectly imperfect look of hand stitches is lovely.

PrintedPortraitBlouse-1I wore it with a Zara tank layered underneath, a leopard print scarf from Target, a peacoat from F21, MiH jeans, and Chinese Laundry flats.

PrintedPortraitBlouse close up-2Okay, that’s all for this week! I hope you’ll check back again in seven days for more MMM madness!