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Forum > Plus Size Sewing > Exercise clothes, swimwear sewalong ( Moderated by JEF)

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Exercise clothes, swimwear sewalong
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Diana M
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Diana M
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 4/19/04
Posts: 927
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Date: 9/7/05 10:14 AM

Where to even begin to sew a swimsuit??? Or make up comfy work-out clothes that don't look like pajamas or potato sacks??

Lets share our questions and solutions here. Pictures welcome!!

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Sewing fills my life. And my living room, and bedroom, and closets, and car . . .
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The advantage of a food allergy is that I get to choose the restaurant.

Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
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Member since 4/4/02
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Date: 9/7/05 10:21 AM

I would love to join in but it will be at least a couple of weeks before I can get back to my yoga clothes. In the meantime I'll lurk!

I did manage to trace off the Shelf-bra Camisole from Jan Bones week before last. I'm very anxious to try this pattern out.

Neefer
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Neefer
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 4/8/02
Posts: 2662
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Date: 9/7/05 12:16 PM

I think the best place to start, for a swimsuit, at least, is with the Kwik Sew Swim and Actionwear book. (I've heard good things about the stretch & sew boot, too.) I haven't made any of the actionwear patterns, but I did make the tank swimsuit. It wasn't what I need, but I really learned a lot about how to sew a swimsuit, and that knowledge was very helpful when I was making the Jalie suit.

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Neefer aka AgitProp and Village Churl Sewing Blog: http://www.oaktrees.org/blog/

Bonny lass, bonny lass, will you be mine?
You shall neither wash dishes nor serve the wine;
But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,
And feast upon strawberries, sugar, and cream.

rhoda bicycle

rhoda bicycle
Intermediate
Saskatchewan CANADA
Member since 6/26/05
Posts: 1148
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Date: 9/10/05 8:53 PM

The easiest swimsuit for a complete beginner to sew is the spagetti strap suit in the Kwik Sew Swim and Actionwear book. In its's most basic form it's dead easy to make, and the straps are adjustable, which is a big plus. (When you hook your thumbs under them and pull straight up, they shouldn't come past your earlobes.)
I must have made a couple dozen suits from this pattern over the years for lap swimming. I use 1/2" elastic instead of 3/8" for the straps because it doesn't stretch as much in the water, and I've tweaked my traced pattern to have the straps an inch further in and an inch further up, as they were cutting into my pectoral muscles (too wide spaced) and the cut was a little lower than I'm comfortable with. Another modification I've done is divide the back piece into two so that I have a flyback type suit with the straps meeting in the center. I love to do the contrast elastic binding for a more professional look.
The tights pattern in the book has come in handy too, I bought some heavy nylon knit fabric and made cold weather cycling tights similar to those selling for about 60$ Cdn. in bike shops.
Kwik Sew fits big, so if you are two or three inches bigger than the size chart shows, try it anyway - lycra has lots of stretch, and the book gives advice on bustline adjustments to D cup.

Sew'n'go
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Sew'n'go
Intermediate
Nova Scotia CANADA
Member since 3/5/04
Posts: 368
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Date: 9/11/05 12:45 PM

I agree that the Kwik Sew bathing suit book is an excellent resource. Gotta love a book that shows all the details and gives clear directions, especially when you are just starting out.

Question: What type of fabric are you using for your exercise gear?

Victoria

rhoda bicycle

rhoda bicycle
Intermediate
Saskatchewan CANADA
Member since 6/26/05
Posts: 1148
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Date: 9/13/05 8:21 PM

I'm mainly a swimmer, so mostly it's been lycra. Recently I made a suit from polyester Cloroblock. It doesn't stretch as much - about 50% stretch both ways - but seems to work anyway, and it drys much faster. It's supposed to last a lot longer than lycra and be UV resistant as well, so I'm going to try cycling shorts next.
Polartec Powerdry is great for tee shirts and cycling jerseys, and I'm told it makes great long underwear. It only has about 25% stretch, but comes in beautiful colors and is really easy to sew. It drys in no time at all, good for vacations in muggy hot regions. Polartech powerstretch is very light and stretchy, good for linings, even swimsuit linings.
Actually, the only Malden Mills fabric I don't think I'll sew again is the Aquashell. I made a wetsuit for one of my hubby's grand-daughters and an open water suit for myself and found them less than satisfactory. This urethane coated fleece is an extremely tight fit going on dry, then stretches out two or three sizes bigger when wet. It's probably okay for something like a paddling shirt thats just going to be splashed now and then, but not so good for swimming.

Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
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Date: 9/13/05 8:26 PM

I am using some wicking/technical fabrics and also nylon/lycra fabrics (they are just so much easier to find! ). For my shelf bras I am using mostly Power Dry, it's very comfortable to wear. I don't like cotton/lycras as I just sweat buckets in my hot yoga class and it gets very heavy and soggy. Some good places to get wicking fabrics are:

www.fabricline.com
www.wazoodle.com
www.maldenmillsstore.com

I've also bought some beautiful nylon/lycras from www.lucysfabrics.com. The Supplex fabrics are wonderful for tops (and not just workout tops either) and the ottomans I bought recently are going to make fantastic yoga pants, tops and hoodies. I like a little thicker fabric for the pants because it holds you in a little and is generally less revealing/more flattering. Lucy's also has an Ebay store http://stores.ebay.com/Lucys-Fashion-Fabrics-and-Trims - I usually check both places, sometimes she has some nice remnants on Ebay.

Sew'n'go
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Sew'n'go
Intermediate
Nova Scotia CANADA
Member since 3/5/04
Posts: 368
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Date: 9/14/05 7:59 AM

Thanks for the ideas on fabrics. I tend to get in a fabric rut, so it's great to hear what others use.

Victoria

Diana M
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Diana M
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 4/19/04
Posts: 927
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Date: 9/30/05 12:22 PM

Susan Kahlje's Sew Much MOre on DIY network is featuring custom fit swimsuits today, for those of you who get that channel.

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Sewing fills my life. And my living room, and bedroom, and closets, and car . . .
-----------------------------------
The advantage of a food allergy is that I get to choose the restaurant.

Annie- oh
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Annie- oh
Intermediate
Colorado USA
Member since 2/7/04
Posts: 1380
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Date: 9/30/05 1:45 PM

I'll do a sew-along for swim suits!

I just took lunch to DH, who lifeguards at our local rec center, and the pools were almost all empty and gorgeously smooth. Came home to get my swimsuit, a heavy 2-piece cotton knit from WM, hate the thing.

I have the KS pattern, a bunch of different fabrics I've bought over the last 18 months, elastics, and I have Jan Bone's sports bra cut out, also for 18 months or so.

With that procrastination in mind, can I get a suit made and make it into the pool before the afterschool crowd gets there this afternoon????

Annie

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I try all things. I achieve what I can. "Moby Dick"

We stand here confronted by insurmountable opportinities. Pogo

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