Sewing Projects


I‘m back from the most blissful, peaceful week at a lake in a 70’s a-frame cottage in northern Quebec. Sleeping for 9 hours a night, drinking tea and napping in the hammock, reading a book a day (I’m a crazy speed reader and got sucked into some trashy detective novels), floating in a duck-filled lake, canoe rides, big meals with my best friends, nights around a campfire…. Lake vacations are the best vacations. The climate shock coming back into the city was intense, and still lingering. If my office had a hammock I might actually get more work done.

I spent most of my time in this new high waisted bikini.  As some of you may remember, I made this one piece a month ago. Loosely based on a vintage pattern, I was trying to recreate a glamorous (and pricey) Norma Kamali suit. After making my workable muslin, I thought I would tackle making a two piece.

I was nervous about this style – if the proportion isn’t exactly right it can read more granny than glammy so I wanted it to hit exactly at the slimmest part of my waist. I think high waisted styles that don’t stop at the right part of your waist make your torso look awkward and truncated. Once again, for anyone with a booty I think low cut legs are the only way to go. Let’s keep that shit in check.

I used the same process as my one piece to make the bottom, only this time I mastered the ruching (critical to reinforce the seams with clear elastic). Initially I wanted a very structured bikini top but time was ticking the day before I left for my vacation so I modified the bikini top from this pattern I had hanging around in my stash. The pattern was designed for a non-stretch fabric so I elongated the straps to allow me to tie it in the back rather than fastening it with hardware like it originally called for.

I was having a really difficult time getting my machine to sew this fabric. I troubleshooted a number of things; after switching to a stretch needle and sweetly cajoling my old Singer it started to sew normally. However, it started acting fritzy when I was almost done and the finishing of the top is not my best work. It’s crazy how temperamental sewing machines can be. Of course, I ran out of new needles for my serger so I kept skipping stitches on that machine as well. After oiling the machines with my bitter tears I managed to finish up just in time to throw it in my bag and get the hell out of dodge.

To say I like this swimsuit would be a lie – I F*CKING LOVE this swimsuit. It’s so comfy and hides all the bad bits and I didn’t take it off as long as the sun was shining. It almost felt like an outfit (albeit not much of one) so it wasn’t unusual to find me making frittata for 10 people while wearing it.

I still have a half yard or so of this super soft & luxurious navy tricot (it pays to spend extra for the matte Italian stuff – it really looks a lot more high quality than the shimmery tricot I used to make my green one piece) so next summer I hope to get around to making the structured bra top. Until then, I’ll be hitting up the local pool and quarry in this number. It’s pretty nuts how a great suit makes you forget all about your cellulite, isn’t it?

Since I got back, I realized i haven’t really been taking advantage of the summer. I’ve spent more weekends than I care to admit chained to my machine on the most beautiful days of the year, so I’m taking a break from sewing for the next week or so to get in as much sun and fun as possible. Montreal winters can break your spirit if you don’t bank enough vitamin D before November. I’ve got some big plans for the coming fall but it feels weird to be sewing capes and wool skirts when I’m still wearing flip flops so a little sewing sabbatical feels appropriate.

Hope you are squeezing in as much summer produce and bike rides as you can while the getting is good….

(Once again biggest props to my homeboy Mark Slutsky for humoring me with this cheesecake photoshoot….)