Against the Tide: Life’s no beach in 2020

IMG_9136This is probably my 4th attempt at going back to my blog this year. It’s obviously been awhile.

The last thing I wrote about was how much I love to travel and I was going to match up my sewing projects with the travel plans. As you may have guessed, the Covid-19 pandemic ended up putting an end to any of my travel plans and also caused some issues in my mental health. But things are not all bad. Through all the difficulties and adjustments of 2020, I still had my trusty sewing machine. And loads and loads of fabric.

Despite my silence, I have been pretty busy this year. My social life has become obliterated, but I did really get into my sewing again. I’m not sure why I had such a hard time going to back to this blog, it’s almost like I couldn’t find the right words in a world that has just seemed to get progressively more difficult. Maybe I thought what I had to say was so trivial – who care about some dress I constructed when people are suffering? Who wants to hear me moan about not going to Florida when people have lost jobs, livelihoods and loved ones.

Even though my idea for what I wanted to write about in 2020 didn’t work out, I still want to write about my projects. Even though I didn’t go to Florida with my partner’s family, I was able to complete a Pink Flamingo bathing suit before the summer.

The pattern I chose was pretty confusing at first. I had started a suit using a swimsuit fabric I happen to have a surplus of, just to make sure I could do it right. I’m glad I did, because despite having measuring everything multiple times, the top ended up way too small. I tried on the bottoms and realized that the pattern must not have include seam allowances, but I was so confused as why I could not find any mention of it. I retraced the pattern, adding in a seam allowance I thought would be appropriate, and that seemed solve the main issue.

The back did not fit all the way around me, therefore this version had to be scrapped. I did not realize I needed to add seam allowances to this pattern.

The bikini top had a really cool front twist, but this ended up being the toughest part. The directions were not obvious to me how slip the front ends into the initial loop. There was an online tutorial, but the description still confused me.

Creating the twist was the only real complicated part of this swimsuit

It finally took my significant other reading them to help me understand that:
1. I was supposed to construct both sides of the swim top up to a certain step.
2. When sewing the second side of the top you are basically sewing the same way as the first side, but you are putting it through the hole of the first side first.

Sewing the second side of the top, through the hole of the first top, making the signature twist.

I’m not sure why this was not obvious to me at first, but luckily I had worked this out before I attempted my second top. I ended up adding cups to the mesh, since I thought it would have a better structure on my body. Making sure these cups were even was not the easiest exercise, but I think I did okay. Because my first top attempt was such a disaster with the back hook not making it around my back, I added some length to the second attempt to make sure I had enough to make the loop and hook.

The bottoms were definitely the easiest part. I had some experience sewing elastic into a swim suit before so this part wasn’t confusing. And I knew enough to cut the elastic lengths based on my measurements and stretch it as I sewed.

All in all, the top just fits okay but the bottoms fit very well. The project didn’t take too long – I sewed it up just in time for me not to go to Florida in April. It was too cold at that time in Massachusetts to try it out, so I improvised a bit.

Florida Flamingos! This would have been so cool to show off down there. I do like this print a lot.

Despite this room getting a lot of sun, I was not able to get a sun tan. I’m paler than ever here, being confined to my apartment for months. Luckily I was able to test this out over the summer, swimming in a lake. The top actually felt a bit loose, but I haven’t decided if I want to adjust the hook loop in the back so that it sits tighter. This may be a job for 2021.

I will try to catch up this blog with my projects of 2020. I’m hoping that despite the obvious challenges, this can be a great way to look back at the year and reflect on more than just the virus. I’ll be back soon.

3 thoughts on “Against the Tide: Life’s no beach in 2020

  1. Hi, good to see your blog back again. I love this swim suit – That flamingo fabric is really cute and I like that twist top. Such a shame about having to miss your vacation. Hopefully next year you can test these somewhere warm and sunshiny.


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