Wow, okay, so I’m just posting here to try and keep some normality in our lives. I want to let you know that with everything happening in the world right now, I think it’s so important to hold tight to the small things in life. I am so glad to be so fortunate to have sewing in my life. Thank you for connecting with me here over the years, without you this just wouldn’t exist. Your support and connection means everything.
A few months ago now my daughter Emily asked me to make her a suit like mine. First of all, I am so happy that she wanted a swim suit like the one that I had made! I mean, that’s just an amazing thing right there. Actually, Natalie wants one, too. So that’s next on the list of fun sewing projects. I jumped at the chance and bought the girls version of the Cottesloe Swim Suit by Megan Nielsen Patterns. I am thrilled that she has an adult and child version. It made it so easy!
Emily picked out this gorgeous abstract print that I had purchased through Spoonflower. I had originally bought it for myself, but after I made my gingham version, I didn’t make another (maybe this summer though!). I was very excited she loved the print! I had enough of the other supplies leftover from my suit, so it really was a project that was meant to be!
Emily helped with assembling the pattern pieces and then she hung out when we cut the fabrics and starting sewing. I ended up making two bottoms because the first size I made seemed too tight for her, so to help ease any worry that they wouldn’t feel comfortable to swim in, I made a second bottom. It was easy enough to make another, I’m just happy that I had enough fabric and elastic. She wore her suit to her school’s Winter Wellness day (basically it’s a reward day for middle schoolers where they get to pick from all sorts of fun activities to do for a day) to a nearby water park. She said the suit was great and I’m excited to see her wear it this summer, too.
Pattern: Mini Cottesloe Swim Suit by Megan Nielsen Patterns
Fabric: Sport Lycra from Spoonflower, design by Taisya Kordiukova
Elastics purchased from The Fabric Fairy
I didn’t mean to end up with a bunch of waxed canvas projects here, but it’s been fun playing around with it for sure. I’m excited about this small Hillside Tote in Olive Waxer Canvas. I think what I love most about using it is when I need a quick project. Because I don’t interface the waxed canvas part of the project it ends up saving time. Instead of a fully interfaced exterior I focus on using a sturdy lining, which lately has been Big Sur canvas. I recently ordered a bunch of colors from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, and it’s been so fun seeing them in person.
So I used Waxer Canvas for this Hillside Tote with a Big Sur canvas lining. And a leather fixed length strap because, it’s fast! I love it. I love a quick project that you can use right away! It’s fun to see a few rectangles of fabric, a zipper, leather and hardware come together in just an afternoon and end up as a useful bag.
It’s been great experimenting with different types of waxed canvas, too. In fact, I just finished a prototype of an upcoming pattern using a dry waxed canvas that I purchased from Blackbird Fabrics (6.5 oz Dry Waxed Cotton Canvas, which looks like it’s sold out at the moment). I really enjoyed using it! Trying different substrates like this helps me choose fabrics for future projects, because they’re all different with different qualities so it’s nice to know for when I’m sewing up my next sample! I think that’s really been holding my interest lately, trying new types fabrics! If you’re unsure about a certain type of fabric, I’d highly recommend trying it! Start with a simple tote or zippered pouch and see how you like it. Starting with a low time/fabric commitment type project will give you a great feel for how you might makes changes to your next project. Experimenting is half the fun!
Pattern: Hillside Tote (mini)
Fabric: Waxer Canvas (Olive), Big Sur Canvas (Smokey Beige)
Hardware, zipper and leather straps (1″-wide by 54″, which are easy to customize to whatever length you’d need) available in my shop!
Well, I of course felt like it would only be fair to make another. My friend, Jane, loved that one, and I quickly offered to make one for her! This time I used the blue (Turkish Sea) Waxer Canvas
from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. It was fun to see it come together in blue. I chose a long time favorite speckled canvas for the lining and set to work!
Just like last time around I used a double layer of the Waxer canvas on the contrast bottom piece. Cutting two of the same size and basted them together around the perimeter. I didn’t add any other interfacing to the exterior pieces. The lining is canvas and again, no added interfacing. Of course you could definitely add whatever you’d like, but I’m happy with this combination. I think it makes a great lightweight travel bag with perfect amount of pockets!
I did manage to put together a few leather kits
(for the large size, the small size can use my 1″-wide straps
or you can make them from fabric, too) in my shop if you’re interested. One of the kits is available with the hardware included. I cut it to the size you choose when you order and then I assemble it. Pretty fun! I also have the turn locks
and both zipper sizes (they’re jacket zippers and my favorite type of zipper to use for this pattern, here’s the 20″ size
and the 24″ size
Fabric: Waxer Canvas in Turkish Sea
, lining is a recycled hemp/cotton duck that I had gotten at Fancy Tiger Crafts (looks like it’s sold out now though) 🙁
I’m in the process of restocking leather in my shop, so stop back next week for a full selection of the 1″-wide straps.
All images are by Jessica Sands Photography