The Cindy Swim Suit by BurdaStyle

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I made this swim suit long before I started blogging my sewing adventures so I have no photographic evidence, I’m pretty sure it was while I was still operating RitualBath, so blogging was natural bath and beauty related. However this swimsuit showed up in my inbox this morning and I wanted to write it a quick love note.

The Cindy from BurdaStyle, when that website was my only outlet for pdf on demand sewing patterns. Oh how far we have come my indies! First off I did have to grade this a bit as I was a size 16-18 at the time. I made it in a gorgeous burgundy swim lycra from JoAnn’s because I didn’t know any better at the time. Before I go into the problem areas and how I think they can be fixed let me just say, I felt SMOKIN HOT in this swim suit.

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Fiber arts: Ice Dye technique

Disclaimer: The substrate I am dyeing on was a gift from www.sewhere.com all other materials were purchased from the listed suppliers.

Too many months ago my friend Mallory gifted me some Cone Mills Stretch denim in natural to “do something fun” with. She suggested pants or a denim jacket and I knew jeans were where I would be heading. I live in jeans and tee shirts. Maybe it’s my up bringing, Grandaddy used to wear “dungarees” and denim work jackets while he taught us how to grow orange trees in the FL heat. Athletic wear on my body everyday seems like a broken promise, and I have enough mom guilt.

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Back to ice dyeing I took my sweet time figuring out the how and what, gathered many pinterest pins and finally settled on something that could read more floral and less Electric Daisy Carnival. I have shopped with Dharma Trading Co. before, picked up my indigo and some dye fabrics there and I love their website and customer service. I went with four colors: a turquoise, sage green, amber yellow, and orange. When dyeing with ice having a variety of light and dark colors as well as some contrasting colors (colors across from each other on a color wheel) can really enhance the outcome.

Shopping list:

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Shopping with Cashmerette and SoCal Sewists

Curvy So Cal Sewists and Cashmerette invade The Fabric Store LA and Mood LA!

On Cashmerette Pattern’s Facebook group, Jenny Rushmore the creatrix behind Cashmerette put the word out that she was planning an escape of the frozen tundra in Boston and heading to sunny Los Angeles on a buying and defrosting trip. She would graciously share her work vacation time with any So Cal sewing ladies wanting to join in a retail shopping excursion to The Fabric Store LA and Mood LA.

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My lovelies from The Fabric Store LA

I don’t know about anyone else but sewing keeps me away from the outside world, and most times it’s a good meditative practice, so I don’t mind. However my immediate family doesn’t understand the excitement of a well threaded double needle or the reason behind the “WOOHOO” I yell out when the finished stash busting shirt fits well.

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A table with an array of fabrics in a pink color way and in the background the Merino wools!

So the call to join for an afternoon, with others who know the joys and trials of sewing for a bodacious body, I was in.

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Oh you know just some silks in a rainbow display 

If you have never been to Los Angeles, it’s big, like takes 30 – 45 min to get anywhere big. I live in what could be called the suburbs or “the Valley” if you are old enough to remember those movies from the 80’s. Really it could be a city of it’s own hovering at about 1.8 million people (Los Angeles counts that 1.8 in the over all 3.8 million people in the county and city). We came together from surrounding counties some driving an hour to meet up.

It was a great time, swapping stories of pattern makes, alterations and just ohhing and ahhing over all the fun things we were running our hands over.

I highly recommend finding an in-person group to sew or shop with, I know this won’t be my last.

My Wardrobe the Phinney Ridge Cardigan

I was given this pattern at a tester for free all opinions are my own.

Phinney Ridge Cardigan by Straight Stitch Design is a classic cuff and waist banded boyfriend or letterman cardigan with many variation possibilities. I agreed to test the size 24 with the hopes that this would be a nice layering piece for my wardrobe. Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs has created some great garment patterns with classic flair. Ruffle hem? Yes, Viewridge Tank, Zipper back detail Yup the Ravenna Top, Box pleats? Sure.

All of her patterns seem to have some design options which I love, I used to buy patterns from the “big four” based on how many garment pieces were in an envelop. A strategy I have now found to be not the best way to buy my patterns.

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My Phinney Ridge Cardigan, EasyT and Costco cords, because sometimes you buy cloths with your bulk groceries.

A few weeks ago I was able to meet up with some SoCal sewists, Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette and Carie McGowan for a shopping trip to The Fabric Store-LA and Mood. The afternoon did not disappoint. While at The Fabric Store I purchased some glittery lovelies and some Merino wool jersey in basic black and jewel tone fuchsia. I can’t get enough of fuchsia aparently. The black wool jersey was perfect for my SoCal weather and I had plenty for the cardigan pattern.

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My black merino wool version of the Straight Stitch Designs, Phinney Ridge Cardigan sewing pattern.

The Phinney Ridge Cardigan is a great staple and good experienced beginner pattern that will give you quite a confidence boost. You can add buttons, snaps or not at all, there is also the option to lengthen, shorten or add elbow patches.

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The pattern size range is from a size 0 -24 (not vanity sized, based on the measurements of your body, and nested for easy grading between sizes) and takes under two yards varying in how wide your fabric is. The instructions are clear and easy to execute, you could try the “ham/hot” cuff method here for the wrist cuffs but either directions work well.

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My version in black merino wool jersey is without buttons or snaps as I didn’t have any that went with the light weight jersey, but I did interface it for future button add ons. I sewed it exactly as is without any lengthening or shortening. I could have stood for a shortening in the sleeves and body as I am a bit on the shorter side and the cuffs and band hit about two inches past where they should. With that minor alteration aside I still wear the heck out of it, I mean comfortable wool in classic black, how very Audrey Hepburn of me. I guess you could say, I really like mine, I have worn out cardigans like this and haven’t found RTW replacements. Now I don’t need to, I just need to go back and pick up more wool jersey. The Phinney Ridge Cardigan pattern is on sale till Friday February 24th so there is no reason not to grab one.