sallie in sallie!

Closet Case Files Sallie Maxi in Raspberry Jersey

Ok, you guys had to know this was coming... Closet Case Patterns just released her newest pattern and it's named after meeeee!!!! SQUEEEE!!!! I'm a sewing pattern!!! And not just any pattern, but a JUMPSUIT!! Seriously friends, if I had to pick an article of clothing to personify me, I can think of no higher compliment than to say I'm a jumpsuit.  It's just... *tears*... it's just too much for words! When I think of all the high kicks and funny lunge-y walks and disco grooves that women around the world will be doing in their Sallie Jumpsuits, well let's just say I can die happy.  But the Sallie isn't just a jumpsuit, it's also a maxi dress, as you can see in this post. That means options you guys.  And as much as I love pants that are directly attached to tops in my sewing patterns, I think I love a pattern that gives you options even more.  But I'm getting ahead of myself here...

Deep breath.

Hey! How are you?  Summer going good? Or is it winter where you are? That's nice...

Closet Case Files Sallie Maxi in Raspberry Jersey

Alright, let's get back to Sallie!  When Heather told me she was going to be naming this pattern after me I was so excited (can ya tell?!?! Can ya tell I'm excited!!!!?!?) And then I saw the pattern and I Lost. It. Heather designed the Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi Dress with the sexy disco vibes of 70's Studio 54 and glamour girls like Bianca Jagger in mind.  Basically everything I want to embody. And best of all, it's designed for knits, so not only do you get that 70's glamour girl look, but you get it while wearing something that essentially feels like pajamas! I mean... can you see why I am proud to have it be my namesake??

Closet Case Files Sallie Maxi in Raspberry JerseyCloset Case Files Sallie Maxi in Raspberry Jersey

I of course jumped at the chance to test this pattern.  As excited as I am about the jumpsuit version of this pattern (and you better bet your britches I'm excited) I opted for the maxi dress for my test.  The reason for this being that it is approximately a-million-dee-ba-jillion-dee degrees outside these days and about the only clothing I can wrap my head around at the moment are dresses.  So the maxi dress won this round.  I also thought that this gorgeous raspberry rayon knit from Mood would look exceptional in a floor length dress.  

Closet Case Files Sallie Maxi in Raspberry Jersey

Construction-wise, this thing went together without a hitch.  I cut all the pieces one evening, and sewed it up in a few hours the next day.  I've loved every pattern I've made from Closet Case Files so far, but I have to admit, I have a soft spot for Heather's knit patterns.  Her instructions always teach me a little trick for working with knits I never knew before, or a better way to do simple things, like create an elastic casing, from how I had been doing them.  Admittedly, as much as I love them, working with knits has never really been my strong suit, so I appreciate the opportunity to learn.  This pattern can pretty much be sewn entirely on a conventional sewing machine.  The bodice is a double layer, so all seams are enclosed.  I sewed the long side seams of the skirt, and the waist on my serger, but a zig-zag stitch would have worked just as well, and maybe even better for the side seams because of the split sides.

Closet Case Files Sallie Maxi in Raspberry Jersey

In terms of fit, you really can't get any easier than a knit! The Sallie calls for a knit with a good amount of 4 way stretch, which makes it oh-so-comfy and oh-so-easy-to-fit! I made a size 6 based on my measurements, and then measured the elastic for the waist by pinning the elastic and wearing it around for a bit to make sure it was comfortable.  One of the things I love about the maxi dress is that it's actually pretty darn adjustable! You can adjust the waist elastic to what's comfortable for you, and you can adjust the shoulder ties for a comfortable fit.  Seriously, does it get any easier? In my drapey rayon knit, the single layer skirt is a bit clingy on the rear, which doesn't bother me, but could bother some.  A thicker or less drapey knit (or a slip if you don't live in the fiery furnace of hell and can stand an additional layer) would totally solve this.

I should also note that while I'm showing you the tester version of this pattern, Heather ended up not changing too much to the maxi dress after testing besides altering the hem curve slightly, so this version is pretty close to the finished pattern.

Closet Case Files Sallie Maxi in Raspberry JerseyCloset Case Files Sallie Maxi in Raspberry Jersey

Well guys, thanks for letting me gush! I'm so excited to have such a fun pattern named after me (HAVE I MENTIONED I'M EXCITED?!?) And I wish I could convey the little giggle I get at the thought of a bunch of beautiful ladies "wearing their Sallie's" or "sewing up a Sallie"... Hmm... upon further reflection that kind of makes me think of people making freaky skin-suits of me... Scratch that!!! Let's just say I'm excited for people to get their jumpsuit on! And try the maxi dress version too!! Your sweaty legs won't regret it!!

Heather my love, THANK YOU. I know I had absolutely ZERO to do with all the hard work that went into making this lovely, but consider me a Proud Papa all the same.  

Now everyone, go forth and make some Sallie's!!!!



the simplest of swimsuits


Well friends, here we are, another summer of sewing and blogging and once again I can't believe that I'm actually posting photos of myself in a bikini on the internet.  *Sighs* oh well... (shoves her shame into the same box where she keeps her pride and stuffs it back under the bed) here we go! 

As most of you probably know, I love the beach. It's been well documented.  I believe there are scientific studies that show a shocking increase in 'good mood vibes' and 'general sense of well-being' as a result of spending a day on the beach.  Those studies were conducted by me. On myself. So... you know... cold hard fact, people.  But seriously, I can't think of another environment that makes me feel quite at home in my own skin. Plop me in the sand near a large body of water (preferably the salty variety) with a good book (preferably the mystery variety) and I'm one happy little mermaid.  In fact, these photos were taken after spending just such a day, which explains my rather salty appearance and my whole "oh hey camera, let's take some nearly-naked-photos" confidence.


A few weeks back I woke up one Sunday morning, saw the sun shining, and knew it was gonna be a perfect beach day.  I also decided right then and there, as I was laying in bed watching the sun stream through the curtains, that I needed a new swimsuit. Now.  So I popped out of bed and went straight to my sewing room and began making this little guy.  A few hours later my brand new swimsuit was on my body and I was on my way to the beach! Talk about a fast make!

DSC_0344 DSC_0357

If you're looking to make your own bikini, there are options out there for patterns, but quite frankly, I just wanted something classic and simple.  Call me crazy, but I kind of think string bikinis are the perfect bikini. They're adjustable so they fit a wide variety of shapes without digging into your skin, they give good tan-lines, they're sporty and sexy at the same time, and (remember, I spend a lot of time on the beach and see a lot of bodies in swimsuits) they look good on everyone.  Sure, they're not the most supportive of swim tops - they're not going to hold you in, or push you up, or pad you out - and they certainly don't offer a lot of coverage or modesty, but that's kind of the point. They simply cover what needs to be covered and leave your body to do it's thing.  And bodies are beautiful. So there.


String bikinis are also one of the most simple, expedient swimwear designs ever created.  We're literally talking about two triangles attached to strings.  Simple enough that I didn't feel the need to go hunting for a suitable pattern.  Instead I traced a RTW string bikini top I already owned and started from there.  The cups are actually a sort of curved triangle, with more roundness at the center front than the sides. My RTW bikini is nice because all the seams are enclosed within the lining - I think it's technically reversible, although I've never worn it as such.  I really wanted to figure out how to do the same for my bikini top because it makes for a very comfortable design.  It was a bit like a puzzle figuring it out, but with my usual finagling and manhandling I was able to pull it off.  One thing I did was to cut the lining 1/8" smaller all around so that all the seams rolled to the underside.  And if/when I make one of these again I think I will add some swimwear elastic to the front and sides - not pulling it taught, but just to help prevent any gaping when wearing.


The suit bottoms are from Papercut Patterns Soma Swimsuit bikini.  I was pretty happy with the fit of these when I made that bikini last year, but I wanted to make a few tweaks to suit my personal tastes. I'm realizing that I'm just not a full coverage bottom kind of gal.  Not that I think I've got a great bottom, I just don't like the feeling of them when they get wet.  A lot of wet fabric hanging around my bum makes me feel like I'm wearing a diaper. There. I said it.  (The exception to this might be the Bombshell swimsuit, which, while a lot of fabric, I actually think is a very flattering cut, but for me that suit is more of a poolside suit than a beach suit).  So for these bottoms I shaved about a half inch off of the leg, tapering to nothing at the crotch.  This makes them a little more leg-lengthening, as well as pretty darn cheeky.  I'm really happy with these bottoms, but I'm wondering if I could go even narrower at the hip/side seam next time.


This fabric is some navy matte milliskin I bought when I made my Bombshell swimsuit.  It's been a while but I think it's from Spandex World...? It's pretty hefty for a swimwear fabric, and I probably could have skipped the lining altogether, but you never know with homemade swimsuits! I figure it's always better to air on the side of caution.  No one wants to come striding out of the waves, channeling her best Ursula Andress circa Dr. No, only to find that her bikini turned translucent on her when wet! Both the suit top and bottom are lined with a nude swim lining from Bramaker's supply, which is also where I got my rubber swim elastic.  All this stuff has been in my stash for a few years, so this was a virtually free make as well!

All in all, construction on this was pretty straightforward.  I switched between my serger and a zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine for the bikini top, and my bottoms were done completely with a zig-zag stitch.  As I said, I threw this whole thing together in a morning and still had time to spend the afternoon at the beach. Since then it's been my go-to suit.  I have lots of extra bits of swimsuit fabric lying around from past makes, and since this uses such little fabric I think I'll make a bunch of these this summer to rotate out.

And now... time for some lady bodybuilder poses!!!



And no, this was not a deserted beach...