stripy suit

August 6th, 2014

stripy swim suit on elsie marley

I started sewing clothes for my kids 6 years ago. These pants are actually the first thing I ever made! Part of me is very proud at how far I’ve come. That up there is a by god homemade swimsuit! But then another part of me is disappointed with my sloth-like pace.

stripy swim suit on elsie marley

If I had know it would take 6 years to become a confident sewer, would I have started? And really I’m only a confident sewer when it comes to making children’s clothes. Quilts, zippers, and especially grown up garments still scare the shit out of me.

stripy swim suit on elsie marley

At the same time I was starting to sew kids clothes, I was starting to sew my own. Those drawstring pjs in the post with my first handmade kid pants? I still wear them (and they continue to be like “drawstring bags for your legs and about that flattering”). Right around that time I made this dress and it still hangs, unhemmed, in my studio. I learn slowly. And more to the point I gain confidence slowly.

stripy swim suit on elsie marley

The newness of an unknown skill is scary. The vulnerability you feel in the face of failure is unsettling. The courage to overcome your self-doubt is difficult to find.  The strength seemingly comes out of nowhere for others. And fast. I take tiny steps towards new skills, new materials, new ideas.

stripy swim suit on elsie marley

I feel like I have to live up to the frenetic pace of the internet. NEW THINGS ALL THE TIME! OR AT LEAST NEWISH THINGS SLIGHTLY RE-HASHED! ALL THE DAMN TIME! But I can’t. I don’t have a pattern coming out, or a fabric line, or a mash-up pattern collective/fabric line. I am learning how to sew one thing at time.

stripy swim suit on elsie marley

pattern: cosi swimsuit by sew pony   //   fabric: blue and white stripes from Spandex World

Posted in sewing clothes.

40 Responses to stripy suit

  1. sarah says:

    thank you i too have had similar sewing moments and likewise have a dress currently hanging unhemmed, sewing definitely is an art which requires a certain level of perseverance through the lows and of course the glorious highs. this swimsuit is gorgeous.

  2. Deborah says:

    Oh, totally!! The frenetic pace of things coming out on the internet–and it has this air of “get it before it’s gone” about it. There is something really deeply lasting about the slowly-gained experience of making one garment after another. The last year-plus, that’s how I’ve re-learned the joy in sewing, just by sitting down and making one thing after another, sewing up someone else’s design or pattern, not re-inventing the wheel or feeling pushed to make something NEW! NEW! NEW! but to make something I was truly happy with and felt joy when I look at it. Thanks for putting that into words today!

    • meg says:

      We are building skills here. And they will last, unlike the sharpie colored mug in your cupboard.

  3. erin says:

    i admire your jump in and do it attitude. and amen! there is no keeping up so i have stopped trying. (adorable swimsuit, too.).

    • meg says:

      getting older has the decidedly awesome benefit of not giving a shit (more and more each year!)

    • mary frances says:

      yes to all of this, Meg. I really needed to read this today. I’ve been toying with the idea of dipping my feet back into the blog-o-sphere, not because I might be able to keep up but because I remember that I liked doing it. the writing, the making, the record keeping. we’re moving to a new house, how fun would that be to blog? but the home dec/improvement internet world is even wilder and more fast-paced than the sewing world and I waffle about what I could offer by writing about that process. And then I remember–who cares? I need to learn to get my head out of everyone else’s arse and stick it back up my own, I guess. how’s that for a metaphor?

  4. Sarah Helene says:

    A TRULY CLASSIC & LOVELY SWIMSUIT! CONGRATS on your success sewing LOTS of LOVE into this Spandex World blue & white stripe swimsuit for your girl. I LOVE this style because it’s NOT a skimpy 2-piece/bikini-style for a young girl. Thanks for sharing your thoughts & know you take on challenges, continue to learn & try new things in sewing. Sarah in Minneapolis

  5. Melissa Q. says:

    Oh, the pace of it all is maddening. I particularly find it hard because I’m kind of into the slow aspect of things. It takes me forever to write a pattern or make something. It all feels more and more commercial when it’s all about NEW! NEW! NEW! can kind of come out like BUY IT! BUY IT! BUY IT! . Sigh. I love this crazy sewing world because it felt like an escape from that mentality. I try to ignore the pacing and avoid getting caught up in it (not always easy) and follow my gut. Making makes me happy and I’m determined to stick with that as my guide. I love this swimsuit. I’d stitch a zipper in any day over sewing with that blasted swimsuit material. ha!

    • meg says:

      exactly. everything exactly.

      and spandex is not the most fun to sew with, but have you seen the bombshell swimsuit pattern…?

  6. Jessica says:

    This is the perfect swimsuit Meg! I would totally wear it in my size. And you put that idea into words nicely. Sewing is supposed to be fun and sloooow.

  7. Molly says:

    That is very impressive–a bathing suit! I am impressed with your sewing skills! And, that is giving my confidence to try a kid swim suit too!

  8. Brienne says:

    I like how you changed the direction of the stripes. I loved your bias tape shorts too – I think I forgot to tell you.

  9. Jane says:

    I’m with you!! I’m slow at confidence, trying and even feel uncomfortable calling myself anything other than a confident beginner sometimes… Bc I often don’t feel confident… Although… It is a lot about practice practice and just try it for me… I love this suit, the stripes are fantastic!

    • meg says:

      I only recently felt like I moved up a tick from confident beginner to almost intermediate.

  10. Marlena says:

    Looks great! I also love that there is a website called “Spandex World.”

  11. Kristi says:

    My blogging/sewing self doubt mantra – I define this space, it does not define me. Sometimes I question showing my own less than perfect projects (when I see others churning out perfection), but seeing my own ascent along the learning curve is important to me, so I do it.

    Beautiful swimsuit!

  12. Karin says:

    Meg, you knocked it out of the park, again, with that suit! Seriously, can you say kids’ clothing designer?!?!
    And, yours is still my favorite sewing blog after all these years because you’re a person.

    • meg says:

      ah man, you’re my favorite too, even though you live outside the ether of the blogosphere.

  13. Heather L says:

    Love the suit! (And so much else of what you sew…!). (I have more thoughts but they are not super coherent…process vs product sewing, enjoying the sewing journey and totally not comparing ourselves to others…etc…thank you for making me think.)

  14. I wish we hung out more, Meg. Amen to all of that. And fantastic suit! I shall keep the option of sewing one (never crossed my mind!) open when I get mad over the stupid hoochy girls’ options for suits.
    The thing that is so frustrating to me is that part in the beginning of something new, when there’s nothing but experience that will get you where you want to be – no amount of reading, research, etc. Gaining experience is such a bitch, sometimes. (she said while wishing she were a decent fiddle player)

  15. rachel says:

    I love this suit so much, Meg! I love the way you placed the stripes. The fit is perfect and the suit looks great on her. One of my favorite Cosi suits yet!

  16. Kathryn says:

    I love the swimsuit! Great job! I love the pace of your blog. I know that every post will be a good read with thoughtful tips and/or observations, not just a post for the sake of making a post. Thank you for being true to yourself and not following the trend of faster, newer, more!

  17. beth lehman says:

    this is just darling… what a cute suit. as for sewing and confidence and learning slowly… all you say is so true!! it is so hard to just jump in, but i never regret it… i do, however, regret not sewing… not trying. so, thank you for this reminder!!

  18. Cherie says:

    That is a damn GORGEOUS bathing suit. It’s perfect. And you can sew whatever the hell you want to at whatever pace you want. I think you’re doing amazing, refreshing new things all the time. Quality over quantity. And I don’t usually comment on blogs, but when I realized that I was going to beat Kristin AND Tara to it, I just had to. Love you, Meg!!

    • meg says:

      you are the winning commenter! dingdingdingdingding!!! Kristin and Tara are suckas

      • kristin says:

        dammit cherie! hahaha! sorry meg, i’ve been MEANING to comment on this post since the day you wrote it but haven’t had the computer time this week. and now i just want to echo cherie’s comment. you’re always doing creative, inspiring things, you’re a real person, and it’s clear that your family and your real life are more important to you than turning your blog into some traffic/pattern/fabric conglomerate. and i love you for that. what i hate you for though is having me click through to your pants post and reminding me again that katie did is gone. i still miss her. so much :/

        oh and PS – the swimsuit is amazing! just keep plugging away at learning new things at your own pace. sewing works best that way i think. no rush.

  19. ines says:

    Congratulations! Calm down! You are an inspiration to me! I´m just starting! It´s my second year! One day at the time. I usually say on my language: Fazer é poder! Fazer é aprender!

  20. Jennifer says:

    Love the swimsuit, love this post! I recently finished sewing a blouse for myself. It felt like all sewists for grown-ups in blogland have sewn this blouse and love love loved the fabulousness and simplicity and ease of it all…while I muddled through with some mild swearing (reduced from intense swearing by using a sew along) and then full-on tears when I couldn’t get the collar on right. I took a two week break from it, and then the collar was easy. Who knows what was going on there. We don’t have to sew, so why do it? It’s a creative process like any other. Sometimes, we just have to muddle through it, keep trying and stop comparing. Thanks, Meg!

  21. Jenya says:

    oh your words resonate with how I feel about my sewing! Speaking of new things – the swimsuit is fab!! Love how you played with stripes.

  22. trula says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous. And I know what you mean. In this world of instant gratification its a ridiculously slow process :)

  23. sabrina says:

    Amen, sister! Yea for you to keep blogging depsite your “slow” pace, or the fact that you don’t have a fabric line or new patterns to sell. Thank you, thank you!

  24. Jennifer O. says:

    I love what you said here and I love your swimsuit! I am constantly amazed by what I feel confident about (I could totally make that!!) and what still freaks me out. It’s a slow process. I have just bought my first knit fabric and I’m ready to take the plunge there. It’s tempting to stay in my comfort zone, but also exciting to try something new, even if I move at a snail’s pace.

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