Swimwear/Dancewear Pattern Making and Sewing

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In order to try and move this thread back onto swimwear I thought I'd
start it all afresh. I'd like to draw peoples' attention to my website
on stretch pattern making ....

http://www.patternschool.com

.... and to offer support to anyone who needs help or advice on
anything to do with swimwear and dancewear  sewing. A skill shared is
a skill preserved as they say. I love discussing all things stretch
related so fire away.

Stuart

Re: Swimwear/Dancewear Pattern Making and Sewing
SwimSew wrote:
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I'm still trying to add some fabric sites for swimwear related fabrics
to my Fabric List.  I'm particularly looking for Europe based
manufacturers and supplies, but mainly suppliers who will sell their
stuff to retail customers.  I can get the type of nylon/Lycra used for
dance wear easily and cheaply, but I can't find a reliable source of the
better quality chlorine resistent stuff, or any of the UV resistent and
protective stuff.  Between your site and some of the commercial patterns
sites, patters are quite readily available for swimwear of both the
briefest and the more well covered varieties, but getting hold of decent
fabrics is a pain.  This is one reason I haven't pushed my cozzy project
further up the list of Things To Do When I Get Time.

I'm also interested in making things like swimming shorts and rash vests
  for The Giant Mutant Ninja Teenager...  Some of the Outdoor related
places do sell some of this stuff, but seem geared (oops!) more towards
the ultra-light weight end of things than UV protection.  As the GMNT is
very fair skinned, this is of greater concern to me.  He's MOSTLY OK in
England, but trips to both Kandersteg and Biaritz over the last two
summers crisped him somewhat.  His very blond cousin has an 'iffy' mole
removed a couple or three years ago as a prevention measure (t'lad was
about 13 at the time), and with cancer elsewhere in the family and
friends group, it's something I'm very conscious of...

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Swimwear/Dancewear Pattern Making and Sewing
wrote:

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Without a doubt the best quality chlorine resistant lycra in the world
is Carvico (carvico.it). You need to find a supplier for it locally to
you ... being the largest manufacturer in the world as well means that
shouldn't be too difficult ... unfortunately I am unfamiliar with UK
retailers.


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I've just added a kids section to the site ... the basic leotard/
bodice is up and the sleeves/legs will be added shortly. The same
theory for making ladies tank tops still applies to kids, there's just
no dart involved ... easy for someone like yourself. Skin cancer is
the biggest health issue where i live here in the tropics so I hear
you loud and clear ... my little guy has essentially a lycra catsuit
(more commonly called stingersuit up here). I made it with little
shark teeth around the hood opening and with a fin on his back and he
was ecstatic (he's 3.5)


Re: Swimwear/Dancewear Pattern Making and Sewing
SwimSew wrote:

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James is now 14 and 5'11"!  Not sure he'd go for one like that, but it
sounds like fun.

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Swimwear/Dancewear Pattern Making and Sewing

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Ok may I suggest a 'colour blocked' rashie (top half of a leotard with
sleeves) that resembles more of a wetsuit style as far as pattern
pieces go ... if you do it out of 240gsm or heavier lycra it'll also
be a bit more manly ... add simple board shorts like all the kids wear
nowadays as they go all the way to the knees and you're even
fashionable.

I'll have the full leotard block for men up sometime in the next
fortnight so you'll be able to use that for rashie's, just drop the
negative ease down to around 8%.

Stuart

Re: Swimwear/Dancewear Pattern Making and Sewing
SwimSew wrote:
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Thanks, love.  Sounds brilliant.  Board shorts it is, unless he suddenly
takes up racing!  (I think that he had 'the most efficient stroke' when
he got to swimming lessons at school last summer, and was third fastest
in his year group, has more to do with three years of weekly one-to-one
swimming lessons and an hour guddling about in the pool than any
particular effort on his part!  But he likes swimming...  )

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Swimwear/Dancewear Pattern Making and Sewing
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preserved >as they say. I love discussing all things >stretch related so
fire away.
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In the past, I've made my own dance-wear (very similar to swimwear) and
the one thing that I found helpful, was my zig-zag stitch setting.  All
my seams were done with that.  At the time, I didn't have a stretch
stitch setting on my machine.  I do now.


Re: Swimwear/Dancewear Pattern Making and Sewing
Chris R wrote:
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I still use the zz over the stretch stitches on an 'ordinary' machine.
It works much better.  For seams I try to use the serger where possible,
but it isn't always the best answer.

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Swimwear/Dancewear Pattern Making and Sewing

You can make swimwear or dance wear with a zig-zag, specialty stretch
stitches or even a prestretched straight stitch, but an unlocked (3
thread only) overlocker is the best by far for maximum resistance to
breakage. A 3 thread overlocked seam has up to 4 times the stretch and
around 7 times the breaking strain (based on using the same thread
type).

I think many people miss the concept of breaking strain especially
when it comes to performance garments made from stretch. Non stretch
fabrics take considerable load off the seam, whereas, say leotards for
example, apply all the load to the seam before applying it to the
fabric ... sounds counter intuitive but a non stretch fabric relays
the strain evenly across the seam, like a zip, whereas the in stretch
seam the breakage occurs where the highest loading meets the weakest
part of the thread. Not sure I'm explaining that very well but the
message is that the strength of the seam is more critical in a garment
where the fabric can stretch further than the seam can.

If you rarely if ever make something out of lycra then you may get
away without owning an overlocker, however any serious sewist should
own at least one.

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