07 June 2011

Creative Urge -- Swimsuit Coverup Design

I've been having the urge to get creative and do some sewing lately, and late one night last week I finally gave in to a quick project. I had purchased a length of silk chiffon, embroidered and embellished delicately with sequins last summer while in London. While out vintage shopping with my partner in vintage crime -- Jeanne Suica -- we came across the lovely Berwick Street Cloth Shop. This amazing quality fabric was on sale for what I considered a pittance (I can't remember the exact price, but it was under £10 a metre) so after explaining to the sales assistant that I wanted to make a swimsuit coverup, she was able to help me figure out how much I'd need. It turned out that I decided on a different style from the original caftan I had envisioned, and could have used a bit less. However, as I designed this so that it could be taken apart and redesigned into a different style, I'm sure the extra fabric will come in handy at some point!

This was my inspiration:






I saw this on Net-A-Porter, unfortunately it's no longer available so I can't link directly, but they have a lovely collection of swimsuit coverups. While I loved the style, the colour was not what I wanted as it would only work with one of my swimsuits. Then I remembered the fabric! So I got to draping, and came up with a similar design, which was easy peasey to make!

I went from this:


To this:





I haven't sewn it up yet, but I was able to get the shape I wanted by using only three pins! My idea, while similar to the inspiration, was based on tying a pareo -- which I almost did instead of bothering to create a more finished look!

All I had to do was drape the fabric on the mannequin to get the correct shape, pin, and then I'll have to sew a few seams. The shoulders are created by draping the ends over and stitching to the back. This creates the v-neck. There is only one big seam, which is down the front. You could switch it around and put the seam in the back, but you'll lose the higher in front hemline which will wind up in the back. To switch it up further you could make a drawstring neckline, which is similar to what the original inspiration has, and would create larger draped armholes (I prefer the shorter draped armholes as pictured above). Since it's silk chiffon, the hardest part is that I want the edges hand rolled and stitched down to make it cleaner looking. -- although I may wind up machine sewing the edges down as it would seem that would be sturdier. Other than that, this will be one of the easiest design and sewing projects I've done in quite some time!

I'll be sure to show a picture once I'm finished sewing it together -- for now, it's too hot to sit around and sew, so I'm off to the pool to cool down! If you decide to try this project, be sure to let me know in the comments, I love seeing different adaptations of a design!

XXX

6 comments:

  1. ooooh the fabric is scrumptious and you have quite a way with fabric draping. This coverup is going to be beautiful on you and it sounds like the weather is warm enough for you to be wearing it now!! I'm so glad summer's finally arrived for you:)) xo

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  2. beautiful dress! the fabric is lovely
    x mordrian

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  3. Thanks so much! The fabric is so lovely and amazing quality I was lucky to find it! Draping was one of my fav things to do when I used to design, I love fabric so much that draping was a way to get to play with it more! It's really hot here (ugh) so I'm going to work on it ASAP!
    XXX
    Suzanne

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  4. Hi Mordrian! Thanks so much and thanks for stopping by too!
    XXX
    Suzanne

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  5. Hi, Wow what a great piece! So nice to see the finished product and always fun to shop with you!
    xo

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  6. Jeanne, you know you're my dream shopping partner! Can't wait until you're here! Thanks for the compliment I can't wait to start some more sewing!
    XXX
    Suzanne

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