Monday, August 10, 2015

Cosi swimsuits #4 and #5

My husband's stroke will teach us a lot of things, I am sure.  Right now, though, I am learning a lesson in patience and delayed self-gratification.  Having four children under 6, I thought I had already demonstrated mastery of both.  But it turns out there is much more to learn.

If you had told me last year that I would be able to complete garments by sewing 30 minutes at a time, I would not have believed you.  But it is possible!  My sewing mostly gets done in fits and starts, and I am learning to use the heck out of a 10-minute chunk of time.  Much more importantly, I am learning not to get frustrated or angry when my sewing time is cut shorter than I'd like.  It all requires a great deal more patience than I previously possessed.

We are on our annual beach trip right now.  Zoia has been packing for this trip since we returned from the last one a year ago.  My husband has been talking about it since the day of his stroke.  Literally - even in the ER, while he was still lucid and before his left side had completely ceased moving, he was talking about how much he was looking forward to coming here.  After everything went down, we were so worried that the therapists would not let him go, but they agreed with us that it would be great for him.  And it has been.  He is walking, with the aid of his cane, on the sand considerably more gracefully than we had anticipated.  It's good for his balance.  And it's good for the spirit.

Today I have two more Cosi swimsuits to show you.  I sewed these over a period of about three weeks.  I've really enjoyed sewing swimsuits this spring and summer. My girls finally have suits that actually fit them properly, and as a result my sewing confidence is up.  So when it came time for the last round of suits for the year, I decided to improvise on the pattern and make tankinis.

I could have started with one of the bikini patterns, but as I had already drafted View D (the skirted one-piece) I decided to use that one. Having chopped up view D of the suit on my last iteration, I had a good base from which to work.  I used the view D pattern pieces, but lengthened the top by several inches, and raised the waist of the bottom part an inch and a half.  Then I just sewed up per instructions.

Natasha's ties are blue because I had originally made blue bottoms to match, in a size 4.  Those bottoms were a bit too big, however, so they became the bottoms for Z's suit.  By that time N had decided she wanted bottoms that matched the top, so I dug out the striped fabric and sewed a slightly smaller set of bottoms with the leg frills, just to try them out. The frills are cute but I found them fiddly and they added quite a bit of time to construction.

For Z's suit I used an aqua swimsuit fabric I bought from FabricMart earlier this year.  It is very silky but thinner and more see-through than the fabrics from The Fabric Fairy.  You can especially see how thin it is on the back of her tankini top.  As I was running low on lining (I bought one yard back in the spring and used it for all the suits I made this summer) I only lined the front on this one.  I think was a mistake, as I don't like how you can see the bottoms through the top in the back.

She had wanted a skirted suit, but since I had to repurpose the aqua bottoms originally meant for Natasha, I decided to add a ruffle to the tankini top.  The top is the same length as Natasha's but it is considerably longer on Z even though they are only about 2.5 inches apart in height.  I think more of Z's height must be in her legs.

I don't mind the length - it almost looks ruched in the front.  And I hope that means she will be able to wear the suit for two more years after this.


  1. The swimsuits look fantastic! I've made two cosis and I'm really looking forward to sewing R a new one this summer. Hope you and your husband enjoy your much-deserved time at the beach.

    1. Thanks Marisa! It's such a fun pattern, isn't it? Looking forward to seeing your new Cosi later this year.

  2. Ahhhh, these are great!! Maggie's just now getting some use out of her cosi swimsuit, which I made last year, because she's only now barely 2T! It's such a cute pattern. I hope to make some of the other variations as she gets older. I love that tankini, it's just so cute with the little ruffle!

    1. Thanks, Inder! I really love sewing this pattern.

  3. These swimsuits are great! I have just traced out view C ( I really wanted to try view D first but cannot find my pattern pieces for love nor money, so C it is!) I am a little concerned the length will be short but always like to run through a pattern 'as written' the first time. Especially with a new (to me) pattern designer.

    I had to swallow a lump in my throat reading about your holiday. You all have so much to cope with and it sounds like you are all doing tremendously well. I hope hubby has gotten some quality time with Niko, he must feel like he missed some moments there at the beginning.

    1. Looking forward to seeing yours! View C was the first one I made, and after seeing my girls in all the different views of the suit this week, I think it is actually my favorite. Score, since it is the quickest to sew :)

      My husband is spending some time with Niko but he still does not have the use of his left hand, and it turns out it's not so easy to calm a crying baby with only one hand. We're working on it though.


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