Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tapping Into My Creative Side

I recently saw a super cute beach towel swim suit cover-up online and decided to make it. I figured (a) I have a brand new, wonderfully working sewing machine and (b) I don't have a job yet so I have all day today to get it done. It's so easy to make and is so practical too. My amateur tutorial follows:

Start off with a beach towel (about 60"x30"). I got this one at Target for $6.

Next you'll need to measure around your bust and hips to see where to hem the towel. I did this by simply wrapping the towel loosely around myself, pinning it, then making sure I could get it off. You'll only need to hem one edge. Your bottom and top edge are already hemmed, thanks to the nature of your fabric being a towel. 

Cut the excess fabric off (making sure to leave enough room to hem the edge). The hemmed edge in this picture was just the end of the towel, so I hemmed my new edge to match this one.

 Now you're going to do some shirring. Don't get intimidated. It's super easy. But first you'll need some elastic thread. I got mine at JoAnn's (found in the elastic section). I shirred 10 rows that were pretty spread apart and used 3 packages of the elastic thread, so just keep in mind how many rows you want to shir and plan accordingly. If you're not sure how to shir or even what it is click HERE. This fabulous tutorial on shirring and elastic thread is how I learned the skill. In order to shir your towel you'll need to turn it right side out since the elastic thread is placed only in the bobbin. Here's a quick look at what my shirring looked like:

Next you need some straps. I had a lot of towel left over after measuring and cutting it to my size, so I just used that to make the straps. I kind of just eyeballed how long they would need to be by looking at the straps on one of my tank-tops. The beauty of this is that you can make this dress however you want and in a way that will fit you best.

Next you'll need to hem your straps and sew them onto your dress. You also could attach the straps before the shirring if that would work better for you. After the straps are on you only have two more step! Turn the dress inside out and steam the shirring (aka the elastic thread) with your iron. This will make the elastic bunch up quite a lot, but the fabric will still stretch back to it's original size when you put it on. Here's the top of the dress after the steaming:

Finally, your last step is to admire yourself in your awesome new swim suit cover-up! Good job on making something so incredibly cute!

love, Brad & Courtney

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