December 6, 2015

A Boo! Designs Pattern Mash - The Tankini Meets The Skater Dress.

Hello, it's been so long since I blogged that I've almost forgotten how!!! Anyway, it is Summer here (yay) and I've been sewing lots of swimwear at the moment. As everyone knows, I love Boo! Designs patterns, and I love the spandex available for sale in the Boo store. I know many of you also share my love of these things, but lack confidence to try the Boo! Designs togs in the Swimmers pattern because of the binding. This is what I'm talking about for those that don't know.

Whilst the binding is not hard, it just takes practice and some understanding of how your machine sews spandex, I get that many people out there just want to sew their daughter some cute swimmers without spending hours perfecting the binding technique. Call me strange, but I now enjoy the binding and find it to be one of the least stressful parts of sewing swimmers now!!

Anyway, Kristie from Boo also has a few other spandex patterns - one of which is the Skater Dress. The skater dress is a great pattern for those new to sewing spandex. The binding for the neckline does not involve elastic which takes an element of trickiness out, and there are two different binding methods described in the pattern, so if you are not confident with one, you can try the other.

I'm going to share with you today how to mash the skater dress top with the tankini top (found in the swimmers pattern) to make a spandex singlet. This is a very simple pattern mash that many of you will not need a tutorial for, but I know that Boo attracts a lot of beginners who may not be confident with pattern mashing, which is why I am including this tutorial. In the end you'll end up with a spandex singlet that can either be worn for sports related things - like gymnastics, little athletics, dancing if paired with shorts or my choice - one of the lengths in the Boo designs leggings pattern; or paired with one of the three swimmer bottom options in the swimmers pattern.

To start off with you need your pattern pieces for the top of the skater dress (remember there are three options in this dress - I am using the simple front, racer back option), and also your pattern pieces for the Swimmers tankini. Just my front pattern pieces are shown below.

1. Take your skater dress front piece and lay it over the tankini front piece so that the underarm seams meet up. You want to use the skater dress for the top portion, and the tankini for the bottom portion, to get the length and fitting round the stomach right.

2. Trace around the overlaid pattern pieces, using the skater top as the guide for the top half, and the tankini top for the bottom half. Remove the original pattern pieces, place them back in your file so you don't lose them (sorry, had to include that for a few of my less organised sewing friends, you know who you are), and you are left with your new pattern piece. Label it now so you don't forget what it is.

3. Repeat the process for the back pattern pieces. Overlay the skater top on the tankini back, making sure the underarms meet up. You can see with my pieces that the tankini actually sticks out a bit on the bottom of the curve for the racer back - we are going to ignore that part of the tankini pattern and use the curve of the racer back skater instead.

4. Trace around the overlaid pattern pieces. Label the new back pattern piece and cut both the front and back pattern pieces out.

5. You are now ready to go and make your new singlet top. Cut 1 x back on the fold of the fabric, 1 x front on the fold of the fabric.

6. Place right sides together, sew shoulder seams front and back, side seams front and back (remember to use stretch stitches) and hem as per your preferred method (the Swimwear patter explains hemming options in good detail).

7. Follow directions in the skater dress pattern for the binding on the neck holes and armholes and you are all done.

8. Photograph child in new singlet (optional) and share in the Boo! Designs Pattern Club Facebook group so that others can be inspired to give it a go.

All my spandex used in this tutorial was kindly sent to me by the lovely Kristie from Boo! Designs. It will be available as of this week in the Boo! webstore to purchase….lets hope I am fast enough to get some more because I love it!!!

Thanks for reading along,


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