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Butterfly Beach Suit!

Hello Sewists, I’m Andrew and I’m pleased to be here today to tell you about this gorgeous butterfly print Cotton Fabric. Who doesn’t love butterflies? I fell for this fabric at first sight. Immediately thinking I would make a summer shirt I asked for 3m (to be on the safe side!). What I hadn’t factored was that it is also (approx) 62” or 157cm wide so when it promptly arrived I realised I had way more than I needed for a shirt (usually 2-2.5m) - so I went a little crazy with it!

I managed to fit it all in the washing machine to pre-wash (you can wash it at upto 40°) but snuck it into work to dry it in one of the industrial tumble dryers we have there (it’s not easy drying 3m of fabric in a one bedroom apartment!). Some cotton fabrics can be stubborn to press the creases out after laundering, but this was a breeze. It was going to be perfect for summer wear.

Earlier, I’d made a hat/ shirt/ shorts summer-set ready for my holiday, #TheHolidayTrinity! This fabric, I knew would be perfect for another set - so, ‘category is… Resort Wear’!

First up, the shirt is the ‘Bernie’ from La Maison Victor. I’ve made it a few times and it came together well. The big print made the pattern match across the front and pocket easier to place. I love the clean, faux-cuff sleeve finish. There’s a back pleat and a neat and tidily shaped collar...

Then I drafted myself a pair of matching shorts. They’re a simple boxy shape with an elasticated waist and side pockets. To keep the shorts lightweight I tried something a bit different (for me!) to reduce any bulk.

I cut a strip of iron on interfacing and placed it (fusible side up) onto the right side of the pocket opening. Stitched it down and trimmed back the opening.

Then I carefully turned the interfacing to the inside and pressed it into place.

A row of topstitching around the pocket opening will keep the interfacing in place, should it decide to come unstuck at any time. The seams are sealed inside.

Next, I laid the single pocket bag behind the front piece of the shorts and stitched that into place. The stitching can be seen from the front, so you may not want to use this method on anything formal. Then I just had to sew the side seams as normal. (No pattern matching here I’m afraid!)

The rest went together nice and quickly, finishing up with the elasticated waistband. I got this handy little feeder thingy in among a box of sewing finds at a car boot sale one summer. I hope I don’t lose it as I wouldn’t know what to ask for if I needed another!

The top of the pocket is caught in the waistband and the bottom, in the hem. They are a very boxy shape, but that suits my shape. It’d be the easiest thing to draft more shape in there with some curves to the seams or some darts - so long as you leave enough room to pull them on.

To finish up I made a Bucket Hat using the (free) Elbe Textiles pattern. I interfaced all the pieces with the same lightweight fusible interfacing and added two eyelets on either side to keep cool.

The combination proved perfect for the hot weather. I felt fresh & cool no matter whether I was sightseeing in desert heat or relaxing on the beach. To make it last in a small holiday wardrobe, I mostly broke it up with either plain blue shorts or a plain white T-shirt. However, one day, just before the sun set I popped it all on, sprawled myself behind a bush and took a few photos of the whole … suit. Yes, I’m going to call it a suit!

Thanks for reading. If you want to see more of my sewing you can find me on Instagram @sewandrew of follow my blog at and thanks to Minerva for the fabric!

Happy Sewing!

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Lynne Edwards said:

The feeder thingy is called a bodkin - a word with several meaning but this is what you??ll get if you ask for a bodkin in haberdashery. Elastic bodkin if you really want to be clear. Good stuff. · 19th May 2019 06:16pm