For the past 2 weeks or so, I have been nonstop thinking about, sewing, planning swimsuits. Usually after work I’ll start cutting and make a plan then sew it up – it often looks bad or crazy but when that happens I just keep using the scraps until they’re unusably small, and I’ve only gone through like a yard or two of swim material and come out with 2 swimsuits I really like.

On Saturday Mia and I went to the garment district. I rarely go since it’s so far from me and very overwhelming but it was really fun to go with Mia since she knows the shops well and is fun to shop with, since she thinks large scale but is always coming up with beautiful little projects: a purse! a new kind of coat! a cover up! So when she found me a silky crazy patterned polyester and told me to make it into a cover up, I said yes and bought a yard and a half.

I wanted to do a coverup top with a lot of coverage. Sometimes at the beach or pool I just really want to cover my arms and feel a little more protected from the sun. In the past I usually used some kind of mens button down that I would buy from Beacon’s closet that day, which is cute especially in a cooler summer morning but kind of dull by evening, so I wanted to make something really glamour that showcased the insane like fake versace print. I’ve also done kimonos in the past – that was my very first self-draft actually – but the tie belt always gets lost, it doesn’t really capture what I’m going for, etc. But as evidenced by my major projects this year, the fur coat and the Gernreich dress, I absolutely love wide square sleeves and I felt it would be a great way to get a lot of coverage without any constriction. I also wanted to keep the very cropped feeling. So enter this cropped shrug:

This pattern is just two rectangles sewn at the back seam and sleeve underside then hemmed all around. I put in a frog closure because I didn’t know when else I would use a gold frog closure and I didn’t want long tangly fraying ties.

The shorts are just a simple shorts block I cut out and then added a tie to; the closure is only a tie so there’s a “hole” below those (not visible when they’re tied shut, but to me still not appropriate except for lounge or beach wear).

Finally I used the remnants to make a little hair kerchief which I realized can double as a top:

And here’s the full outfit, and the swimsuit also by me,

I love this crazy outfit, and I think it would be cute to wear any one of these pieces alone. Of course I need full jewels and probably fake lashes (and some kind of beachy heel…) for the real full glam effect but this is pretty good.

Posted by:Patricia Torvalds

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