DIY Swimrobe and swimsuit

Openwater or outdoor swimming seems to be having a moment, it probably has alot to do with gyms and pools being closed!

I live by the coast and swim in the sea every year. Usually from May to September, but this year we had a very mild October so it made it a bit easier to keep going.

The feeling of exhilaration from the cold water gives a great mental boost, as well as being a useful recovery from a jog!

DIY Swimrobe (Not a Dryrobe!)

As the weather got cooler, I put on my wetsuit, but I needed something to throw on after a swim, as it’s often easier to go home and dry off properly there.

Dryrobe and other similar robe brands are very popular – they are basically a loose fit raincoat with thick fleece lining. As usual… I wanted to make my own version, can’t take the easy route😆

I started by tracing the elements I needed from a coat. The hood on my Superdry jacket has great head coverage so I traced the hood and shoulders:

I improvised the general robe shape using a sweatshirt as a guide.

I chalked a wide margin around the sweatshirt. Main fabric is a lightweight and waterproof, I bought it from Guiney’s years ago, to use as a bag lining I think!
The fleece lining came from a Penny’s (Primark) blanket. The pink stripe came from a fabric sample that I bought from Minerva.com.
Generous fabric samples from Minerva

I had bought some raincoat fabric samples from Minerva, but decided to go low-cost for my first attempt at a swim robe, and instead used what I had at home. Their samples are genorously cut across the full width of the roll, so I used them to add some interest to the robe.

Playing with embellishment.
The front pocket was made from ripstop samples. Front Zip was taken from the grey jacket above (those jackets have 2 front zips.. I only need one!). I might change this to a longer zip if I continue swimming next winter.

The fleece doesn’t extend into the hem because I ran out, so the end is lined with a patterned blanket fabric.

I bound the inner seams with the red outer fabric, and wore it a couple of times before I sewed on the lower front pockets, which are lined in fleece.

I also added my favourite feature: an inner pocket for my hot water bottle!

Now that’s how to warm up!!
Bright enough!! Not hard to spot me from a distance!

The other item I needed was a sleeved swimsuit, it doesn’t add much warmth, but it will protect from the sun this summer.

I used sports lycra from fabricland.co.uk. And lined it with black lycra.

I changed the neckline after seeing the draglines in this picture.
The leg openings were finished after this (and after I’d worn it under my wetsuit to swim a few times – for research purposes!)

I almost titled this ‘new togs’ but do many other countries say togs instead of swimsuit? (or bathers/swimmers) but we use togs as much as swimsuit!

Anyhoo, the pattern I used is below- Vogue 9192. I combined the top from view E with the bikini bottoms view D. I didn’t need to make any alterations, they joined perfectly across the waistline. These were so easy to make that I’m sorry I put it off for so long!

Vogue pattern V9192

I’d like to make view C sometime too. Recommendations for swimwear fabric stockists will be gratefully received!

So that was my sewing for January. Feb and March were all about knitting, specifically Machine Knitting!. . I’ll share more of my progress soon.

Slán go fóill x

And one more picture before I go…

Unexpected bonus…. It matches my fleece lined ski pants!

Vogue 1316 – A dress made from jeans

So here it is …. Vogue 1316 – the dress I made from old jeans.  It has been worn twice already and,thanks to the small amount of stretch in the denim, it’s very comfortable.

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Vogue 1316 – Made from old jeans!

I really enjoyed making this, despite the large amount of pattern pieces.  I don’t buy many patterns any more – after more than a few years sewing, I’ve got a pretty big collection of Burda Magazines, and a few boxes worth of paper patterns. After a while you start to see that the pattern companies rarely offer something new.  Added to that is the fact that Vogue patterns are not the cheapest around… but this one was worth every penny for the complexity of the design.

The panels were a great opportunity to use scraps and oddly shaped pieces of fabric cut from jeans.  The bands at the underbust wrap around to the back panels in a very interesting shape.  (Although my panel matching could be better here!)

Vogue dress side view

Side view

 

I hadn’t intended to line it, but in the end it was the quickest solution, as it saved me having to bind or face the edges.  The lining makes it more comfortable and less likely to cling to tights in the winter too!

I had to alter the panel at the upper back – there was a bit of gaping. It was the only part that I found difficult as I had to get help with pinning, so it held up finishing the dress for a while.

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I took a little from the upper centre back and some from the back yoke panels, and it now sits nicely on my upper back. (Although the only photo of the back is obscured by my hair, so you’ll need to take my word for it!)

 I used a regular centred zipper, because I didn’t have an invisible one and I really wanted to get it finished in time for a meetup with some friends!

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Vogue 1316