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Aug 30, 2012

Make it Reversible!



Friends, as you may recall, this green floral tropical print was my original choice for my vintage bathing suit project -- not the bikini, but rather the Advance one-piece.  Then it got bumped by the black floral print.  I thought I'd use the green print -- oh, so, Dorothy Lamour -- for my final bikini, and I had it all pressed and ready to use this morning when it just started to look so...obvious.  I wasn't feeling it.

I dug through my stash and stumbled upon this vintage curtain panel I picked up at the flea market a few months ago, in an unusual cotton insect print.  It even came decorated with mini pom poms.





I decided to try making the bikini out of that.  But what would I line it with?  In my stash I found some plaid cotton shirting I'd bought a few years ago and lost interest in. 



Serendipitously, the two patterns complement each other! 



I'd cut my main pattern pieces from the insect print, when I discovered I didn't have quite enough to cut all the straps.  That's when I decided to make the suit fully reversible.  It took a little extra work to do, but I really like the results.

My straps now have the insect fabric on one side, and the plaid fabric on the other.



I'd planned to sew a little elastic on the inside of the bikini top to prevent gaping.  Since the top was now going to be reversible, I attached the elastic (pulling it gently as I stitched) when I sewed the two fabrics together.  Before I turned them right sides out, I understitched the elastic to the plaid side so it wouldn't roll over.





It worked great and there's just enough pull to keep the top snug along the upper edge.



The center tie is also two-sided.





Here's the nearly-completed top:  Insect print side up...





And plaid side up.



The bigger challenge is to make the bottoms reversible.  More about that tomorrow.



Readers, have you ever made a reversible garment?  I'm not a big reversible person (who wants to reverse one's sweat stains?) but for some kinds of garments -- like this swimsuit -- it can work.
 
I wonder how many people wear reversible garments and never actually reverse them.  You?

That's it for today, folks.  Happy Thursday!

27 comments:

  1. I love reversible garments - not that I own any. But I think they're so smart! And you have chosen such gorgeous compatible fabrics for that bikini. Utterly perfect, in my opinion.

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  2. I love reversible garments. They just seem so "clever". Check out my first (and so far only) reversible garment:

    http://suessewingstudio.blogspot.com/2012/05/reversible-for-summer.html

    SueC

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    1. By the way, I love your fabric combination. Nice stash-busting!

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  3. Love it! I wasn't sure if I liked the two fabrics together at first but they look really cute together. I really enjoy reading your posts. Long time lurker, first time commenter. Pat

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  4. Back from a trip to the hospital (not for me). This is a pick-me-up!!!!!!Love your fabrics together, and bias plaid. I have been thinking of reversable skirts for several days. Have info in older books, and some Vogues. Love the idea. Adds body too. Cathie, in Quebec.

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  5. I love the fabric combinations. But I am wondering why you are using cottons for a bathing suit...wouldn`t a stretchy swimsuit fabric be a better choice, or is this not meant to actually be worn swimming...

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    1. This is more of a beauty pageant type thing...

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  6. Peter, You are so clever that it hurts!

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    Replies
    1. Your comment is truly a cross-stitch sampler waiting to happen.

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  7. Good color combination, and yes, cottons are clever for swimwear because they dry quickly.

    I've sewn and worn reversible skirts and reversible vests. It's not really worth the bother. Usually I like one side so much better than the other that I resent one side.

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    1. LOL - I can identify with that!

      SueC

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  8. LOVE your combo! What an creative, inspiring combo! I would love a bathing suit with insects on it, and the reversibility... oooh gosh, I have no words!

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  9. I love making reversible dresses for myself! usually I make one side a full circle skirt and the other a 3 tiered skirt so when it's on the circle side it's like there is a petty coat under it! I especially love the fact that I can change outfits while I'm out without carrying clothes! I like to put a fun fabric on one side and a fancy one on the other so I can go to a picnic and a party in one dress and be ready for anything!!
    I'm loving the bikinis btw! That insect print is AWESOME!! I don't know that I could wear reversible bottoms though...

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  10. I have. The first ones I did I tried making the diaper cover reversible and failed miserably. After that, I've made the dress itself reversible and the diaper covers separately.

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  11. I don't think I've ever made anything reversible... And I'm pretty sure there are loads of people out there who own a reversible garment but only ever wear it one way. I have made a few things which could be worn in different ways, and usually, I settle on one prefered way during the first time wearing it. And stay with it.

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  12. I had a reversible top much like your bathing suit top when I was a pre-teen. I loved it!

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  13. I have made Anna Maria Horner s Quick Change Pants - must have made a dozen pairs - they are only tiny but so sweet and easy and no seams to finish. I am planning on making a reversible cape jacket.

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  14. I like the suit and the combination of fabrics. But I have to say that when I first saw the plaid, my immediate thought was "lumberjack Barbie."

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  15. I have a reversible, short, A-line skirt for which I used 2 different fuchsia & lime fabrics. When I'm home usually gets worn with my favorite zinna fabric out, but I love to pack it for vacations so I have 2 looks for the space of 1

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  16. I have a reversible skirt, navy blue on one side, teal on the other. it works... and I have worn it both directions. But I don't think it's ideal. Your suit looks amazing tho! Can't wait to see it all finished.

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  17. My first reversible garment was a vest. Light weight black wool on one side and a charcoal grey brocade on the other to wear with my tux.

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  18. I must admit I had my doubts about the fabrics, but they do work.

    I have a reversible jacket, but I like one side so much that I never wear the other.

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  19. I love the idea of reversible garments, but find them rather unwieldy.

    However, I do like reversible vests, and I had a full-length reversible cape in the days when formal gowns were a significant part of my wardrobe.

    Taja

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  20. Back again. To avoid the irritation of lining/underlining, reversable is a good option. Liked your elastic sandwiched and reducing gaping!!!!!!!! I remember - I have a loden cape, one side olive, the other large checks. I prefer the loden, but then this is not me sewing, but warm and toasty rummage. I think the skirt idea is fun, and a bit heavier for fall. Have been thinking of doing this for a few days. Cathie, in Quebec.

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  21. That bug fabric strongly reminds me of a Warhol print I saw recently over on The Vintage Traveller's blog; the post was about the book Artists' Textiles 1940-1976. One for your reading pile, Peter. :)

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  22. I used to have a reversible swimsuit that I loved as I could wear the plain if I was feeling self concious and the patterned if not!

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