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One of the benefits of starting Sew Independent was being able to justify an increase to my sewing budget.

It seems only reasonable and fair that I buy new patterns from different designers to test them out.

My latest acquisition was from Jalie.

I have wanted to make myself a pair of swimmers (bathers/togs) for a long time and this was a perfect excuse to try their patterns.

One aspect of Jalie patterns that appeal to me is that they contain all sizes – girls through to women.  So with this in mind I picked something that would be suitable for both me and my little girl. And with the varied sizes range something that I can continue to make for her as she grows and her tastes change.

I ended up going with two patterns ( 3023 Tankini and Swim-skirt and 3247 Crop Tops and Shots ) with the idea of being able to mix and match pieces.  One is more of a gymnastic outfit, but made in the right fabric it will be fine as swimwear.

On the pattern covers the bikini top shown on 3023 and the briefs shown on 3247 are not included in these patterns.

After a fair amount of research I purchased the patterns from sewingpatterns.com.  

  • they had both patterns I wanted in stock
  • were competitively priced
  • postage costs weren’t exorbitant to Australia and finally
  • I knew that the postage time would be bearable 

The pattern pieces and instructions are both on one side of a rather large sheet of folder paper.  Pieces do not overlap ad they are easy to trace.   The crop top pattern (3247) had the different sizes marked with different colour lines.

The instructions (in both English and  French) are not lengthy or detailed but just provide the simple steps with basic diagrams which help with construction.

I had some shiny grey lycra in my stash and bought some pink and print for my little girl from The Fabric Store.  I made a tankini for the girl, a cop top for me and a swim-skirt for both of us.

I made the sizes based on our measurements. The outfits didn’t fit well.  

The tankini is a little too tight around her chest and the straps were too tight to reach the back.  I modified it as a halter neck for it to be wearable. My crop top is also tight and gives me one flat boob.  Though to be fair it is a sports crop top.  

The swim-skirts are too small. They are too tight on both of us and the waist is too low for her liking.  I remade her skirt 2 sizes larger than her measurements and added 1 1/2′ to the top of the pants and the skirt to raise the waist band.

I am going to remake mine as well with the same modifications.  I think that going up 2 sizes on all of our pieces would have been a better starting point.

This is her modified outfit and she loves it. 

It is a great swimsuit for a little girl or even a teenager.  Cute, trendy and the right amount of coverage.  The tankini top also has an option to include an elastic bra shelf.

Now my turn.  I am still working on an upsized swim-skirt for me.  This pic is of my original  version.  My hands are strategically placed over my muffin tops, which the tight and low pants over emphasise. 

The crop top is lined at the front and the neck and arm edges are bound with fold over elastic.  It does give a really neat finish.

In my backyard pool this outfit will be fine.  I think that I need to do a little more experimenting with the pattern before I would be willing to wear them in public.

I would omit the skirt and lengthen the pants to create a slightly higher waist.  I don’t think that I can get away with wearing the skirt at my age.  The crop top is fine though going up 2 sizes would probably work there too.

Overall they are good patterns, well designed and made.  I would recommend them.

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