“Sunbathing in pillowcases” | Adey Lim
Fabric: European pillowcases on 50% sale at spotlight $16 and swimwear lining from stash.
Pattern: Simplicity 3250 bra top and Simplicity 1124 shorts
Notions: Bias tape, zipper and buttons from stash.
Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: June 2011
Wear again: Yes, a poolside staple!
Total Cost: $16
There were no pillowcases at the thrift shops here so I visited the Ikea near my place, hoping to find some cute pillowcases on sale. Unfortunately, I discovered that all the pillowcases were sold with quilts making them exorbitant for this project. I remembered that Spotlight had a home decor department and went in search of pillowcases there. There was a 50% sale and these purple/black/white geometric print european pillowcases (they are square shaped) were hard to resist and my first thought was to sew a mod dress.
However, on opening the plastic cover at home, I discovered that the cotton/ poly fabric wasn't very nice to touch. It was a little stiff and reminded me of my son's swim shorts fabric. I thought what they needed was a good wash but even after washing and drying them, the fabric felt the same. How can anyone sleep on these?
Since the pillowcases felt so much like swim shorts fabric, I decided to sew a vintage bathing suit from two pillowcases instead. I wasn't sure if there was enough fabric so I took out the pattern pieces, placed them on the pillowcases and estimated that it could work. I tried to match most of the print but didn't have enough fabric to match the lower band of the bra.
The pillowcases were double-stitched so I spent more time unpicking them than cutting and sewing the bathing suit.
The shorts were from the same pattern as my Explorer Outfit. I loved that they were high waisted as I have stretch marks on my tummy from my pregnancies. What I did differently this time was to sew on a swimwear lining and I didn't cut the hem band since I wanted this version to be shorter and more pool appropriate.
I have never sewed a bra top before and this one was surprisingly easy. I added red bias tape to the top of the bodice and red buttons for some contrast and sewed a scallop bias between the bra cups and the lower band. I called it a scallop bias as I have no idea what it's called but it actually works the same way as piping. I didn't realize some of the scallop turned downwards when I was trying to snap this photo but I think you get the picture.
The zipper is really cute and comes with a lace edge. I found it in a crafting shop some time back but never had a chance to use it. The material isn't fabric, it feels more like plastic which I thought might be good with the bathing suit.