Shelly is by far my daughter’s favorite suit, and I love all of the fun little details! I still haven’t managed to make one for myself, which is a SHAME. Maybe this year will be my year 🙂 I know Shelly *looks* complicated, but I will break it down into manageable steps this week. As always, I’ll leave some extra time at the end of the week just in case you need to take it a bit slower.
Check out the line drawings below for more info on pattern options, recommended fabrics, as well as sizing information. You can also visit the pattern listing for more in-depth information, or if you’ve already purchased the pattern, it will be available in the tutorial as well.
There is a ton of helpful beginner information between the M4M and P4P blogs, in case you are new to knits, or new to PDF patterns in general:
- New to PDF patterns? Check out our helpful tips here
- Not quite sure how to measure yourself accurately? Don’t worry; check out the post here!
- Wondering if a pattern is “true to size”? Read more about sizing and intended fit here, and information on using finished measurements here.
- Having issues printing? Most issues can be resolved by using our FAQs/troubleshooting tips
- Look here for more extensive grading help!
- Not in our official SAL group yet? Join here 🙂
- Sewing with Swim 101
- Need help with adjusting your trunk length? Judy from Patterns for Pirates has a helpful video here!
Our first day is all about prep! First, be sure to measure yourself (or the person/people that you are sewing for) accurately. The tutorial includes information about grading and mashing, but you can also check out the blogs and video linked above.
After you’ve measured, you’ll want to decide which version/options you’d like to sew up. This will determine which pattern pieces and fabric pieces you’ll need to cut out. Want to sew up a Shelly hack? We have the original hacks post here, plus Katie’s adorable Shelly tie-front hack here!
Then, you’ll want to choose your fabric and gather your supplies.
- Swim knit – this month’s sponsor, The Fabric Fairy, has some GREAT options to use for Shelly. Check the pattern tutorial for yardage requirements.
- Swim lining
- 3/8″ swim elastic – from our Elastics 101 blog post – “Swim elastic is an extra-strong type of knit elastic. Swim elastic is usually stitched to a garment and then the fabric folded over and topstitched again, so it needs to keeps its elasticity when being stitched onto multiple times. It is also designed to withstand chlorinated water, saltwater, sweat, and repeated washing because of its fibre content. It is very important to use swim elastic for sewing swimming costumes or activewear if you want your garment to last.”
- elastic for straps (3/8″ for youth; check pattern tutorial for adult)
Next, go ahead and print your pattern. Be sure to print a test page and measure your 1″ square before you print the whole pattern. Once you’ve got your pattern pieces printed and assembled, go ahead and cut out your fabric so you are all ready for day 2. Remember that even if your pattern is only off by 1/16″, that’s 1/16″ PER INCH, not total. Definitely reprint if you notice your test square is off!
- Make sure you are taking an accurate and consistent seam allowance; seam allowance is already included on all pattern pieces. It *does* vary throughout this pattern, and the default is 3/8″ instead of 1/2″.
- Be sure that your pieces are cut on the fold or as mirror images, however it’s indicated on the paper pattern piece.
- When you’re grading, be sure to add/subtract length to front AND back pieces as applicable
- For reference, I’m sewing a youth version with optional flutters and a solid back. In the videos this week, the lemon fabric will be my main fabric, and the floral fabric will be my lining.
Want to sew along with me? Check out today’s video!
If you have questions about measuring yourself, printing, putting your pattern together, or cutting your fabric, you are always welcome to post in our SAL group so we can help you! Be sure to check in each day during the SAL, and look for daily posts to enter our giveaways. We can’t wait to see what you create this week!