We’re happy to be one of the stops on the OT20 Blog Tour today! There’s also a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $50 voucher to One Thimble – woohoo (details below)! I quickly warmed up to the patterns in the Spring 2018 issue (pun intended) as it’s full of summery goodness. That’s always welcome in Singapore’s tropical climate. It also helps that we’re a small island so the beach is never that far away. This was at East Coast Park.
The first pattern I sewed up is the Surfen Cover Up by The Eli Monster. I’ve thought of sewing a swim or beach cover up for my daughter for some time, and this came along at the perfect timing. It comes in 8 sizes from 1 to 16, and I made the 3/4 size. For reference, Miss A is 107 cm or 42 inches tall. Out of curiosity, I checked the measurement chart and noticed that I can wear size 16. That’s good news for petite ladies!
The Surfen Cover up is a fairly easy sew, with the trickiest part being the square collar. There are only three pattern pieces. The square edges of the main fabric, both front and back, are gathered to match the width of the collar. I made a few minor mistakes that I needed to either correct or close an eye to (I’d say be very careful when snipping corners and topstitching the layers together). If you’re game, you could even handsew the lining on.
Miss A was thrilled with the pompom trim and kept fondling it when she first tried it on. She also called herself a “honey bird” and flapped her “wings” to show me. She likes it for sure!
I know you can’t see it, but there’s a button closure at the back. (Miss A refused to let me tie up her hair because playing was more important of course.) I used a directional print so I added the seam allowance and cut out the front and back main pieces separately, before French seaming them together. Otherwise, you would simply be cutting out something akin to a big oval with a gap for the collar. The AGF cotton called Sailcloth Sunset by Sharon Holland comes in a sweet sea shell pink that leans towards peach. I love how the colour pops and the design is just right for this purpose.
Two diagonal lines are sewn up from the sides to form the “sleeves”. It felt a little snug getting it on but otherwise the fit is fine. It’s a very forgiving pattern. Lowering the underarm endpoint would solve the problem should it get too snug in future.
Miss A looks surprisingly demure in this photo. It doesn’t capture all the running (and splashing) that she did in and out of the sea, until the bottom of her cover up got wet. Our beaches aren’t the most pristine, unfortunately, but they can still be a lot of fun. Just to add, I didn’t realise that my memory card wasn’t in my camera until I had snapped at least a handful of photos *sigh*, so these were all taken with my iPhone. It’s easy to tell which ones were taken in Portrait mode – those with a blurred background. It’s fantastic how phone camera technology has progressed.
The next pattern I sewed up is the Piccolo Beach Mat by Piccolo Studio. It’s my first time attempting a quilted project and I must say it’s a rewarding sew that is beginner-friendly. I used three coordinating prints from the AGF Soulful line by Maureen Cracknell. I think I had in mind a Boho dress with a tiered skirt when I first bought them, but they work great on a Boho-style beach mat too!
There is a certain amount of flexibility you can exercise regarding the layout of your strips, as long as you end up with a more or less square piece of main fabric on which to base your circle. I used 6 strips so I made them each 7 inches wide (minus the seam allowances) against the width of fabric. I did not quilt lines across each strip because I thought that may break up the symmetry of the prints, but I did sew 1/8-inch from each side of the seams to secure the seams and attach the main piece to the wadding. You can also choose to use just one print for the main fabric. Raw calico was used for the backing. To make it waterproof, the designer Sarah Scott recommends using ripstop nylon.
I wasn’t confident using the string method to mark out my quarter-circle (my line appeared a bit wonky when I first started out), so I used a ruler to mark out several equidistant points before joining them together freehand.
I didn’t take many photos of the beach mat as I was more focused on photographing my active toddler, and making sure she didn’t fall into the water. The little daredevil was standing dangerously close to the edge of the breakwater at one point and I wanted to get away from it as soon as possible. It was also National Day so we were going back to catch the parade on TV. Only later did I realise that two crickets had decided to rest on the beach mat at the time of this photo. Maybe they found it comfortable too?
A raw cotton lace trim with tassels would have gone well with the mat, but I couldn’t find one at Textile Centre and decided against using another trim I purchased. I think the prints are bold enough to stand on their own anyway.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my review of these two patterns in One Thimble Issue 20. There is a total of 10 patterns and 23 articles and you’ll surely find something useful for you. It includes various discount vouchers (expiring on 31 August) and is value for money at the price of AUD$25. If you order by today (13 August), you’ll get bonus colouring pages too (see below). You could also check out the subscription plans that are available.
As promised, here’s the link for the Rafflecopter giveaway! The back issues of One Thimble are also worth getting, I assure you.
Do check out the other stops on the OT20 Blog Tour:
Beri Bee Designs
If you’ve any questions, please feel free to ask me. Happy sewing!
(This post contains affiliate links but the opinions are my own. If you make a purchase using one of my links, I get a small kickback but it doesn’t change the amount you pay. It also helps me to continue writing reviews like this one. Thank you for your support!)