Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Baring some skin...

Now, I've never been super confident about how I look in a bathing suit...even before having a child, I had my "issues". Stupid? Yes. Fact of life? Unfortunately, yes. Can this change? YES! 

Every year as the new year would roll around I'd make the resolution to be bathing suit ready by summer.... This never happened, because I wanted to look a certain way that honestly, I will never achieve unless I, 1. have lots of extra money to blow on ridiculous things, and 2. choose to blow said money on surgeries and procedures that would make me look "a certain way". Not gonna happen. So, how about a change in mindset instead? This is something that I struggle with, but I'd like to share my journey to being "bathing suit ready" as I not only explore changing my mindset, but also creating a mini wardrobe that helps me feel confident in my skin when at the beach or pool. As.I.Am. Now, I have set small goals for myself in the way of physical fitness, but they are not reached only by what I see but also in how I feel. Nothing wrong with wanting to be physically fit and healthy, but I've gotten rid of the ridiculous standard that is more harm than help. Diet will play a role as well. When I use the word diet, I don't mean trying out some fad diet to lose weight, because I don't need to lose weight (lucky me). What I'm referring to is cutting down on/out certain things that bring down my energy level and keep me from feeling my best. Okay? Okay. 

So, as a first step in my journey, I am baring some skin...right here. right now. Here we go!

I started with this lovely yard sale shirt/jacket thing:
Shoulder pads big enough for a linebacker? Check!

First things first, get rid of the shoulder pads!!! (They'll be added to my collection for later usage) Also, get rid of the discolored tag...then start seam ripping those sleeves off!

Next, cut the sleeves at about a 3/4 length, cut the cuffs from the ends of the sleeves, and slice open the cutoff portion. Now, seam rip up the main portion of the sleeve and pin the extra fabric in place to create a sleeve that is the same diameter from shoulder to hem.

Here, the sleeve is now about the same diameter from shoulder (the angled end) to the hem. I simply zigzagged the edges of the fabric so it wouldn't fray and left them. I like the "unfinished" look, though, if you prefer a more professional look, choose a different overlocking stitch, or simply fold under twice, pin, and sew the sleeve hem in place. Last, attach the sleeve cuffs at the waist on either side of the blouse so that a button and buttonhole end meet in the middle (this becomes your "sash" or robe closure!)
There were only two tiny scraps cut off of this entire project that I didn't use, and they'll just be added to the scrap bag. 
Because of the high side and back slits, when I wear it as a top I'll wear some sort of cami underneath...or I could close them up a bit.
Open or closed, I simply folded the collar and button plackets under and they stay...I may add a few stitches to ensure they stay that way when at the beach in the wind.

And one last look at the before and afters!

I like that this is now a versatile piece that can transition from my everyday wardrobe to a beach/pool friendly piece. I like how I feel in it...I feel more confident and sexy while maintaining a bit of comfort by being partially covered up. I hope to get to the point where taking it off doesn't cause me to start darting glances around wondering who is noticing the "imperfections", but for now, that is yet to come :).

What do you all think? I'd love to hear from you!



  1. I think it's awesome! And it's amazing how less "in your face" the print is afterwards! (I think it's removing of the shoulder pads that makes it look less offensive!).

    1. Thanks, Jamie :) The print definitely needed something to tone it down/balance it out ;) I love the neutral tones, though, and it fits in so well with my style!

  2. This is really, really, really nice. The fabric and pattern make it so much better as a beach cover up! I'm going to have a look at your two-piece now!

    1. Thank you so much Agy :) I agree, the pattern reminded me of palm fronds a bit and I love the neutral colors...I'll have to play around a bit with it to see if I can mix and match it in different ways!

  3. I love the look of this - it's something I can see myself wearing, so I will be on the lookout for a piece to alter. Looks especially nice with the black bathing suit!

    1. I'm glad you like it Jenny, and find that you're inspired to make your own :) If you do find the perfect piece to transform I'd love to see how it turns out!