Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On Display

A couple weeks ago I went to my favorite fabric store to buy some more swimsuit lining fabric.  While I was there one of the ladies who works there was having a phone conversation with someone who does some sewing for their displays in the store.  (I couldn't help but overhear the conversation due to both her and my location--about 6 ft away from each other.)  She got off the phone and then spoke with the manager, both of which weren't too happy about whatever occurred during the conversation.  It sounded to me like they had originally agreed upon something and now the seamstress was changing it all. 

So anyway, I opened my mouth and told them both that I'd sew for them if they wanted.  (Much to the chagrin of hubby they know me by name, after years of shopping there.)  They looked a little surprised, but I assured them I'd sew whatever they wanted.  So they told me what they were looking for, which is mostly someone who sews kids' clothes.  Well, I have kids, and I sew for them all the time.  I think I qualify.  After chatting awhile they decided they'd love to have a new swimsuit display and so I was asked to make 3 swimsuits to put up on their wall display. 

The beauty of this--which I didn't know when I opened my mouth--is I got to pick out the fabric that I wanted to use, they gave it to me free, along with thread and elastic.  They'll display it for awhile and then when they are done I get all the suits back to keep.  Oh yeah!  Sounds fun to me!

I was pretty excited and called my hubby right when I left the store to tell him about my new gig.  Apparently I was a bit too excited, because you know when you have those conversations with someone and you think you've told them something, but actually haven't because everything is going so quickly in your brain.  Well, after telling hubby all about it he says to me, "So what do you get out of it?"  I am wracking my brain, thinking, "didn't I just tell him: free fabric I chose, display my stuff in the store and then I get to keep it?"  So instead I sheepishly say, "Maybe a little ego boost."  And he says, "That's it.  You're doing all this free work for them and you get nothing?!"

Needless to say I had to repeat the conversation:  free fabric I chose, display in the store, and then it all comes back to me to keep.  Now he gets it!  And I'll add, sheepishly, I'm getting a little ego boost from this too.
So here's what I did:
One each of the racerback style and scoop neck tank

Kwik Sew 3785

And a tankini with boy shorts. 

Kwik Sew 2868

I made this suit to fit my oldest (14 yr. old) daughter. 

She loves the green top, and the boy shorts do work, but she isn't sure she loves them.  I've never made boy shorts before.  And mostly because I'm not sure we like them.

  • Size M on pattern 2868
  • Added 3" to the length on the tankini (and she'd like it about 2" longer still)
  • Added 1" to the length of the boy shorts--you have to adjust the lining piece too or it won't work.
  • I think that next time I will try making them fully lined and see if that makes a difference.  My girls are used to fully lined suits and the extra layer can make all the difference in their comfort level.

Now on to round 2 for them--dresses, skirts and t-shirts.  My girls went with me last night to pick out the fabric they wanted for their new outfits.  And all this with new Kwik Sew patterns that I don't have to buy.  Loving that perk too!

Upcoming patterns:
Kwik Sew 3451 in green and white
Kwik Sew 3818 in canary yellow
Kwik Sew 3736 in a pretty blue floral


  1. Congrats! It sounds a conversation I might have with my husband.

  2. Congrats! And free fabric, who doesn't love that?

  3. That is just a win-win situation! You go girl!!!

  4. Congrats! I think the suits look great! I have been contemplating getting that tankini pattern for my first swimsuit attempt-was it hard or pretty much just like any other swimsuit? I am definitely not willing to just wear brief style suit bottoms, but figured a mini swim skirt would be about the easiest thing to sew ever, and I could just throw it on over traditional bottoms :) Really I like the shorts option best though. Seems so comfy and functional!

  5. I need to overhear a conversation like that at my quilt shop!!!

  6. Good for you! That's a great deal all around. :)

    I'm still so sad that the Mill End in St. Paul was a couple years ago and I still miss it. I got some great fabric deals there.

  7. That's so cool! How exciting!

  8. Amanda Jean
    The Fridley store is closing here soon, but they are moving to St. Paul. So maybe you can start shopping there again.

    Hafner Center
    1550 White Bear Ave.
    St. Paul

    They do have some screaming deals on fabric.

  9. Congrats on the ego boost! That rocks! Sometimes men just don't get it.

  10. Love the story - that's awesome how it worked out! Way to go!



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