Hanging with Spotlight, Brother and Simplicity

On Friday I was fortunate to be invited to a new product launch organised by Brother sewing machines, Simplicity patterns and Spotlight in Point Piper, Sydney. As I don’t work Friday’s, how could I say no?

As many of us sewers know, just a simple conversation with a friend or acquaintance about an item that you’ve sewn, often leads to a discussion about how they can get started in sewing. Many people want to sew, but often don’t know where to start. I guess it’s hard to remember how tricky it was when we first started sewing. There are a bunch of decisions in those early days that are really hard to navigate without guidance. I have one friend who bought a very cheap no frills type of sewing machine that not even I can help her operate. I have another who chose very slippery poly satin for her first sewing project and another who picked a strapless ball gown for her first project. Needless to say, their first dabble in sewing wasn’t successful and it’s been hard for me to get them back.

This is where this new brand alliance can help. Brother has released three new simple to use sewing machines for a beginner, intermediate and advanced sewer, that comes with a suitable sewing pattern from Simplicity (I think these machines have been available in the States for a while now). In Australia, these new machines will be sold exclusively in Spotlight stores. So in one trip to Spotty – my favourite fabric retailer! – you can get everything you need to start.

The base model machine, the SL100 is about $250,  though I’m sure it will be available on special at some point. If I remember correctly – please don’t quote me – but I think it comes with Simplicity 2147. Which I think is a really appealing pattern for a beginner to tackle. It is entirely wearable and has many design options to choose from. If you live in a country with a Spotty, you would know that they have a massive range of tana lawn, and this top would look great made in lawn and it would be easy to sew.

Anyway, I know sewers can be particular about the brand of the sewing machines they use and I’m not here to say that this is the best machine for everyone, but I do think this is a great idea. It simplifies the process of getting started in sewing and I think that’s a good thing. We need more people sewing and less people supporting fast fashion.

This is me with the top model, the SL500. While I wore a dress made using a pattern from the Simplicity group, New Look 6869, it was not made with Spotty fabric, which was a tricky conversation when someone asked me about my frock in front of all of the big wigs in the room. Sorry Tim!

Anyway, if you want to read more about these new sewing machines, head to the Brother site.

Before I go, I’d like to give a big shout out to Susan the best company I could have hoped for on the day!!! I often find myself a little nervous in a room fully of strangers and Susan preventing me from hiding under one of the sewing machine tables and crying from nerves. Seriously, I wish I were joking about how nervous I was!! And after speaking to the head buyer at Spotty a few times on Friday – seriously, is that the best job ever! – I think we can expect more great fabric from them in the months to come – possibly some silk cottons and some more rayons!!

Cosi Swimmers for Adele

More swimwear sewing has been happening around these parts. I’m trying to refine my swim sewing skills as much as possible before cutting into my Tessuti fabric.

These swimmers are pretty straightforward and I love that there were no fitting alterations needed for this little kid, aside from strap length. I used the Cosi Swimsuit pattern from Sew Pony Vintage. The pattern includes many different design options and plenty of sizes making it great value. It also doesn’t have the extra ease that we often find in other patterns.

Adele picked the blue floral fabric from the Remnant Warehouse. The pink is from my stash.

These have become our new swimming lesson swimmers and they are faring quite well. Next time I think I’ll make her one of the skirted options. BTW I’m gagging to buy this or this or this. Liberty swim fabric!!!!! OMG!! Somebody stop me!

Kwik Sew 3609 & 3416

It’s that time when I post about sewing swimmers for myself. I’ve been procrastinating about this for a few weeks. I don’t find it terribly easy taking photos of myself wearing swimmers, but I am proud of them and they look good and I am happy to show all of my makes here.

For these swimmers I used Kwik Sew 3609 and Kwik Sew 3416.

As you can see, not only did I use the top from 3609 and the bottom from 3416, but I also added some gathers to the front. This wasn’t hard to do and it has worn well in the water, but they do sag a little when wet. I think for my next pair I will add side paneling like my previous swimmers, and only gather the center section, similar to these swimmers from Seafolly.

For my own records I also added a little to the backside for coverage, added about an inch to the length of the torso and had to take in the side seams at the bust a little. Next time I will also use thicker swim cups, which I have only ever found at Tessuti. Any suggestions for where else I can find them?

These are by far my best finished swimmers to date and are only a muslin to test this pattern before I cut into this lovely swim fabric from Tessuti – so more will follow!

I hope you have a great week!