In summer our thoughts turn to beaches, lakes, the seashore, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, county and state fairs, festivals, celebrations and other fair weather activities as we plan our vacations and leisure time.
"To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level." ~Bertrand Russell
Sewing, once a necessary skill, is as much a 'leisure' activity today as any.
Times have changed so much. Women's summer beach attire in the early 1800s would have seen bathing dresses of wool flannel with stockings, canvas shoes, and large straw hats; the bathing gowns as they were called were not at all practical or comfortable; women had to sew lead weights into the hems to prevent the gown from floating up and showing too much skin.
By the mid 1800's, bloomers were added to a shortened gown.
The end of the 1800's found women involved in intercollegiate and Olympic sports making it more acceptable for women to be seen swimming in public. The bathing gown became a one piece blouse and short baggy trouser combination.
By the beginning of the 1900's women's swimsuits became lighter and briefer although stockings were still worn.
From the 1920's on to WWII women's bathing suits began to take on a look more like contemporary one piece suits. From then on women never looked back and today's fashionable bathing suits range from the skimpiest of bikinis and thongs to more modest tanks, bandeaus and bandinis for making a trendy swimming statement, all made with the stretchy miracle fibers Lycra and Spandex.
The Sew News Library has instructions from Laura Keith on how to make a custom-fit swimsuit at a fraction of ready-to-wear costs. To access their website, copy/paste the following URL into your web browser:
Happy summer sewing.
Here's the latest article from the Sewing site at BellaOnline.com.
Sew a Teddy Bear
One of the most enduring of all childrenīs toys is the teddy bear. Teddy bears can be made out of just about any kind of fabric, can be simply shaped and stuffed or elaborately jointed and are sure to delight the recipient.
Please visit Sewing.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Sewing.
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Cheryl Ellex, Sewing Editor
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