Thursday, June 26, 2014

Swim Shorts! Jalie 3351

I loved Jalie's new pattern releases.  The first one that made me say "Oooh!" was #3351, the swim shorts. 
Jalie 3351
I am pretty conservative when it comes to swimwear.  I always wear a rash guard and typically wear a swim skirt.  While living in India for 3 years conservative dressing was the norm and anything very revealing was scandalous.  I got used to people staring at me no matter what I wore, so it was just better and less stressful/annoying for me to be covered up.  Also, when we first arrived in India, my girls were 2.5 and 4.5 years old; I could not rely on them to get sunscreen on my back so a rash guard was really necessary.

I made the swim short in boring black milliskin matte from Spandex World.   I cut a size X at the waist and a Y at the hip.  I made the shorts as designed with the attached brief.  The leg opening of the brief is very modest and quite low cut.  Like all Jalie patterns I have made, the drafting is excellent.  I had only one issue with the instructions.  The final step didn't mention how to attach the brief to the shorts and waistband.  Strangely, the French version of the instructions didn't mention how to attach the shorts...I emailed Jalie and got a response the next morning:

Hi Meigan,
You attach the briefs at figure 31 (very last step, after the waistband is attached to the shorts):
Pin wrong side of shorts to waistband facing, at the seam allowance, matching centers and sides (fig. 31). Stitch, stretching the band as you sew.

There is indeed a small mistake on fig. 31 (on the label at the bottom of the shorts). It should be like this:
Thanks for pointing it out! 


Have a great day,

Emilie FournierJalie Patterns Inc.
Now, the diagram on my pattern looked just like the one she sent me, but she didn't answer my question about the assembly.  EDIT: I email again before writing this blog post and she agreed that there was a mistake in the instructions and has made a note on the website. (Side note: I still think their errata on the website is incomplete and there is a missing step in their instructions.  I have sent another email and I am awaiting a response.)

I just received a response from Emilie at Jalie Patterns.  She realized that they were in fact missing a step between figure 30 & fig. 31.  She has updated the .pdf instructions.  Here is the link:
Rather than waiting for an answer to my original enquiry, I sewed what made sense to me.  I basted the shorts and briefs together with a zig-zag stitch.  Then I attached the waistband to them both.  Ta Da!
Front view (photo is lightened so you can see the black)

I made the rash guard last summer.  I made it using the Jalie 2566 tee shirt pattern.  I cut at least one size smaller than I would have for a tee shirt, and raised the neckline, added a neck band and lengthened the sleeve.   It was an easy tweak to change the pattern from a tee to a rash guard. 
I wore the shorts swimming before writing up this post, because I wanted to give a complete and thorough review. 
First of all: elastic that is comfortable when you are in your sewing room and dry is a little too loose when swimming.  I did not follow Jalie's elastic lengths and measured what was comfortable on my waist instead.'s a little loose.  Not falling off in the water loose, but "I'd be happier if it were a little more snug."
Second, the shorts stayed soaking wet for a very long time. There is a lot of fabric that holds a lot of water.  Granted, my fabric is not super thin, so it's likely to be wetter and heavier than a thinner fabric, but I was noticeably wetter longer than normal when wearing a swim skirt.  For my next iterations, I may do something fancy and omit the pockets, and also use thinner spandex but for the sake of sharing knowledge, it's something to consider. 
Here are some more photos:
Side view

And because we are all friends, here is what I meant about the briefs being very modest and low cut around the legs:

So in summary, they look great, they feel good.  The length of the shorts was very good.  The instructions are missing a tiny bit of info, and consider the weight of the fabric when wet.  I will get some good wear out of these swim shorts and will make more pairs in the future.  Another winner from Jalie.



  1. I had the same problem when I went to sew these up for my DD. You are cruising along all good and then it's like the directions just stop?? I'm glad you went back and asked her again. I hope you get an answer (and share!).

    Your shorts look great! I can't wait to make up mine. Thanks for the tips on the elastic - we get so used to sewing the elastic to fit well, not too snug. DD seems to like hers a lot too. :)

  2. Nice pattern! I would like it!


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