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I Made a “Scuba Suit”

I am fast becoming a real fan of neoprene fabric for making garments!

Pardon the rain drops… it’s that time of year and it’s hard to get pictures when it isn’t raining.

Having not worked with scuba before, I initially started out making a couple of totes and a bucket hat.  I experimented with different styles, quilting and adding accessories and realized very quickly how lovely the fabric is to work with.  Check out my previous posts for the details about these useful and stylish accessories here: Bruno Bucket Hat, Nouria Large Tote, The Purely Bag.

Once I realized how easy it was to work with neoprene I set out to use up the rest of this lovely fabric making a garment.  This neoprene is from Minerva Fabrics. It is available in 18 really fun colours. Neoprene is the textile trend that has been appearing in most contemporary fashion collections recently. Invented by DuPont scientists in 1930, Neoprene (or polychloroprene) is a family of synthetic rubbers that is durable, flexible, insulative, wrinkle free, water and UV resistant. For those who are unfamiliar with neoprene, this material is traditionally used to create scuba diving and surfing wetsuits or laptop slip covers. This particular neoprene fabric feels quite spongy and its weight makes it perfect for making fashion garments. This polyester and spandex blended neoprene contains a fantastic 4 way stretch and is completely opaque. The thickness of this neoprene is between 1mm and 2mm thick (each colour can differ slightly in thickness).

I had a very old pair of RTW knit palazzo pants that fit me like a glove, something that very rarely happens for me, so I proceeded to unpick them to create my own custom pattern.  With my bespoke pattern in hand I created a pair of sailor inspired scuba pants. They are incredibly comfortable and the structure from the fabric gives them great shape  and wearability.

With the pants complete I managed to cut out the Canvas Jacket from Wardrobe By Me.   It took a bit of manipulating to squeeze all of the pieces out of the fabric but I managed it.   I used a lovely piece of scrap taffeta for the back of yoke and the pocket lining as I thought two layers of scuba would be too bulky.   As I mentioned my initial plan was to make a cropped jacket, but when I tried it on for final fitting adjustments before attaching the sleeves I feel in love with the vest styling and silhouette.   I loved the pocket details and the popped collar.  Both offered a tailored look like I love.  It didn’t take long to decide to hack the pattern and figure out how to finish off the army syce .   To do this I used a pressing cloth to create a 1 cm rolled hem, then created a double topstitched hemline to match the detailing on the pockets.     

I think the vest turned out really well.  As a vest I can layer it over so many different tops and sweaters and wearing both inside and out.   It will be a perfect for Winter,

Spring and Fall and will prove to incredibly versatile.    

The entire outfit will become one of my go-to plane outfits.  It is cozy and comfortable to curl up for long flights and when you arrive you are not starting your travels in stretched out sweat pants or a completely wrinkled outfit. The added bonus is that neoprene is wind and rain resistant, which is why taking pics in the rain worked out just fine. Win-Win.

I am definitely a scuba convert and will be on the look out for more in my basic colour palette.    I still would like to make a full Canvas jacket, perhaps in a dark brown or golden beige to match my Scuba Suit.

After all…. There is Sew Much To Design!

Happy Scuba Sewing,

Lou Sheffer


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