One of the major themes of my sewing this year so far has been “stuff that seems scary but looks cool/fun.” I started with bras, then jeans, and now…swimwear! Yup, that’s right, y’all are about to see pics of me in a swimsuit. Consider yourselves warned :P.
As with my other “scary sewing” adventures, this project was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I used the ever-popular Bombshell Swimsuit Pattern by Closet Case Files, which has been making its rounds in the blogosphere for over two years now. I had actually cut out the swimsuit last year when I was still in Boston, but due to a poor choice of swimsuit lining I wasn’t able to complete it before the big move to San Francisco. And, of course, upon arriving on the west coast, I was shocked by how cold this city is and had no desire to complete that project!
However, for the 4th of July this year, my husband and I got to spend the day with my in-laws in Livermore, where it gets HOT. Like, 90s and above hot. So when I heard that there might be a pool visit involved in our weekend celebrations, I got right on it! I managed to whip up this suit in just a few hours on Friday – it’s really that easy. I will admit that having some lingerie experience made certain parts of the process a little less scary, but even those who’ve never touched lingerie elastic should have no problem (especially with Heather Lou’s wonderful sewalong to follow!).
I got my fabric online from The Fabric Fairy, and am quite pleased with it. I mentioned above that I had an issue with the lining – that was not due to poor quality, but rather to the fact that I ordered tricot swimsuit lining. In many cases, this would be fine, but since tricot doesn’t have the recovery of a jersey knit, I couldn’t use it for this particular suit, since the lining provides a lot of the structure to the suit (the main fabric is gathered and basted on top of it). I ended up getting some basic jersey nylon/spandex lining from Joanne’s, which worked fine, but I think in the future I should use an even heftier fabric for the lining, as this one seemed to stretch after attaching the ruching.
I graded quite a bit between sizes for fit – I think I went with a 6 on top up to a 10 on the bottom, and the fit is fairly good. It’s a bit tight to get on and off, but it *is* a swimsuit, so I think that might just be the nature of the beast. I did add foam cups to the top to avoid “nipping,” using the Dritz “Sew-In Bikini Bra” in an A cup. Next time, though, I think I’ll just make my own foam cups, since I have the materials! These cups fit fine, but I think I can do better now that I have some bra-making experience under my belt.
And now for the big reveal:
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with it! It stayed in place nicely during my swim, and so far seems to have survived its first trip to the pool. It’s not quite as figure-flattering as I had hoped – I had to “suck in” a LOT in these pics to avoid looking pregnant – so be warned, this suit does not hide curves!! However, I appreciate the full coverage and retro style, and I’ll probably make more of this suit in the future. Hooray for pioneering new fields of sewing territory!