Well, life sure has picked up for us around here, as my obvious lack of blogging reveals, but I have been able to fit in one or two little sewing projects for myself and I must share!!
Have you made your own swimsuit yet?!? SO FUN! If the thought of making your own swimsuit scares you, don’t be dismayed (or try making one for your daughter/niece/friend’s kid first). It’s much easier than it sounds! Though I’ve worked with lots of specialty bridal fabrics, stretch fabrics were not in that mix so I, too, was a little leery of how things might turn out. HOWEVER, two years ago when I was facing summer for the first time as a 4 months pregnant lady, I thought it might be a good time to try it (have you seen the price of maternity swimsuits?! YIKES!). Here is the one I made then (not prego in this picture, but the suit still works)
Sorry – I know there’s some kid in the way 😉 but it’s just a plain-styled tankini.
Last year I wasn’t quite ready for doting swimwear right after having a baby, so I skipped it. But this year I got back into the swing of things and have made two! The first one I made is from the Alison Pattern by BurdaStyle. Although this pattern is free to download, I do not recommend this as a first time project, as the instructions are very (VERY) vague. However, if you feel confident, a fellow Burdastyle member wrote up her own instructions for the same suit here.
I love the way it turned out! (The picture’s small for a reason! hahaha – if you’re interested in the details, check out the link above) 🙂 The fabric I chose was very thick so it feels snug and secure.
The second suit I made is similar in style, but it’s a tankini. I used McCall’s 5400 views E & H with some modifications. For the top, I added some length and the bottoms seemed to have a lot of extra fabric in the, um, crotch section (lol) so I redrew the pattern and took out 2″ and cut a second pair. MUCH better. 🙂
I have been broadcasting on facebook about my swimsuit making and a friend asked about bust support. This is one of the main reasons I decided to make my suits this year! I went to Old Navy and tried some on, but the after-baby bust is just not as happy as the pre-baby bust and I was very unhappy with the support offered. It is pretty easy to add bra cups to a lined swimsuit. The bra cups sold in fabric stores are mostly designed for swimwear so anything you find there for your size and preferences should work.
After constructing most of the swimsuit, while you can still get in between the lining and the outer fabric, pin in the bra cups and try it on. Adjust them to where they need to be and re pin. THEN, you zigzag the bra cups to the lining and cut away the excess lining (or I suppose you could even leave it in if you want). And voila! Great support, your choice of fabric, fit and style.
So I hope this entices you to make your own swimsuit this season or put it on the project list for next year. I love that I can get the fit, style and coverage I want and they are so fun to make!
OH! One last thing, I’ve found the best place to buy fabric is eBay. Search “Nylon Lycra Fabric” or “Swimsuit Fabric” and there are many, many prints and solids to choose from. Most come in 3-4 yard increments, so it gives you PLENTY to work with (and remake if necessary).
What are your fears about making your own swimsuit? If you need help with any fitting issues, I’d love to help! Just let me know!