Hot! V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N in the Summertime Suit


Fabric: leftover teal rayon/poly blend originally seen here

Pattern: 1950’s Inspired One Piece Bathing Suit by Mrs. Depew’s Vintage

Year: 2012

Notions: hooks and eyes, zipper, thread

Time to complete: 10 hours

First worn: today for pictures

Wear again: Yes x 1,000

Total Price: $9.50 (pattern)

Friends, I ADORE this swimsuit.  ADORE.  It takes a lot for me to say that, and even more for me to have my photo taken in said swimsuit and put those images on the interwebs.  Do I recommend this pattern?  Yes, definitely.  What you are looking at is actually my muslin – I bought green swimsuit fabric to make my final version.  The pattern instructions recommend making a muslin – LISTEN TO THE INSTRUCTIONS.  All of the problems I had with the swimsuit came from me not listening and going on my own path. Don’t do that.

One of the problems I encountered: don’t think you can get away without putting in a zipper if you have a curvy bottom (as I do).  My fabric was making those interesting popping noises, so I buckled down and inserted one.  I also added two hooks and eyes for extra security. I like to prevent wardrobe malfunctions as much as possible.

This was an intense project for fitting.  I had to be really comfortable with my body because I was doing a TON of examinations in the mirror for how I wanted the suit to fit.  This suit looks completely different on my body than it did on my dress form, so eventually I gave up on the dress form and relied on my mirror … and sometimes my boyfriend to pin where the zipper should go.  Ah, trust exercises in relationships :)

I had to make adjustments to the halter strap in order to secure my chest area, but since I was feeling a bit lazy and had already sandwiched the strap in-between the lining and shell, I created a box pleat at the back of my neck.  I would eliminate this in the final version, if I don’t choose to make the strapless version instead.  I also could cut two sizes smaller as I had extra material in most of the seams, but most specifically the gusset.  I spent a great deal of time making the gusset fit – originally there was a great deal of bagginess in my bottom and crotch areas (not really the look I was going for).  I think these issues would definitely be resolved by cutting out an alternate size.

I would recommend listening to the instructions when it recommends sewing certain seams as French seams, specifically the lining’s center front seam.  Since this seam finishing will be seen when the “skirt” lifts in front, my seam finishing is not nearly as pretty as it could be.  I also decided to tack down the shell to the lining in order to limit how many of my seam finishings were exposed.  You can see that this effort only occurred from side seam to side seam around the back. There are strange extra bits of fabric around the side seams now that make it look as though an A line skirt is attached from the front; from the back, it’s not pretty.  I would definitely resolve this in the final version, but I think I can live with it for now… especially since I leave for vacation in 5 days and this delicious piece is definitely coming with me.

If you’re looking to make a swimsuit, I would recommend this pattern.  The instructions, while not illustrated, are clear.  It is definitely for an intermediate level sewist, especially if you choose to add boning to the bodice as suggested for the strapless version. I think it’s the perfect swimsuit for someone who is not crazy about going to the pool but knows it is an essential part of summer survival (like me).  While this did take me 10 hours to complete, it was 100% more enjoyable than going to Old Navy and trying on swimsuits and being insanely depressed in a dressing room.  I’ve got a suit that I feel flatters my shape and covers my body (yay for using less sunscreen!) and a pattern that I will definitely be using again for many summers to come.


Meg the Grand

Megan Grandstaff was thrown into the sewing world in 2005. Ever since that fateful day, she has been eager to increase her skills and reduce her (quite large) fabric stash.


Comments are closed.

  1. BOMBSHELL!!!! Meg the Babe does it again!
    You look HOT! Love it!

  2. That looks awesome!!!! Well done! I want to make one (once I get better at sewing).

  3. Agree with Nettie.. Super bombshell xx

  4. This swimsuit looks so gooood!! I’m going to have to look into the pattern. Do you need a surger for this one?

  5. I LOVE it! I’m so impressed that you made a swimsuit, and that it looks so fantastic! Great job!

  6. Vavavavavoooooom! That swimsuit is divine! I hope you knock everyone dead on your vacation :)

  7. I won that pattern in a give away and have been meaning to get around to it. Honey, you are selling it! That blue looks amazing with your fair skin and red hair and it is super flattering on you. It’s really all about the low cut bottom. High cut swimsuits are not flattering on curvy girls, period. Well done!

  8. MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEG! megalicous baby!!! you rocked the hell out of this! i’ve been in that old navy dressing room. that’s the best reason i’ve heard for sewing up a swimsuit yet.

  9. Wish I had a bod like that! You look amazing and I love that color.

  10. Hubba hubba!
    Oh, my only bathing suit that fits has a huge patch of blue paint on the butt and I need another one (thanks a lot City of Sainte Anne de Bellevue for NOT putting those wet paint signs along the edges of the city pool last summer…..but I digress) I’ve been eyeing Mrs. Depew’s ’40s style bathing suit with overskirt, and this gives me hope that I could actually do it too.

  11. Such a good job.. Looks great on you.

  12. Helloooooo gorgeous!! I was thinking of getting this pattern. I think you’ve convinced me. Great job!

  13. Va va voom! You look fabulous, girl! Love it! Brilliant colour choice, and that style suits you perfectly. :-)

    Have a fab time on holiday!

  14. Yay indeed! What a great suit! I love that your toile is wearable, and that you love it so much! Have the best time on vacation!

  15. holy cow this is a great suit. well done.

  16. You little pin-up, you! I love this style of swimsuit, I have two from Jantzen. Huge props to you for making your own!

  17. Adorable! You look so happy and rightfully so with such an outstanding accomplishment. Love the color and style. On my way to look for this pattern now.

  18. omg, meg, that color, that style, it’s all just so fabulous. TOO FABULOUS. great job!

  19. Meg! You look HOTT! This swimsuit is fab! I love this and I want to make it!

  20. Congratulations on winning the 2012 American Pin Up Girl. Looks amazing in the photos, work it girl!

  21. Meg.a.licious, Oh how I love you. This is the best thing EVER!!!!

  22. I’d never thought of having a swimming costume with a zip, but it makes perfect sense for close fitting voluptuousness! Blimey I expect to see you in a pageant in a cossie that perfect. The colour is just gorgeous. Can’t believe it’s just the dry run!

  23. Wow. This looks amazing on you. The color is perfect. I can’t believe this is just a muslin. I checked out Mrs. Depew’s Vintage and will probably have to shop there pretty soon, too.

  24. Gasp! You look like a total pin-up. So glad the hard work ended in success with no depressing dressing rooms.

  25. Congratulations on the sexiest pinup swimwear! Your curves are are sublime in that teal fabric. A gorgeous muslin you’ve got there. So very worth the 10 hours of construction and fitting. Thanks for the pattern recommendation. It’s a tempting one.

  26. Thank you from the bottom of my vintage sewing heart for reviewing this pattern! I have it to make for my holiday in three weeks and have been umming and ahhing about starting. I just couldn’t see why you’d need a zipper in a stretch swimwsuit. Now I see the light! And I am definitely making a muslin. For sure. Can’t wait to see how this is turning out. I’m right in the middle of putting the pattern pieces together and thought I would do one last google search for a review and voila, here you are.
    Thanks again!

  27. YES! If I knew a suit like this would make me look this hot, I’d whip it up! Totally agree with the Old Navy suits. They have zero support and do nothing except make me feel crappy. Love the color of this too!

  28. Oh Meg, you’re such a bombshell. Great work!