V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N in the Summertime Suit
Fabric: leftover teal rayon/poly blend originally seen here
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.