What’s A Girl To Do?
What’s missing from my wardrobe? My hubby would scream SPACE! Whoops. What’s really missing is a new swimming costume. I have lived in my vintage 50’s swimmers so much that the last few times I’ve entered the ocean in the classy one piece I said to myself this could well be the last dance my dear. I could either emerge stark naked or with a baggy sand filled crotch. It’s time to say goodbye but not without taking a copy, why part with a silhouette that works?
I kinda freaked a bit thinking about the construction of this challenge. Can I do it? you see, the entire back piece of the original swimsuit is shirred with elastic which I have happily done before on a dress but for some reason— possibly me pulling too hard on the elastic sent me off on a whirl of confusion, cussing and frustration it just wasn’t working out, I almost threw in the towel I had already built the front— lining and all and felt I had come this far just work out another way to make the back work.
I cut the centre back panels inserted darts and a zip, I then cut side back panels which of course joins to the front panel. I dug through my sewing bin and save the shirred panel I so tirelessly worked on and cut it to fit into the bottom of the back side panels which worked out to be a blessing in disguise, this allows flexibility to the swimsuit, I can sit comfortably because of the ease these shirred panels give. Phew! The fit of this suit is perfect for me, there is no elastic needed around the crotch and rear she just sits excellently this could be due to the low cut. The bra section consists of a centre bottom panel, side panels to the centre bottom and a top panel that I have inserted thrifted mustard coloured piping along. I then placed 1inch wide elastic down the centre to create the gathering mirroring this process for the lining and then took to inserting boning that sits at the either sides of the bra cups so she sits pretty. The back straps cross over and button up at the front. I’m really chuffed with how this turned out. It was a long process but got there in the end with a smile on my face.
I enjoyed the moment of sunshine Melbourne had on offer soaking up some inspiration but before I knew it the sun was lost behind a cloud and it became slightly chilly quickly, it is Winter after all. Melbourne and her four seasons in one day!
I knew I wanted to make a sun top to shield my lilly white skin from the sun and found this reverse printed [silly] chiffon at a half price fabric sale. I self drafted this kimono type top which was a right royal pain in the arse, nightmarish, I cut the front panels on a curve and placed the reverse side of the fabric to it turning it under as I sewed, it didn’t matter how many pins I poked her with or how many times I pressed it into place the chiffon had a mind of it’s own. I know there have been numerous blog posts and tutorials on handling this stuff so please excuse my ignorance I just thought I could handle her. The top has imperfections that only you and I would notice, I will wear it because I adore the drape, cut and reverse print and it strangely complements the swimsuit. Lets just say, lesson learned.
Above is a shot of the back, I’m just not up to showing you and the internets my derrière not because I have body issues, not at all I mean, we all have parts of our bodies that we’re not too fond of that’s just the way it is the photo’s just looked awkward besides it’s not really about my body it’s about my sewing skills and showing how these skills can most certainly flatter the body. Being blessed with these handy skills can make us look classy and well dressed don’t you agree? because it fits. Huzzah to that I say.
I’ve named this one after one of my favourite Bat for Lashes songs- What’s a Girl To Do (appropriately titled I think) and can’t wait for her new album to come out , she’s such an amazing storyteller and singer.
Also if you like to show off what you’re working on over Instagram I’d love to join in on the fun My UN is Kazzthespazz I look forward to seeing your posts.
Fabric | Batik printed cotton for the swimsuit lined in white broadcloth for the front and the batik for the back. Reverse printed chiffon.
Pattern | Copied vintage swimsuit, self drafted kimono
Year | Vintage remake and contemporary
Notions | boning & buttons
Time to complete | Approx 10hrs maybe more
First worn | For the photos
Wear again? Yes with confidence but will test it wet before I enter the ocean.
Total price | $7 Batik $7 for the Chiffon a metre.