Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bombshell swimsuit --- or I'm always out of season

The Stitchy Details:
Bombshell Swimsuit
  • Challenge Theme: Originally: Swimalong 2013, tried: Défi vintage - Thread and Needles: Plage (Août 2013), but missed both deadlines...
  • Pattern used: Bombshell swimsuit
  • Fabric: Turquoise lycra with red dots and swimsuit lining from Spandex House (love the selection, but the postage was huge!) 
  • Notions: Swimsuit elastic, cups (swim proofed)
  • Did you make any pattern alterations or design changes? I made the size 10 of the view A of the pattern and added some seam allowances to waist and hips, since my measurements were slightly bigger on those parts.
  • First worn/Wear again? For the pictures. It's not really swimsuit weather in Paris anymore... Maybe in Qatar in November if there's a place to swim.
  • Total price: ~75 €, most of this came from the fabric, because the shipping costs were almost the same as the price of the fabric. And also I ended up buying 2 patterns for this...
  • Time to complete: 16h

Taping the pattern...
So, remember when I wanted to make a swimsuit in June? Well, I didn't abandon the plan, but I needed to pluck some courage to actually make it. And also, I tried way too many challenges at the same time. I thought I had time, but then, I have other things in my life too. Like work. That really cuts on my sewing time... Anyway, I have finally joined the wonderful group of sewing ladies who have pictures of their butt in the internet. The things sewing makes you do...

I actually had another pattern at first, as you might remember, but when the bombshell suit came along and there was no need for zipper like in the other pattern, I decided to go for it instead. Also, seeing so many awesome examples around, I just couldn't help. But, I didn't make the deadline. I mean, that was end of June and now it's September... I thought I would make it to the Thread and Needles vintage challenge for August with a theme: beach, but hey, I missed that deadline too... But, I finished the suit and finally I have a new swimsuit! That covers my butt and my stomach! I haven't seen bad versions of this swimsuit or unflattering ones either. I think this is one of those garments that look great on everybody!

I was a bit nervous, since I haven't really sewn anything stretchy before. Well I have, but I've always had a serger and now I just have my sewing machine, since the serger is my mother's and lives with her and of course at school I used the school's serger. But the pattern said, you only need a sewing machine and I have been watching a craftsy course about sewing knits without a serger, so I was sure it's doable.

Cutting, first time using weights :)
Well, I had some problems with cutting. I think my mistake was trying to use the rotary cutter. I think the idea of the rotary cutter is a good one, but mine is kind of dull at the moment, so it didn't give me a clean cut. Also, with back I forgot to grade the pattern to my waist and hips, so I had to cut that again... Luckily I have more than enough of fabric. Even with my screw-ups I think I have enough for another swimsuit. Well for a bikini anyways.

I decided to do this one right, although I wasn't really into making a muslin (and I haven't really read anyone making alterations), so that part I skipped. But I decided to hand baste my ruched pieces together since gathering and machine stitching with pins doesn't really sound like something that would work well if I do it... (also I was in the middle of a 2-part episode of Star Trek, TOS, so this way I could keep watching...).

Still a big mess...
I lost my faith so many times doing this... Mostly because I haven't sewn anything with a stretchy fabric before and I was so afraid that everything would turn out horribly wrong. I had some trouble with my added seam allowances. I didn't realize that I put them in the center seam in the back (yes, as it is pointed out in the instructions: the curved seam is the center back!!!). So I had to adjust the leg openings a little. I sometimes found the instructions a bit confusing, but then in the end I was just following the sew-along posts. And those instructions rock!

Bombshell SwimsuitThe hardest part however was the top part. It took forever for me to get those cups in place and I still think I sewed them on too low. Also, I'm wondering if I should've taken the smaller size I was debating about while I bought these. But I think the biggest problem is the shape. Although I'm not against the whole bullet style in general, it is the style favored in the 50s, but these are really hard, while the 50s style would come because the didn't have underwires and the bra's were made of fabric without any shaping material. Also, I distorted the top while I sew the elastic on and it's too big and the elastic is not holding anything. I did fix it a bit with the straps, so I think it looks ok in the pictures, but I'm not really happy with the top part.

Bombshell SwimsuitAll in all, I'm not over the moon about it, but as for it being my first swimsuit it's ok. The pattern is amazing, although I think I didn't need the extra I added for the seams (or I could've stretched the elastic a bit more), I could've gone for a bit more tighter fit, which is what I like when it comes to swimsuits. The style is very flattering, but I think next time I try to find cups that are less pointy and more comfortable. Lauren used a trifted bikini and ripped the cups off that, which might be a solution. But I think for my first swimsuit this is very presentable. And I was a bit worried about taking photos, you know, in my swimsuit, in the backyard parking lot 7:30 pm, when it's 15 degrees outside... The lighting could've been a bit better, but yes, my legs really are quite white. But no one walked by and it wasn't as cold as I thought. And I got my pictures from the first set of 10, so that helps. And see: I'm wearing heels...! I think they were the only suitable footwear with this suit :)


  1. superbe surtout pour un premier !!!! pour ma part je n'ai jamais osé !!!

  2. Merci! C'est un très bon patron, je peux recommander :) Et il y a les postes de sew-along, que sont très utiles!

  3. You look GORGEOUS! I'm sad about your cups - I had a similar issue with mine but I bought a few pairs of less bulletty ones in NY this weekend.

  4. Merci! Il y a quelques problèmes, mais on ne peut pas voir que très près :)

  5. Thanks! And thanks for making the pattern available! All faults are mine :) I read about your problem, but I couldn't find any less bullety ones in such a short notice. Next time, because I'm so making this again! And now I have experience: it was my first time with any stretchy fabric... :)

  6. It' so great you persisted as I think the swimsuit looks terrific on you! I don't notice the cups being po bit mzybe you could add a layer of padding on top to soften the pointy look.

  7. This is such a great pattern! Yours looks very nice. The fabric is so fun!

  8. I think it's more the feeling than how it looks... But I think I'll let it be. With the next one I know what to do!

  9. It really is an awesome pattern :) I love the fabric and due to the pattern I had first I have a bunch of it, so I might make another one from the same fabric, but a better version :) Not right now, though...

  10. I love this - you look fabulous! After all that work, I hope it gets some wear this summer. :)

  11. Thanks! I have worn it on my trip to Qatar, so definitely it works as a swimsuit, next time I'm fixing some things, though, as I now have experience on lycra + swimsuit cups + everything else concerning swimsuit sewing...