We are having an unseasonal heatwave here. In what is technically the first week of Autumn the weather has been hitting about 35 degrees C for a week, and still hovering around the low 20's C at night. So, as our hot weather continues I finally made a swimsuit I'd been procrastinating about all summer. I've made my own swimsuits for the last five or six years but sewing them still makes me a bit apprehensive. Half a cm added or taken away here or there makes a big difference, as well as the application elastic and the amount it is stretched when applied..That's the real challenge.
Anyway I bit the bullet and did a muslin of M6759 swimwear out of leftover black dance lycra. BTW this pattern has only just gone out of print. I wanted a swimsuit that was very simple in design and would be secure in the surf and comfortable for swimming laps. Maybe I should have gone with the Burdastyle Swimsuit Sloper, but the McCalls already had the leg line and armhole that I wanted, so I went ahead. The muslin revealed the fact that the swimsuit has a tank top style upper half that when made up as a one piece looks decidedly 1970's leotard. As well as that I made a hash of the elastic at the neck and arms and did not finish the legs. It will be turned into swimwear bottoms at a later date.
But it gave me enough information to see what I needed to do.
I redrew the swimsuit to:
Deepen the armscye by 1cm
Deepen the front neckline by 6 cm
Deepen the back neckline by 6 cm
Add more buttock curve by going out 1.5cm
Narrow the crotch area by .5 cm on each side.
Narrow the straps by a tiny amount, about 3mm on each side.
Take out the waistline 1.5cm, basically straightening the waistline curve a bit.
The next one will have:
A deeper back by 2cm
A slightly deeper front leg curve.
Possibly a back mesh lining too.
I used a beautiful designer swimwear material bought form The Fabric Store Surrey Hills Sydney about three years ago and self lined it to the under bust apply-elastic line, then lined the rest of the front with swimwear mesh in nude from my stash. I used white 2.5cm wide non roll elastic from my stash for the under bust elastic and 8 mm Birch Braided Elastic in nude from Spotlight for finishing the edges. I bought a few elastics because I wanted a soft but strong one with a nice stretch. The Birch was the best of the lot.
The construction differed from the instructions by the fact that I pieced the front to have swimsuit material at the bust and very lightweight mesh lining for the rest of the front. I did not line the back for this one.
I did the assembly of the front at the crotch as described in the instructions sewing the right side to the right side and then flip, but at the shoulders I assembled it using the 'burrito' to end up with a clean finish and the seam inside the strap. I'll try to describe it. After you have done the crotch and flipped the suit and you have your three layers at the straps twist the lining so the outside is facing in, then twist the back suit strap so the outside is facing in, do your seam then turn it the right side out and bingo clean finish with the raw edges on the inside, then apply all your elastics. I used zig zag to apply the elastic to the edges, turned them in and did another row of zig zag on the outside. I did two rows at the neckline. McCalls say to do a straight stitch. That would not last very long on my swimwear! I did not use cups on these swimmers, also wanting to keep it very simple. All in all I love my new swimmers and they are the most comfortable I have ever owned.
A distance sarong shot is all I am willing to put on the web :)
Keep on Sewing,
and for all you Aussies I hope you are coping with the heat,