The absolute BEST part of learning how to sew my own clothes has been solving The Great Bathing Suit Dilemma. The Dilemma: in my 38 years on this earth, I've owned one store-bought bathing suit that fit. One.
The Bombshell happened, so my drawer had two bathing suits that fit. Unfortunately the store-bought one is 9 years old and has started to show wear in *ahem* inconvenient places. Plus it shows a lot of skin, and I go back and forth about how much skin I want to show in a suit. (I'll show copious skin while running. Because running = sweat = least amount of fabric possible.)
A girl's got to have two bathing suits.
Just my luck! Heather of Closet Case Patterns sent out the Sophie Swimsuit for testing! I knew the top wouldn't work for me. It's adorable - a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. - but I simply can't wear formed cups. Still, I tried it, and it sewed up beautifully with her instructions. Alas, it didn't suit my frame. Specifically, it was like trying to put a AAA battery into a spot designed for a C battery (except we're talking boobs here, in case that was too vague). But I LOVED the Sophie bottoms!
I hunted around and found Jalie 2446, "Mix n Match Bikini" - it's the style of my store-bought and is the best style I've found to work for The Ladies with Tiny Ladies.
Patterns: Sophie Swimsuit (bottoms) by Closet Case Patterns and Jalie 2446, view A.
Fabric: swimsuit fabric purchased at Let's Sew in Evansville, IN.
The Sophie bottoms are snug, but I like them that way because they don't fall down even though they're high rise. I am VERY long waisted, and the bottoms hit right at my natural waist. I like where they hit around the legs - there's modesty, and I don't feel like they're going anywhere they shouldn't.
The Jalie top fits perfectly. I've started going up to a Medium in tops, and it makes a world of difference.
I didn't make any mods to the Sophie bottoms.
For the Jalie top, I doubled the width of the underbust band. It was just too narrow. That whole band would've risen right up to my neck without anything to hold it down. Plus it looked out of proportion. Also, I don't do back hook closures on my bathing suits. One failed on me one time, and it only takes once. I sew that puppy closed and slip it on over my head. I accidentally swapped the direction of the cups, so the centers and sides are reversed, but it's no big deal. Lastly, I gathered the bottoms of the cups to add a little volume.
I like the high-waisted style. It's modest but still cool, in my opinion. The side panels give lots of visual interest and opportunities to play around with fabric. I've seen some gorgeous fabric combos floating around the Internets.
And Heather's drafting/instructions are always spot on. She's gone to great trouble to make this suit available in tons of sizes, so it's a PDF, but it's so well done and it's not much to print. *disclaimer: I'm a fan-girl.
I'm "meh" on Jalie patterns. This is the third one I've sewn, and. . . "meh." This will be my TNT bathing suit top, but I still feel "meh." The halter ties aren't long enough, the underbust band was too narrow, the cups had no visual interest once attached to the band. . . I mean. . . "meh."
Overall I'm pleased, and this baby will see plenty of action in August! Have a great week everyone.
What's your favorite swimsuit pattern? Do you like one-pieces or two?