The Dreaded Bathing suit

I am not much of a shopper when it comes to clothing, which is probably why I sew.  Probably at the top of my least favourite shopping trips is buying a new bathing suit.  It’s right up there with bra shopping really.  They are over priced.  They rarely fit.  The change rooms barely give you enough room to get changed let alone get an idea of what this silly suit actually looks like…and do I need to get into the whole issue of lighting and mirrors?

Admittedly, the last bathing suit I bought was one piece, black and I barely tried it on before heading to the checkout.  The main reason I bought it was because it was on sale for under 15 dollars.  And the last time I attempted to make my own bathing suit was in college and let me just say it was a disaster.

So you may wonder why I even bothered to do it.  I asked myself the same question but something inside me said “it can’t be worse than the one you have so just go for it”.  I had been eyeing up this suit from Kwik sew, number 3608.  I thought it was practically perfect.  After having two kids I’m actually in better shape than I was before having kids, but they did do quite a number on my tummy with all the stretch marks etc.  I wanted to wear a two piece but wanted the coverage of a one piece.  Check out the first bathing suit in that pattern and it’s pretty much both rolled into one!  My only drawback was the fact that it was strapless but I decided to give it a try anyhow.

I had picked up a piece of turquoise Lycra that was headed for the remnant bin (one big bonus of working at the fabric store) and decided it was time to give it a go.  I got my fabric, my elastic and pattern and cut it out.  Of course I wasn’t satisfied with just using a plain colour so I grabbed a piece of navy lycra out of my stash and used that as a contrasting trim.

It turned out beautifully!


But I mistakenly assumed that since the fabric and elastic stretches, that it would be fine to cut it out in the size that was best suited for my bust.  Well let me tell you, that was not the way to go!  Sadly the elastic cut into my hips and side creating horrible indentations in my figure, which actually looked less curvy despite the lines of the suit.  I thought it would sortof create the illusion of a more defined waist but on me it sort of did the opposite.  So now that I was feeling, and looking, like a sausage, I set it aside.  At first I thought perhaps it was just the elastic was too tight and I could just take it off and try again but anyone that has ever worked with lycra or that clear swimsuit elastic will tell you what a waste of time that is.  Eventually I decided it best to just send it off to my friend and hope it fit her better.

I was not ready to give up though!  That is totally unlike me.  If you ever get a chance to talk with my husband he’ll tell you how time and time again we go shopping for something and after the first horribly fitting pair of jeans/shirt/dress etc. the shopping trip is over.  But I had been to the thrift shop a few weeks earlier and found, amongst other things, a fabulous piece of purple lycra.  So I attempted bathing suit number two, this time opting for the second ‘tankini’ version.  Not as sexy but probably a better fit for me.  Again I wanted to add the contrasting trim so I used the leftovers from bathing suit number one.  I cut out a larger top and bottom this time and it turned out pretty good too, and it fit better.


My only complaint is that the top feels as though it is slipping down and the elastic in the bra lining could probably stand to be a little more snug.  Other than that, and some rippling caused by my stitching which I’m hoping will go away after a good washing, it fits pretty good, covers all the bits I need covered and it looks pretty good on me.  I don’t think I’ll be doing any diving in it but since I’m not much for swimming I don’t think that will be an issue. 🙂

Next on my list is to make that cover up before we go camping, amongst a million other things on my list of things to do!


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kerry on August 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I love the bathing suit. are you going to make anymore. I cant find anything I like in the stores and have to get a new one.

  2. Posted by Punkn on August 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I can make more if you are interested in one. 🙂 send me a message with what you are looking for in colour, size etc.

  3. Posted by Gelisa on April 14, 2010 at 4:15 am

    i have a question..BTW both of them look greaat.
    i found a one piece at a thrift store that fits perfect but i want to take the sides down like under the armpits with a curve similar to your first one but horizonal. make sense? do you have any pointers i have no idea how to start

  4. Posted by Punkn on April 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    If you are talking about the cutouts I would suggest putting your suit on and use a piece of chalk, or one of those marking pens that disappears after a while or washes out, and mark where and how you want it to look. It’s best to go a little smaller than you think you would like it and then cut it out. carefully try on the suit again to make sure you like it. You can trim off more if you want or just leave it as is if you like it. I would suggest using clear elastic to finish the edges. cut a piece of elastic that is about 3 or 4 inches smaller than the length of the cut out and zigzag stitch or serge it to the wrong side of the cut out. Fold it under and zigzag stitch over it to hold it in place.

    If this isn’t what you were thinking, please send me more description of what you want to do and I’ll do my best to answer you. good luck!

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