Today is the first of March and all I can think of is spring, those warmer days where you can finally leave that winter coat locked away and at last start planning some spring summer sewing.
Around this time last year I started drafting my first ever swimsuit, we were heading to Brazil to see my family. And I knew although I wasn't going to be near the seaside for most of my stay there, at some point I would go to the beach.
Picture above was the first full sample I made for this pattern
I wanted to design and make my own swimsuit, that would also be the first time I would attempt to make one. I decided by first investing some money on a dress form that I could use to draft the pattern. I needed something with legs! - I don't really do flat drafting I mostly drape and draw the lines on the stand.
Another half sample testing
I've found this dress form on Etsy, which looked to me like it would do a good job without costing me a huge amount of money. We don't have the same torso length or body measurements - I also I wanted to buy something that I could use for BLP patterns together with the stand I already own but with legs.
So after purchasing the dress form I was ready and set to draft my swimsuit!
Most often when I want to make something I go around shops checking finishing techniques and this time was not different. This is definitely part of the home work of working on a new pattern, even if it is for myself.
The front twist was quite tricky to get it right, I had to do a few tests until I was ready to cut and sew a full sample. Which guess what? I wasn't quite what I wanted but I got to try how to set the elastic in.
For most of the construction things like side seams, crotch and installing the elastic I used my overlocker. And all the front twist I made on my domestic sewing machine using a walking foot, this was also the first time I used one, it really helped me a lot.
I didn't use any special swimwear elastic, first because I couldn't find it and second I never used that kind of elastic either. And it gives me the impression it is hard to set it in. So I just used conventional elastic and it worked perfectly fine and it didn't give me any extra headache.
So here are some shots from last April, I didn't initially want to share this pics, but you know what? I was so happy I had made it and it turned out to be what I wanted, it is definitely not perfect but I love it! and I had a great time with my family.
If I was to make it again some changes are needed, especially if to ever launch it as a pattern. I would need to work a lot more on the twist, adding bra cup (or not).
One other thing I have thought about is how could someone do a FBA on this pattern? I don't have an answer to that question. The top pattern piece has a very unusual shape and I wouldn't know how to advice someone on how to do one if they ever need...definitely lots of things to think about.
I would love one day to launch a swimwear pattern I really enjoyed making it not sure if it will be exactly this one or something else.
One thing I think it is worth mentioning in this post is; once you've sewn and worn you beautiful swimsuit at the beach or pool, DO NOT REPAIR BY MACHINE! If you have any alterations to do, do it before you wear it.The sand and chlorine can break your machine. This may be a controversial subject, but I have experience this happening to my mother's machine and it was never the same no mechanic could fix it.
What are your thoughts, have you ever made a swimsuit? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Fabric from Funki Fabrics