Monday, January 16, 2012

Swimming, swimming... my swimming pool; when days are hot, when days are not, in my swimming pool....

I may not be a "swimmer" anymore, but I do spend lots of time in pools/hot tubs (and the beach on the cruise) so I do need good swimsuits and have, like most women, some challenges with fitting.

After making my first suit, and Meg's first suit, I went ahead and bought a couple Kwik Sew patterns, and made the animal print bikini for Lucy. 

I decided to try the first one I link to above; KW 3779.  Because it's somewhat of a tank, I thought I could use my original suit as a bit of a pattern guide.  It did all go together pretty well, although I had to take in the crotch/bum seam, the center bum, and the side seams.  I did a FBA, however, it doesn't "cup" me quite like it does on the envelope.  I think I need to make my right side bigger.  It's also a little more revealing on me than the pattern...particularly on the right side.  I think because my breasts are closer together (although maybe not evenly spaced on center), and because my shoulders are narrower, the V neck spreads too much.  I have to figure out how to adjust that width and have it line up with the back.  Lucy says it's too low cut, but I think I can fix that on the next one by stitching the cups together at the lower center front for an inch or so.  Or, finding a clasp/decoration that could join the two cups together.
 I did have a little trouble lining up the two cups with the center front seam, and the right side is a little off.

Overall, I was impressed with my first suit for me, from a pattern.  The fabric was a find from Value  Village!
I decided I wanted to make another version, using some fabric from Spandex World.  I figured I should start with the next smaller size since I had to take in the first one so much.  I wanted the back straight across, and the cups wrapping around (for extra coverage) towards the back.  This presented a lot of construction challenges which I worked through in my brain for awhile before starting.  I also needed to line the back pieces as the fabric was a lot thinner.
In the end, I don't think it was worth all the extra hassle.  The back ended up higher than I thought, so it's not really sexier.  I could probably have not bothered with the angled sides on the cups, especially if they fit better, but I didn't want to risk a blow out.  The thinner material has meant that this suit really stretched when it got wet.  I think I need to find a buckle, bauble, or clasp for between the cups to prevent them from sliding over.  What do you call those ornamental bits...they're not functioning buckles or clasps...I do have one from the suit I took apart, but I think it might be too wide.
 Knowing where to position the straps on the back piece was a two person job, thereby voiding the idea of this suit being a surprise for our cruise.
One of these days I'm going to tighten up the elastic around the cups, maybe  shorten the straps.  It's fine in our private hot tub, but a little scary on the public beach.

I can't wait though to make another suit, probably the tankini.  If I can find some brown or black that matches these fabrics, then I can use the scraps as contrast. I highly recommend making your first suit from a real pattern!

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