I decided to combine By Hand London’s Georgia dress with Ohhh lulu’s Grace knickers into a bathing suit as both patterns have princess seams. The fabrics I used are both spandex – it was really hard to find anything I liked and this was as close as I got. It is winter here, so I wasn’t surprised to have limited choice, however I suspect that even in summer there would not be much of a range to choose from (that would compare to rtw prints). I couldn’t find swimsuit lining so I got some (navy) dance lining.. not really sure it that is OK, but it feels fine to me. I also cut some cups out of an old bra and attached them to the lining during construction. I felt like it would give a better result, but also just really wanted to try a new technique! I used rubber elastic around the neckline and leg holes as I couldn’t find any labelled swimsuit elastic and I pretty sure I remember seeing it in RTW togs. (togs is what New Zealanders call swimsuits BTW).
I’ve used both these patterns before and combing them wasn’t difficult – I didn’t follow any of the instructions for this make. Figuring out how long the torso needed to be was the most important part. I haven’t really sewn with lycra before so I wasn’t sure how the stretch was going to work lengthwise. As you may be able to tell from the pictures, the torso has come out a tiny bit too short. The neckline is really secure so it’s not going anywhere, however it sits a little bit low on the bust.
I can play with it a bit and pull the neckline higher but that results in high cut legs – a look which (combined with this fabric especially) is just a bit too 1990’s jazzercise for me. I actually have a couple of pairs of RTW togs that sit a bit low on the bust too so at least I don’t feel so bad for doing it on my version!
Here is a shot of the inside. I managed to doing the lining quite tidily except for that underbust seam, which is overlocked. My justification is that it functions like a shelf bra… believable, right?
This is as close as I am going to get to putting a bootay photo on the interwebs. Hopefully you get the gist of the back. I didn’t want straight straps as they have a tendency to fall off my shoulders, and the strap I had made was not long enough to do a decent crossover. Yip, I was pretty over it by the time I got to the straps and I couldn’t be bothered making more! I like the way they have ended up though. I’m not sure if they will stretch out a bit over time – I didn’t put any elastic inside or anything.
This was quite an arduous project really. I had to figure out a lot of it as I went and there was a lot of fitting involved since the Georgia pattern is too big for my ‘girls’ even when I’m not using stretchy spandex! I don’t think I would bother making another although it was quite fun to franken-pattern and to make a swimsuit for the first time. I will probably try to make a bikini or a more simple one-piece though – one where you can just take in the side seams to fit!
Ciao x (I blog here)