swimsuit inspired by a swimsuit

This month’s challenge is a bit tricky, eh? I think I’m the first to post on the “Inspiration Nation” theme & we’re already a week into the month. I know I struggled. Between wanting to save some of my sewing ideas in case they are applicable to next month’s Indie Pattern Month challenges, house-hunting, a sick preschooler, & the fact that I just recently decided to make myself available for sewing commissions, it’s been tough to find time to look through the archives for an inspiring idea & then execute said idea.

But I did it!


This self-drafted swimsuit was inspired by this post from last year’s childrenswear challenge. I had been wanting to make a swimsuit & had stashed this crazy print last spring. I had been poking around for a pattern that spoke to me, but hadn’t come across anything. I like vintage-y styles with ruching & plenty of butt coverage, but it can be challenging to find ANY swimwear pattern that accommodates larger sizes (I’m a 38″ waist) & is designed for the possibility of support (ie, no halters, for the love of God!).

Rather than splashing out good money to have to hack a pattern I wasn’t wild about, I decided to draft my own! & it was actually pretty simple to do. The intrinsic stretchiness of swimsuit fabric certainly makes things easier, & this way, I was able to include the elements I wanted (some ruching in the front with a powernet panel hidden underneath to hold in the belly a little, over-the-shoulder straps, very low-cut legs) & get really creative with the back.


I really loved the way that Rebecca, the author of my inspiration post, designed the back of her daughter’s swimsuit. I loved the high neck & triangular cut-out. I knew I’d swap out the tie closure she used for a G-hook (which I’m going to replace with a clasp), but I honestly found her design sincerely inspiring! The triangular window is unique, & it provides a nice frame for the bra band on the back of the suit. I’ve certainly never owned a RTW suit with this kind of interesting detail. Thanks so much for the fabulous idea, Rebecca!

I also added a free-floating interior bra for bust support, using the tips from Beverly Johnson’s swimsuit class on Craftsy, resulting in the most supportive suit I have ever owned.


This was my first time working with foam (I used my trusty Shelley bra pattern, as featured in last month’s challenge post), & it was fun to experiment with a new technique. I don’t foresee myself ever buying a RTW suit again!

For more photos & construction details, visit my blog!

16 thoughts on “swimsuit inspired by a swimsuit

    • Thank you! Swimsuit fabric is really just another knit. If you’ve ever sewn a knit tee, you can sew a swimsuit. Even the draft was pretty simple. The stretch of the fabric when the suit is finished helps compensate for maybe being a little bit off here or there.


  1. Man! Laid it down for the inspiration challenge. Wow! Amazing swimsuit, I am actually awestruck. I think this months theme might be getting lost in the MMM16 and prep for IPM16 noise. I’m planning a post, but there’s so much going on!!!

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    • Yeah, there is a lot going on this month. I feel a bit overwhelmed myself. My sewing area is in my living room & it is an absolute disaster area. Not only have I still not cleaned up from making the swimsuit (& I finished it a few days ago), but there are patterns & piles of fabric & notions & scissors & rulers everywhere for the projects I’m planning for IPM. & a stack of me-mades that need a bit of mending before they can go into the MMM rotation. I don’t even want to think about how I also need to pack because we are moving at the end of July…

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    • Thanks! & good God, aren’t halters the worst? I understand why designers use them, because then they don’t have to fit straps, but I can’t afford to keep a masseuse on retainer to help me recover from wearing one.

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      • I just can’t trust the halter to keep the ladies covered. Worst mistake was a maternity set of togs with a halter!!!!! Wowsers – the boobs were more on show than the bump!!


        • Ha! I have kept a couple of maternity t-shirts in my rotation to use as pajama tops. I realized recently that the bump area is still going strong but the boob area has been stretched out to the point of transparency. I developed a giant bump while I was pregnant–I had a friend pregnant with twins at the same time (our kids were born two weeks apart), & my bump was twice as big as hers. But I looked like I was carrying triplets when you factor in the growth of the ladies, so to speak.


    • Thank you! I chose this print because my daughter is obsessed with pomegranates (she used to call them “cat lunch”–???), but I wound up really falling for it, even though it’s way outside my usual style.

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  2. I’m so happy that my daughter’s swimsuit inspired your suit! 🙂 I love the design and the print is so fun. The interior finishes on your swimsuit bra are really lovely too! Well done!


    • Thanks! I was so pleased when I came across your post. It really set the gears in motion, which is what this particular challenge is all about. Such a clever design–I should make one for my own daughter! If only I wasn’t too busy sewing for myself, haha!


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