Last year I got as far as buying and tracing patterns. So when I found this lilac Lycra fabric from Abakhan Fabrics and this really sweet stretch gingham trim, I decided to try sewing swimwear on a budget.
In the last few months, the push to sew swimwear came in the form of a 'Swimalong' This is where bloggers and sewists support each other while sewing swimwear under the guidance of Lelia and Katie. These generous bloggers have produced really excellent & helpful posts all about sewing swimwear. So any information you could need about fabric, patterns, sewing techniques, finishing seams can all be found on their swim along posts.
The details of the fabric and haberdashery for these two swimsuits are:
Nylon/Lycra swimsuit fabric 150cm x 1metre =£10.25
Stretch gingham with double frill edge x 2metres = £1.40
Swimwear elastic = £2.99
(Patterns, button and cotton lining from my stash)
Total = £14.64 for 2 swimsuits. Considering that the adult swimsuit was fully self-lined, this represents excellent value, as a similar RTW version could cost from £50 upwards.
I started with a swimsuit for my daughter. A child's swimsuit is more straightforward as it doesn't need lining or support and provides a perfect opportunity to practice techniques. This pattern is from Ottobre magazine 3/2009#38
I used a coverstitch to sew this swimsuit, which is a stretch stitch that looks a little like how a serger sews.
Then I progressed to sewing my own. I had the KwikSew 3416 swimwear pattern that I bought a few years ago but changed View B up by adding a ruched panel in front and adding lining and support.
This suit was sewn completely with a small zig-zag stitch which is on almost every sewing machine.
This was much more work than the child's version, but mostly because of the changes I made.
One part I was particularly pleased with were the straps which I wanted to be narrow, unlike the wider straps of my daughters swimsuit.
Hers were sewn by folding them in three and zig-zagging the length.
Generally turning narrow straps is awkward, so I found an easy way that involves using a drinking straw. This makes sewing narrow straps much simpler and works for jersey, cotton and other lightweight fabrics.
The trim wasn't meant to be 'matchy' with my daughter, but added to cover some of the uneven zig-zag stitching.
My favourite part of sewing the swimsuits, was the seahorse appliqué on my daughters suit. This was remarkably easy, and is sewn with a straight stretch stitch unlike appliqué for woven fabric which is often sewn with a satin stitch. The outline for the seahorse is provided in the pattern magazine and the instructions suggest Bondaweb to attach the seahorse to the swimsuit, and then to sew around the outline.
(The fabric and notions for these swimsuits were chosen by me and supplied by Abakhan Fabrics, free, as part of their challenge to sew on a budget)
Pin It Now!