Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Bombshell Swimsuit...


Me as a blonde

I so wanted to make a swimsuit last summer with the lovely Dixie DIY swimsuit sewalong... but I wasn't all too thrilled with any of the bathing suit patterns I found at the time.  But hold the phone now, chicas...  The Bombshell Bathing Suit pattern landed on our laps a few weeks ago... a bathing suit for normal sized ladies that's a sassy throwback to something Marilyn Monroe would have worn.  Sign me up to look like Miss Monroe!  This pattern was quite easy to sew up since I've made loads of bras, undies and activewear things-- all of those things use the same easy techniques for sewing on elastics, understanding knits and understanding how negative ease works.   That all sounds fancy schmancy, but if you're an halfway decent beginner seamstress you will be able to make this bathing suit and look like a saucy siren (who's butt and frontal areas are covered up) at the beach like I am this summer.  I chose to make View B with the halter top.


Everyone who posts images of themselves in their gorgeous handmade bathing suits need to stop apologizing about how they think they look or don't look.  Just show me your awesome handmade stuff!  I'm nosy and I love seeing how other folks make up the same pattern I've made... this way I can learn use your ideas for my next go round on this pattern.


This version was meant to be a muslin but it worked out so nicely I officially can't classify it as such now!  I ordered some super cute green and white polka dot swimwear fabric online and am waiting for it to arrive.  I happened across this fun floral fabric at the red tag clearance area at Joann Fabrics this week for $7/yard.  It's 90% nylon/10% spandex with a 4-way stretch.  It's feels almost identical to some of the supplex (fancy, sweat wicking, activewear fabric) I have.  And yes, I've already cute some of this fabric out to make another running top.


I used a beige 100% polyester lining and cotton swimwear elastic ( both also from Joann's.)  My sizing is all over the map so I had to do some grading on the pattern.  My bust is a 12 (but could have done a 10 I bet), my waist halfway between a 12 and 14 and my lower hip, butt region a 16. 

  
I meticulously read Heather's Bombshell Swimsuit Sewalong over on Closet Case Files and realized I should lengthen this pattern.  She says the pattern is sized for her height at 5'6" (1.68 m) and I am 5'8" (1.73 m).  Heather said she made this for a friend who is 5'10" (1.78 m) and added 3" (7.62 cm) to the lining and 4 3/4" to the ruched main fabric (12.06 cm).  I chose to lengthen mine with these same dimensions even though I'm a couple inches shorter then her friend.  I saw on Sew Country Chick she felt like her Bombshell bathing suit was about three inches too short-- I don't know how tall she is but my guess is she is similar to or shorter then me... this convinced me to add three inches to mine!  I wanted my bum well covered and my frontal region covered, too.

Here is a blurb from the Closet Case Files blog that explains beautifully how to lengthen or shorten your swimsuit:

"For the lining pieces, I inserted 1 1/2" at each lengthen/shorten line and then drew a gentle curve to connect the lines. For the ruched fabric pattern pieces (A&B), you want to follow the same method but you will be increasing the amount you lengthen it. There is a ratio of 1:1.6 between the lining and ruched fabric pieces. Therefore, you want to multiply the amount of inches you are lengthening the suit overall by 1.6 to get the amount you need to lengthen the ruched pieces. For example, I lengthened my lining pieces 3 inches and the ruched pieces 4 3/4 inches." --Heather, Bombshell Swimsuit designer.

How much fabric did I end up using for View B considering that I lengthened it?  The pattern recommends 1.5 yards (1.38 m) of the main fabric and 1 yard (.95 m) of lining fabric for all sizes for both View A and B.  I used 57" (1.5 m) -- that's 1.583 yards of my main fabric-- just  3" (7.6 cm) more then the recommended amount.  I fell well under a yard for the lining (I didn't measure exactly.)  The amount of fabric used will vary with View A since the bodice is a bit different, I will report back with those measurements after making that version up soon.



The directions are very well written and clear.  You can use only a regular sewing machine or pair it with using a serger as I did.  I did make a muslin from my lining fabric as suggested in the directions.  When I make the other version, the sweetheart neckline one, I will include bra cups.  I didn't in this version since there is elastic under the bust and the ladies are contained in each triangle  pretty well with room to spare.


I tried my best to do some saucy pin-up poses but I guess I don't have it in me the way some folks do!  Not bad, though.


And here is what it looks like just tossed purposefully on my floor.  You can see how the front is a mini skirt of sorts, it can be worn up higher then I have here on me.




I can't wait for my green fabric to come from The Fabric Fairy.  I will be make View A so hold tight and I will post it when I finish in the coming weeks.

23 comments:

  1. I love your pin-up poses!! And I can't believe this was meant to be a muslin - I think it looks amazing. I can't wait to see the one you make when the polka dot fabric arrives!

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  2. Thanks, Kelly! I personally rarely need a bathing suit but now I have a toddler son and we plan to go to the beach a few times this summer... and of course busting out the little plastic pool on the front lawn :)

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  3. Thanks!!! Yeah, I did intend this to be a muslin but I guess all my pre-planning and thinking worked to my advantage and I busted out a pretty decent swimsuit! I got my pretty green fabric with polka dots in the mail today... I should be starting the next swimsuit soon.

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  4. KATHY! What a knockout Bombshell! I adore the pattern and I think it looks absolutely stunning on you! It's been really interesting for me to read how people have had to modify it & I really appreciate your notes on fabric usage. The lining needed a yard because of the length of the pieces but I've squeezed out at least 3 suit linings from one yard so it works out in the long run. Can't wait to see your other version!

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  5. Aww, thanks! I actually bought 2 yards of lining fabric and didn't even think to precisely measure how much I used-- I just wanted to have a bunch on hand for making this suit if I screwed up (and I totally did not screw up thanks to the detailed directions and sewalong!) I bet I could get two full linings out of one yard if I had exactly one yard on hand. I'm excited to do the other view to try sewing in cups... and to have another adorable swimsuit :)

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  6. Love it! I need to find myself a floppy hat like that too :)

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  7. melissa Fehr TradeJune 28, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    Super cute suit! You look fabulous in it and I love your accessorizing! :) I wish I swam more than, ooh, once every 3-4 years to warrant sewing another swimsuit!

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  8. This is amazing! And it looks great on you! I only ever wear a swimsuit under my wetsuit, so I just wear a boring navy one. But this is so perfect for lounging by the pool in ;)

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  9. Great job sewing this one up! Looks perfectly sexy and modest all in one. Manju from sewmanju.wordpress.com

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  10. Wow! Kathy that swim suit is beautiful, really flattering on you!!!!

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  11. Thanks!!! It's really comfortable, too.

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  12. Thank you :) Since I'll wear it when I go to the pool/beach with my 2 year old I thought making this with a fun, playful fabric was a nice way to go. You can totally make this sexier with a more sophisticated print or solid.

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  13. Thanks! It's perfect for casual poolside days.

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  14. Thanks, Melissa! That was how often I used to need a bathing suit myself as well until my toddler son discovered playing in the water or going to the beach. I couldn't put off not making/buying a swimsuit this year!

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  15. Thanks! My floppy hat was a cheap-o find at a cheesy beach shop while on a mini vacation a couple months ago. I wear it all the time when I'm out in the sun.

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  16. Thanks! I got the green fabric with small white diamonds on it... I also wanted to bigger polka dotted fabric, too. There are so many cute prints on that site!!!!!

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  17. Gorgeous! I think that print is super cute - what a score! Thanks for linking up to the SwimAlong! Your construction notes are great.

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  18. Olivia Vivy AlatorreJune 29, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    wow stunning!

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  19. Lovely version! I bought this pattern last weekend. Every version I have seen looks amazing on all sorts of different sized/shaped women. This is now on my must sew immediately list!

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  20. looks great! love the fabric pattern. I love making swim wear too.

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  21. Beautiful swimsuit! That print on the fabric is so cute and summery. I like your hat, too. :)

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