A suit that suits me

Three summers ago I made myself a bathing suit, and this summer I finally got around to blogging about it!  I can make all sorts of excuses - I was living in Tennessee and didn't have my family photographer (i.e. my sister) close to hand... I was busy... I didn't go swimming much... but really the main reason is I kept telling myself I'd take pictures and blog the suit when I'd lost that weight I've been planning to lose.

Well, three years later and some of it is gone, but I decided to stop making excuses and being self-conscious and just take the pictures already.  And you know what?  I won't be getting calls from Victoria's Secret begging me to come model for them.  But I made a suit that fits me and flatters my figure, and I think it looks good.  And I had a blast with the pictures -- broke out the curly hair and the red nail polish and the really big hat and pretended I was Katherine Hepburn or someone!

This was me saying "Oh look! A fish!"
I used a pattern from Fashionably Modest Patterns, which seems not to exist anymore.  I was aprehensive about sewing with Lycra/stretch fabric and dealing with all the elastic but really it wasn't too hard.  This pattern has a built-in bra, using stretch mesh fabric and the pre-made bra cups you can get at JoAnns or any fabric shop, so it supports pretty well.  The original pattern has a high scoop neck, wide straps, and an option for sleeves, and the shorts and skirt are longer and made as one piece.  I decided I wanted to be a little less covered up and make something a little more flattering to my face and body (high scoop necks are NEVER a good idea for my short neck and round face) so I drew up some sketches and improvised, using the base pattern as a guide.

I also decided I didn't want to make the skirt and shorts as one piece, because in my experience skirts make swimming slower and then they collect water and drip unpleasantly all down your legs when you get out!  So I made them separate; I mostly wear the skirt when I'm just hanging out pool-side, but remove it to actually swim, and it works much better.

I cut the front bodice straight across and then stitched a short piece of elastic to the centre to add some ruching and a bit of a "sweetheart" neckline.  The straps go around to the back as a halter (and hook with the hook off my old suit) and then I have straps going down from the halter to the main back.  It's very secure, and I like the way it looks!

The bodice front also has some ruching, which I think was more effective in my design sketches than in actual practise.  The back is just a little too wide and so the side seams drag to the front a little and pull the ruching out of place, causing it to be a little less flattering than I hoped.  But the basic idea is sound!

So, I have a sturdy, attractive suit which fits me and makes me happy, and should last for many years to come... and whenever it wears out, I know how to make a new one!


  1. That is really impressive! Sewing with lycra is scary and your suit is amazing! Very flattering and it looks like it fits well and I'm really impressed which appears to cause run on sentences...

    1. Wow, thank you! I'm flattered that I could inspire run-on sentences ;-)

  2. What a wonderful, gorgeous, flattering swim suit! I am in love! It fits so well, and I love the style. I love the picture of you standing in the water - you look like a movie star or a pin up girl!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I really had fun with these photos... I hardly ever wear makeup so it was fun to pretend to be a 1940s glamour girl :D


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