Friday, January 3, 2014

What I Made in 2013: Bombshell Swimsuit

bombshell swimsuit1


Pattern: Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files
Fabric: lycra spandex from The Fabric Fairy
Size: 6 graded to a 10?  I think?  I really don't remember...

So yes, it's a bitter 5 degrees outside today, and I woke up to a pile of snow that the latest and greatest winter storm just dumped on the Boston area.  The snow had me thinking about warm weather and beaches, the trip to Puerto Rico next month that I'm planning, and that it's only January 3 and I'm sick of winter already.  My thoughts turned naturally to sewing, and I decided to post pictures of my Bombshell Swimsuit that I made in 2013 and never made it to the blog, mostly because I don't deem it wearable for swimming or lounging in the sun (even though it does look pretty cute).

Don't get me wrong - this is a great pattern and I have every intention of making it again, maybe before vacation in February.  I learned a lot: I never sewed with spandex before, or made a swimsuit for that matter, and there's some things I want to do differently for the next go-round to get better results and a better fit.  Heather Lou, you rock for putting out such a well-drafted pattern and writing great instructions!  I felt like you were holding my hand the whole way through the sewing process.

bombshell swimsuit2


I wasn't sure what size to pick for this pattern and went off of the measurements for the pattern, which I believe led me to picking out size 6 and grading out to a 10 at the hips - it was a little tricky.  I also chose the sweetheart neck view of the swimsuit since I thought it would be easier for small-chested moi to pull off.  Sadly, I had a devil of a time applying the swim elastic around the legs and it ended up all ripply (I blame the fact that I can't adjust the pressure of my presser foot).  There's also a ton of fabric around the bum and crotch area, so I learned that I should have gone down at least one size in the lower part of the swimsuit.

bombshell swimsuit4


This suit was also constructed pre-serger, so I'm sure using my serger next go-round will improve the overall quality of the swimsuit as well (I'm sure it's possible to make a great looking suit with a regular machine, but it just didn't work well for me).  I used the zig-zag stitch on my regular machine and you can really see the stitching and space between the stitches on the outside.  I wasn't too keen about how the fabric looked when stretched over my hips; you could definitely tell the fabric was printed and not yarn dyed since the fabric looked white in the stretched red sections.  Good to know for next time...

bombshell swimsuit5


Which brings me to my biggest problem with the swimsuit - the bust.  I used cups for this suit, specifically gel padded sew-in cups, in the attempt to give the suit a more "bombshell" silhouette than I currently have (this gal's got no curves, but whatever).  I think that was mistake #1 - the cups did nothing for support or feeling like I was "in" the suit, and may have distorted the fit of the neckline.  Plus, I felt a little cartoony when I put the suit on, hahaha.

There's also major gap-age along the top, which is probably indicative that I picked a size too big.  What I should have done is go by my measurements without my usual padded bra on since that would be more true to how the suit would fit.  Yet again, I had the worst time sewing the elastic at the top - I think I ripped it out about five times and it still didn't lay flat.  My solution was to make some tucks along the neckling to eliminate the buckling and get the suit to lay flat, but it didn't turn out right.  I didn't want to post a photo on here, but when I bend over, you can see down my suit - imagine the problem I'd have with  a wave coming along in the ocean!!

bombshell swimsuit3


I do love the back - the scooped lower back and the ruching all the way down is pretty flattering.  I also dig the bum coverage, too, even though mine was baggy because of my previously mentioned sizing error.

bombshell swimsuit6


Obligatory pin-up pose!

Yes, I will make this again with the knowledge I learned the first time around: I'm looking at this suit as a "muslin" before I make the awesome final version.  I think the halter version may work out better for my bust, and I'll use regular swim cups instead of these looks-like-I-got-a-bewb-job cups.  Maybe I'll do a solid cobalt blue color?  All I know is that the next time I'm back in New York, I'm hitting up Spandex House!

6 comments:

  1. I love the polka dots with this pattern and well done for even attempting a swim suit! I'm sure it'll look great once you work out the fit issues and find the perfect fabric.

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  2. I LOVE, love, love the fabric choice! You really could have fooled me, this swimsuit looks like a great fit in the photos. I'm sew quite a bit with knits with spandex... once you start you're hooked because they sew up so easily and are often quite forgiving if you make any errors.

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  3. It looks great. And, despite you mentioning the issues you came up against with fit, it looks perfectly finished. Good job!

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  4. This looks soo cute on - the red and white polka dot print is perfect for the retro vibe of this pattern. Best of luck for the next version, can't wait to see how it turns out!

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  5. Well from three feet away it looks fantastic, but I understand that the sewing problems are one thing, but the gappage is quite another!

    I don't know if you're using a three-step zig-zag for the leg opening, I've found that the three-step zigzag on my machine, doesn't allow the elastic to spring back in to position, but a regular zig zag did. If you're already using a regular zig-zag then just ignore me!

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  6. Back in the day a swimsuit like the day this would be made out of cotton. Would this pattern work with cotton?

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