I have a confession – I haven’t purchased a swimsuit since just before I had kids (if you count like 5+ years “just” before)! You might wonder why that matters, unless you’ve had the experience I have – where your body has changed dramatically and you find yourself squeezing into clothes that either no longer fit your personal tastes or waist size! Last Summer I got ambitious and decided I would make myself a swimsuit… And then life happened. No shame there – priorities change – but it was also easy for me to become complacent and give myself all kinds of justifications for not taking the kids to the pool or getting in the water (“Oh it’s too hot,” or “oh it’s too sunny,” or my personal favorite – “if only we ALL had swimsuits to wear”)… An entire summer people – wasted! This year, I decided to get ambitious – and not only did I decide to make a swimsuit for my daughter (linked here), but this past week – I made myself one too (excuses be damned!). And now I can’t believe it is out here on the web for the world to see!
Patterns for Pirates New Swimsuit Release
If you haven’t joined any Facebook sewing groups, Patterns for Pirates (P4P) [affiliate link*] might be a brand you are unfamiliar with. It happens to be one of the first sewing groups I joined a couple years ago, and my first garment for myself was from a P4P pattern (see here). The group was significantly smaller then, and has rapidly grown to one of the largest sewing groups I’ve seen (with over 50,000 members!). The group link is here if you are interested in checking them out. They released a swimsuit set (separate top and bottom) that I have already prepped and cut, and then left by the waysides as life got busy (which of course gave me another excuse for avoiding the pool!). Well – guess I’m going to have to find another excuses for not getting this ‘fro of mine wet!
Per the pattern listing:
This intermediate knit pattern is a traditional, tight fitting one piece swimsuit with tons of options! It is fully lined and comes with directions to add bust support (sew in swim cups, power mesh and under bust elastic). All seams are enclosed and edges finished with elastic for a secure, traditional swimsuit fit and feel.
As you can see – this pattern is full with options – all including the signature gathered cross front bodice. Let me tell you – Judy is a genius! She walks you through how to install cups, add provide extra support under your bustline, and how and where to place powermesh to strategically support and slim you up! I did the regular bottom, halter tied top version and all my seams are enclosed! I can’t believe how good my swimsuit looks both inside and out (well – it would look nicer inside had I not been lazy and just switched out my Thread from black to a more pleasant nude!). Seriously folks – I need to stop underestimating my muslins – this is my muslin and I’m wearing it as a swimsuit! I should have just done the right thing – learn from my mistakes!
When Judy says enclosed seams – she means it! I lack intuition for swimsuit sewing and enclosed seams, so I just needed to trust the steps! Knowing what I know now – about the pattern and myself, I would just have cut into my good fabric once I had worked out my trunk measurement and how much to take off from the pattern (for reference, I am 5’3″ and was ~4″ shy of the length for my size – you can see my standard measurements here)… This aligned well with the 2″ I take from P4P patterns, and I took 1″ from the bodice, 1″ from the waistband and 1/2″ from the bottoms. I also am a rectangle vs an hourglass, so I ended up having to blend between a small top, medium waistband and an XS bottom (and of course that is why I am so unhappy with a store bought swimsuit!). I also added sew-in cups for support – but not the extra elastic.
Dare I call it – the perfect one-piece pattern?
As the testers started sharing their pics, I couldn’t help but notice how seriously AMAZING everyone looked (and also couldn’t believe how many folks were wearing custom swim fabric NOT purchased at Joanns!) I purchased this swim knit from Joanns, and ALSO custom ordered swim knit from The Fabric Fairy – but didn’t get to make it… Yet!
Perfect for in and out of the water
Believe it or not, the pictures in front of the stone wall below were taken AFTER I had already spent an hour in the pool with my family! I’m amazed that I had no swimsuit malfunctions and that it still looks great after I stepped out (I don’t know if I thought the thread would melt in the chlorine or what – but I was just anxious). I’m glad it all worked out in the end.
Now EVERYONE has a swimsuit – no excuses!
You may remember my daughter’s swimsuit from the Suit Up for Summer swim tour. She is tickled pink that we now have matching bathing suits – and so am I! I’m hoping some of you will join me in feeling good about ourselves in homemade swimsuits (perhaps matching family sets?) – would love to hear if swimsuit sewing is in your plans below!