I’ve made two new swimsuits this summer! Once you’ve optimized a pattern for yourself, it makes sense to make it over and over, right? The tops are both the Stitch Upon a Time Brazi (crossfront variation), and the bottoms are self-drafted based on my favorite underwear.
I tried making a swimsuit last year, and though it turned out ok, it did not last. This time, I used swim fabric for the outside (from The Fabric Fairy, and let me tell you, it’s wayyyy nicer than the crap I got from Joann Fabrics last year) and swim lining for the inside (also from Fabric Fairy). I also used swim elastic, a cotton elastic that doesn’t break down in chlorine or salt water.
I also pulled out some new tricks during the construction of the swimsuit. I cut the lining slightly smaller than the outside since it is stretchier and because I wanted to make sure the lining wouldn’t flip out while wearing the suit. I also used woolly nylon thread in the loopers of my serger and in the bobbin of my sewing machine. Instead of sewing the lining to the outside, right sides together, I constructed the lining and outer fabric separately (had to criss cross the straps properly before putting together the outer fabric straps). Then, I serged the entire suit together, wrong sides together. I applied the swim elastic all the way around, about 1/8″ from the edge (stretching a lot around the cross front and around the butt and a little everywhere else). Finally, I folded the edge over (including the elastic) and finished with a twin needle before attaching the underbust band and waistband.
I’m very excited to report that these two swimsuits don’t shift around at all – they stand up to jumping in the pool, swimming, and going down a decent sized water slide – all cases where other swimsuits fail (not counting actual swimsuits designed for real swimming). I’m sure they’ll hold up to waves at the beach, too!
Here’s a movie of swimsuit #2, slowwwwwly swimming back and forth (but no shifting, and even swimming like this makes most swimsuits shift around):
For the second one, I also took the center back up a bit above the band and love how it turned out, but I think I should extend the cups down a little bit as a result.
This project was not painless, though. I made the bottoms too big the first time around and had to unpick the entire double needle stitched edge and then pull out all the elastic. Lots of seam ripping. That whole pile of thread includes all woolly nylon in the serger loopers and bobbin of the sewing machine, too. Not easy to remove!