A little bit vintage...

Sewing bloggers often refer to their fabric stash, or their pattern stash...but the last year or so, I feel that it was my ideas stash that was weighing me down.  I have so many things that I want to try, that I was consciously shutting out new inspirations...which is not a great place to be, because inspiration is the fun bit.  So, mentally, I have been trying to de-clutter the ideas stash.  It is time to hold the ideas up to the light and either discard or execute or file away.

This project is one that I had to execute...even knowing that the results would probably never been worn.

A vintage bathing suit.  Well, probably not vintage in any formal sense of the word.  The pattern was published in 1973. 

The halter top comes in A, B, C or D cup.  I made the A.

The bikini brief comes in hip sizes 28 - 40.  I measure a 40 but made the 36, after comparing the pattern to my other patterns.  The patterns suggest a knit fabric with 50% crosswise stretch, and my fabric has a greater stretch than that.

The sewing instructions were good.  The seam allowances were sensible and varied with the seams.  There were no directions to use an overlocker or coverstitch machine, but I wanted to test the pattern more than the directions, so I did use them.  There was a suggestion to use "Perky Bond Plus fusible interfacing"...not a notion that I have ever come across, but it sounds fabulously useful!

The verdict?  Well, the fit of the halter is not great.  The halter is attached to a band and the gathering is not in the best spot for me.  I think I prefer my own halter pattern.

The pattern illustration suggests that the bottoms are low cut, although they are not as low cut as modern bikinis.  Full cheek coverage.  Just how photographs of 70's bikinis look. 

This swimsuit did get a strong "reaction" from my family.  Not sure if it was shock or laughter.  Someone asked if I was wearing it to a costume party.  I'm not sure where this notion of swimmers and parties comes from, but it seems to be a talking point around here.

I'm glad I made it up though.  Now there's a little more space for a new idea.


  1. I really hear you on that front - it's really frustrating to have lots of ideas and not much time to execute them - and then all those ideas become a burden because the mind is still with them, mulling them over...

    I am intrigued as you about the pool party idea - there wouldn't be too many women out there I'm sure who would find socialising in their swimmers a relaxing convivial affair - I'm sure there would be all kinds of laughter, but not the right kind.

  2. I think it's really good to try things out even if you don't think it will ever be worn - what have you lost besides a little time and fabric if things don't work out? Although time is the valuable commodity isn't it? Never enough time to do all the things you want.....

    Your swimmers look really well finished even if you don't like how they fit, so at least you got some practice in swimsuit sewing!

  3. They do look really well made... I'm surprised that they are not a good fit because they look great. I get the idea thing too - sometimes for me I have too many ideas I get none done because I can't decide what to do first.

  4. I'm always so impressed with your swimsuit making skills. I'm a big fan of full cheek coverage, too, so the fit of the bottoms sounds like I'd like them.

  5. My best self-made swimsuit was a S&S pattern. That was a few years ago, before it occurred to me to take pictures of what I'd made.

  6. Your swimsuit looks great, I'm always impressed by you stretch sewing skills.

  7. I know what you mean by ideas stash. Most of my ideas are related but in the beginning I can't see that, and there are so many, so I leap at all of them equally. To me it seems like a necessary part of the creative process and sooner or later I'll hit critical max (and get a little anxious) which forces me to sift to the core of my interest.

    Anyway! I love these type of bottoms. Maybe I'm old-fashioned! My grandmother sewed all my childhood bathing suits from Stretch&Sew patterns. I inherited a few of them although they're torn to pieces.