Massive swimwear sewing session

I have had a massive swimwear sewing session, completing 6 sets of swimmers, two rashies and some men's briefs!

First up, the boy swimmers.  This boy always has a lot of fun choosing his fabric from Funkifabrics.   He loves the bright colours and wild designs.  These are pretty bright, which made it easy to pick what lane he was in during a recent carnival.

Last time I made some of these, I promised Sofie a photo of how I make his pattern.  I start with Jalie 2563.  I combine all the pieces, adding the gusset to the back leg.  The I cut off the boy bit at the front and cut it on the fold with a lining.  I add a drawstring, for security when diving into the pool.

Here is a second pair for him, in a shark print.

My teenage daughter is after more fashionable prints than fun prints these days.  Again, this fabric is from Funkifabrics.  I adapted her pattern from Jalie 3673.  I combined all the pieces of the front.  For the back, I combined the pieces, but also reshaped the side bit of the back and the curve more to her liking.  It was a bit of a hack, so I can't give you a good picture of my pattern manipulation.

I made a matching rashie for her second swimsuit, in the hopes that she will wear it when she goes to the beach with her friends.  Fashion is more important to her than sun protection at the moment, so I can only hope.  The rashie was made with Jalie 3668.  She wanted something longer than the cropped version and shorter than the full length version, so I started with the longer version and cut it to length.  (The cropped version is tighter fitting around the midriff.)  I was struggling to fit the sleeves on my fabric, so they are finished with a long cuff.

The matching bikini top is a mash up of Jalie 3672 & Jalie 3247.  When I bought patterns 3672 and 3673 from their latest collection, I was hoping that they had interchangeable top and bottom pieces, for the leotard and unitard, but unfortunately they don't seem to.  They each have a similar shaped seamline separating the top and bottom parts of the pattern, but it appears to be in a different location for each.

Making my niece swimmers for her birthday has become a tradition.  This next pair is based on Jalie 3247, with modifications to the neckline to match the higher necklines that are fashionable at the moment.  The bikini bottoms are based off a RTW pair I traced off several years ago..

This next project was a bit of fun.  My brother-in-law loves doughnuts, so I made him these briefs from the leftovers of last year's swimsuit for my niece.  The pattern is the boxer briefs designed by Joost of Makemypattern.  I haven't actually seen them on, so I can't make comment on the fit, but they have been worn and I haven't heard any complaints!

The next swimsuit is mine.  It is based on the Lily Sage Splash Swimsuit.  I made a couple of changes.  Initially I was only going to change the straps by crossing the neck straps over at the back and looping them through a loop where the side strap would attach and tying it at the CB.  This was so that I wouldn't have a tie at my neck, which always gives me a headache.  

Then I was worried about being so pear shaped.  I could easily choose a different size for the top half and the bottom half, but being high-waisted, I thought the small top on the full bottom might not be to my advantage.  Then I took inspiration from a Mara Hoffman swimsuit, which is very similar to the Splash swimsuit, but has smaller cutouts and a different back tie.

Here is how I changed the pattern.  I lengthened the pattern, possibly a tad too much.  I really need the length in my bottom half, but I added to the top half instead to do some more pear balancing out.  I extended the sides.  I got the angle of this a bit wrong, forgetting that side seams are sloped and not straight up and down.  The fold in the pattern below is what I probably should have done.  The photo below is for the lining.  The gathered outer pattern was a little trickier.  I nearly eliminated the gathered pattern and went to use the lining as outer, but because I was using a plain fabric for the top half, I thought the gathers would add a bit of textural interest.

I also added a shelf bra to the pattern, shown in the photo below.  It is okay, but it would be better if it was 1 cm longer and I pulled the elastic tighter.  For the facing behind the loops, I used a non-stretch lingerie mesh, to give some lightweight support to this area, as well as neatening up all those loop attachments.  The Mara Hoffman suit is reversible, so her loops are neatly hidden inside two layers.

The straps are not the neatest.  

This is what it looks like on.  The top half is not as taut as I would like, but if I shortened the bodice and adjusted the pattern as outlined above, I think I would get a better result.  You would not know how pear shaped my measurements are from the back view.  

All up, this suit was a lot of work and it has not ended upas  my favourite, but it is good to mix things up from year to year.  The flamingos are fun.

Next up is a rashie for me.  It is not the most flattering photo, as you can see that the waist elastic in my swimsuit is too tight, but I wanted to talk about it all the same, and this is the photo I have.  The pattern is Jalie 3668 again, with a square shoulder adjustment.  The most interesting bit is that the fabric is a thermo lycra from funkifabrics, with a fluffy underside for insulation.  I have always been a wuss for cold water, and my years living up north haven't helped.  The September holidays are always too cold for me to swim but we often end up at a beach anyway.  This thermo fabric really worked.  It kept me warmer in the water, and even better, it kept me warm when I was already wet and standing only knee deep in the water to watch the kids swim.

I got a lot done in my swimwear sewing marathon, but I didn't get everything made that I wanted.  The boy and the girl each have fabric for one more suit and I wanted to sew the girl a new leotard at the same time.  I love the funkifabrics, but they don't last especially long, so it might be better to sew their third suits mid-swim season anyway.  My oldest child has swimming for PE this term and doesn't own a swimsuit at all, but he doesn't like to wear my sewing, so I will just buy RTW for him.


AllisonC said...

Great stuff! Your family sure know how to pick some awesome prints.

poppykettle said...

So many fabulous swimming related things! Firstly - absolutely LOVE that your son is into those prints. They're awesome - the first one especially - made me chuckle! And I'm enviously coveting that fabulous banana leaf fabric - your neice's swimsuit looks amazing! The matching rashie is exactly the kind of thing I would like to wear to the beach, if only to half the time spent putting on and reapplying sunscreen, ugh. And I love the chunky white straps at the back.
Your swimsuit is gorgeous too - how and where do you manage to find such good matching solids with your prints? That's one thing I really struggle with. Are they all from funkifabrics?

katherine h said...

These fabrics are all from Funkifabrics. The pink matching the flamingoes was just lucky...the colour did not look so bright when I was ordering and I had actually ordered it to sew a leotard for my daughter. She decided it would be too bright, but before it got lost in the stash, I matched it up to the flamingo fabric. The white for the straps is just from the borders of the printed fabric.

If you don't want to ship all the way from the UK, glitter and dance is another good source for plain lycra. I use matt nylon lycra.

Glitter and dance have prints as well, but many of their fabrics are sold for dancewear and I have used a couple that have not held up well in chlorine. They have great customer service and are always ready to help out with any questions.

Robyn said...

I keep buying swimwear fabric but haven't actually made any since 2013! I really like the way you take patterns and mash them up or tweak design lines to make them work better for you - it's something that I need to get better at.

katherine h said...

I do remember your swimmers from 2013 though...they were good ones!