On the last day of summer I decided to sew a pair of bathers. Maybe not the best timing but the idea had been rolling around in my mind for a while and we had a family holiday planned which included a day at a water park. New bathers were needed.
I haven't owned a one piece in over 20 years. I'm fairly proportionately tall (long arms, long legs and long body) which means that RTW bathers don't fit. I'm either pulling them out of my backside or pulling them up to prevent unintended flashing. Definitely not a good look and not very comfortable either. RTW tankinis are no better, they always ride up exposing my stomach.
I decided to use a combination of Kwik Sew 3609 (bust detailing and straps) and Kwik Sew 3779 (lining pieces only).
I made a quick muslin of the body to check the length and then I cut into the good stuff. I cut a medium adding 1.25 inches through the waist. I used a matte nylon lycra for the outer fabric and fully lined the body with a lighter weight nylon lycra - both fabrics were lucky finds at Spotlight. There seemed to differing advice over the type of elastic to use, my only choices were knitted or rubber, I used the rubber. These were sewn entirely on my sewing machine using either a narrow zig-zag or three step zig-zag. KS 3779 has a centre back seam which I didn't want so I had to create my own back pattern piece. I also took my Mum's advice and stitched a piece of woven ribbon into the straps so that they didn't keep on getting longer and longer as they got wet.
I find it difficult to visualise fit if I can't see a picture, be gentle with me!
These were fantastic at Wet'n'Wild, everything stayed where it should, there were no wardrobe malfunctions and I was comfortable. Three major wins. That being said there are things I would change. To me, these are cut incredibly low on the leg, next time I'd probably raise them at least an inch. This might sound a little strange, but I think they're a little large. Generally bathers have negative ease and these don't have a lot, you can see some excess fabric in the back. Finally, the back lining got a little baggy when it was wet. I think that during my late night sewing session I cut the lining fabric with the greatest stretch going vertically instead of horizontally, but all the same I think that I'd cut the lining fabric slightly narrower next time around (more experienced swim wear sewers please chime in with your advice!)
If, like me, you've never you've never sewn swimwear before I'd recommend starting with a Kwik Sew pattern, the instructions are fantastic. These were so easy to sew that I've already started dreaming up more ideas. Then again there are a couple of projects that need completing before they become UFOs and then there's autumn/winter sewing to plan for...