A sunny swimsuit

Monday, 6 January 2020

I have a gorgeous one piece bathing suit from Seafolly.  It's beautifully made, fully lined and includes an underwired shelf bra for extra support.  It's also a complete pain to pull back up into place once it's wet.  I wanted a lovely little bikini to wear in the backyard swimming pool which would make bathroom breaks a breeze.  Enter the Sunny Top from Sew Swimmingly and the Watson bikini pattern from Cloth Habit.

Let's start with the top.  I bought this bikini top pattern as soon as it was released thinking it would work for my daughters and for me.  According to my measurements I'm an XL, the largest size this pattern goes up to (I wear a RTW 12D/34D).  Essentially this is a pretty quick and easy sew, but there were some things with the pattern and instructions I disliked and after swimming in the top I'd make changes in the future.

 My first issue was with the pattern.  It says to cut 1 of the side cups, when it should say cut one pair or cut 2.  A pretty basic mistake that I picked up as I was laying out the pattern pieces (this may have been fixed since I bought the pattern).

I found the style of the instructions a bit odd.  It was almost like there was a summary statement and then the step by step instructions, which I found confusing rather than helpful.

Some information appears to be missing and at times the instructions don't appear to match the accompanying images.  When attaching the elastic around the straps and neckline, the photos show the elastic starting down from the top edge of the straps, but this isn't referenced in the instructions at all.  I started the elastic 3/8 inch down from the top edge and this worked well. 

I also found the images for this section confusing.  The instructions state that you place the lining fabric and outer fabric together and then attach the elastic, but the lining fabric isn't shown in the accompanying photo.

The extra wide neckline is lovely, but those straps aren't comfortable for lots of swimming.  I found that they tended to rub the under arms.  I would also prefer that the bottom edge was finished with an elastic band rather than a self binding - it didn't feel particularly secure.  Once wet, the top rode up at the back and I wonder is that's also because there's no elastic in the bottom to help it stay in place.

If I make this again I would use a self lining, as there was no way I could find to stop it peaking out when you finish the edges as instructed.  I would also reshape the neckline to move the straps further towards the center front, curve the top edge of the bust in a little bit more to make the fit more secure, add 1/2 inch extra length and finish the bottom with elastic.

I may tinker with this pattern and make it again if my daughters want it, but I'm not sure I'd make it again for me.

The bikini bottoms couldn't have been more different.  I sewed these up in a medium with a couple of simple changes.  I added 1/2 inch to the back rise graded out to nothing out the side seams, I removed the front crotch seam and fully lined these.  Totally love them.  Comfy to swim in and I love the way they look.

Such a long post for such a small pieces of clothing!  I love swimwear and I'm hoping to make up a few more patterns before summer is over.

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