I Can’t Believe I Made a Swimsuit!
I mean, I guess it’s not that surprising since everyone and their mom is making a swimsuit this summer (has anyone’s mom made this pattern? I’m guessing my mom would love it, but don’t give her any ideas or I’ll be running a swimsuit sweatshop… my sister already wants one!), but the thought of sewing swimwear has always made me say, “No way, Jose!”
I bought this fabric at Mood Fabrics NYC. Not everyone knows that they sell swimwear fabric, but yes, they have lots of it, all kinds! I planned to get a solid color, but this print had a fun retro appeal that I couldn’t resist. It’s a nylon/lycra blend with a matte finish and a fairly loose weave. The suit is fully lined with a champagne-colored mesh-like nylon blend. Both fabrics are four-way stretch– definitely what you want in a one-piece swimsuit! Editor’s note: Mood has lots of options online for swimwear fabrics. Start here with these solid-colored spandex choices.
I thought this would be fiddly and difficult to sew, but it was actually really easy! Stretch (not ballpoint) needles are a necessity, and a simple zigzag stitch is your friend. The fabric isn’t slippery at all, so it was very easy to cut and sew. Because the main fabric is gathered and ruched, then attached to the lining, I used my walking foot to help keep the layers and gathers even.
Swimsuits are one of those things that I hated buying even before I sewed. Fit issues aside, they always seemed so expensive considering how little fabric they used! This project was very economical– I used a little over a yard of fabric, a half a yard of lining, and a couple of yards of swimwear elastic, and it was a fraction of the cost of a similar RTW swimsuit. I bet you could make a bikini with a half yard of fabric (and for under $10)!
If you haven’t already guessed, I used the Bombshell Swimsuit pattern from Closet Case Files. It’s a very flattering suit with a lot of coverage, perfect for those who don’t feel like baring it all at the beach. Not gonna lie– this is the first one-piece I’ve had since I was about 10 years old, so it’s kind of a change of pace for me, but there are definitely occasions when a bikini seems a bit too revealing that this will be perfect for.
If you’re on the fence about sewing a swimsuit this summer, give it a go! You can do it! I think you’ll be really pleased with the results, all the more so when you can tell your friends “I totally made this swimsuit!”.