Friday, March 26, 2010

I made a swimsuit! Out of swimsuit stuff! For swimming!

Where did the week go? Oh wait I know this one! A swimsuit and no napping. THAT'S where the week went.
I made a swimsuit! Out of swimsuit stuff! That I bought new but I figure is exempt from the pledge because A'ly at least I didn't buy a swimsuit. and B'ly aren't swim togs exempt anyway? In my head they are.

See, I go dunk myself in chlorine for an hour and pretend to be a mermaid work out at least 5 times a week.
Which is hard on swimsuits. I get through a basic (kind of badly fitting) $40 Roots swimsuit every two months (if I'm lucky and careful).
I figured there had to be a way to make my own, so I read up a bit. Got scared of how complex it sounded. Prevaricated for a while.
Then on Monday I manned up; I bribed the bear with cookies and raced to the fabric store. I picked out something that felt the same weight and had the same kind of stretch as my current suit (THANK YOU Erin for posting your leggings mishap on WR I never would have thought of matching the stretchiness otherwise.)
I got some of that weird bandagey-feeling swimsuit lining stuff too. and some binding.

Then I traced out a pattern using my current suit as a rough guide. Left it a night. Played around with tiny scraps of the fabric to see how it sewed (I don't have any fancy feet or anything).
Took a deep breath, cut the pattern pieces and sewed.
And you guys.

I have no idea what I was so afraid of.
It was ridiculously easy. Like, if-you've-got-thumbs-you-can-do-it easy. And now I have a swimsuit that fits me perfectly. Something I've never been able to say before.
It's not perfect, but it is definitely good enough to wear and it was a huge learning experience. I'm already planning some tweaks for the next 2 or 3.
Anyway, here's the outcome. On a hanger. Because frankly there's not a power in the 'verse could convince me to post a picture of myself in swimwear on the internets.

The back:

and the front:
It's not terribly exciting, lots of coverage for the throwing myself about, and fairly supportive ( I didn't feel up to a built-in shelf thing and it's pretty much a moot point 'cause I strap the girls down in a sports bra under my swimsuit anyway - oh hey, TMI).

If you were thinking of giving this a go then I would say TOTALLY DO! It's so much easier than it feels like it's going to be. And, hit me up in the comments if you would like some rank-amateurish help!


  1. Hi, I found your blog from WR! Pretty cool! At some point I would love to try this too. Well done!

  2. Wow!!! This is the first post that's made me think that maybe maybe someday I could possibly try this! Thanks :D

  3. An ah-ha moment for me...the sports bra under the swimsuit. Duh! Why did I never think of it before? It's so difficult to find a "supportive" suit unless your're willing to shell over $100+ dollars, which I'm NOT for something that is just going to get dosed in chlorine in a regualr basis and then disintegrate!

    You so Totally Rock.

  4. Angela, a dirt cheap Old Navy running bra has outlasted two swimsuits already. It's a lifesaver, Aquafit is a bit bouncy!

  5. Not a power in the 'verse. I feel a Firefly moment coming on :o) This is a fab suit hun. It's something I'd love to have a go at but I really would need the supportive shelf thing as sports bras in my size don't come in cheap.

    Cracking sewing!!!

  6. Great job!!! I don't blame you for popping it on a hanger...I have enough trouble posting pics of myself in clothing :)

  7. OH MY, Erin - I saw your WR post and was trying to imagine how in the world the suit would fit without being a little more exhibitionistic than I got the impression you were - there's only a photo of the back of the suit there, and so it looks as both the front and back have the circle cut-out. It reminded me of a short story from the collection "The Girl in the Flammable Skirt" where someone's father wakes up with a hole in his belly. GREAT WORK :) Water classes are the best - I was lucky to be able to take one in a warm water therapeutic pool - the routine was the same every day and the teacher had the public radio classical music station on every time; it was oh so very relaxing and I felt like a ballerina in a giant bathtub (no mirrors on the walls to take away my fantasy. Sadly, the teacher retired and the new one not only played no music but made the routine up as he went, so no meditative ritual like the other class/no more ballerina imaginings). The warm water + chlorine is even harder on suits, so I started with a swim dress style that turned into a tea length evening gown! I chopped it up and turned it into a one piece - which as you say, much easier than you think it will be. Even though, I've been a little afraid to try from scratch, but I did buy two patterns on the 99 cent sale at a fabric store a few months back. You've helped give me courage to try - we shall see :)

  8. Nice looking bathers, well done!

  9. aw, shucks, what a sweet shout out!
    but hey, i'm all for sharing major fails, we're all in this together, right? :)

    i'm srsly in awe--a swimsuit?! you blow my mind. bravo, my crafty friend. bravo!

  10. Hey so I am about to attempt this for the first time eek! This is super helpful thank you! One question though, I was thinking of just cutting two pieces for the one piece Im making - the front and the back. But I can see on yours that the front piece is just one but the back looks like two pieces because of the stitch down the butt. Just curious what the benefit is of cutting two pieces out from the back and sewing them together instead of just one big piece? Wow Im super confusing ha I hope this makes sense!


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