I feel like I have climbed Mount Everest and sauntered back down again! I feel dead chuffed with myself today, as this weekend I finished putting together my handmade swimsuit.
This is all in aid of the Sporty summer sewathon being hosted my Karen of 'Did you make that?'. There were 2 challenges here for me. The first was the making of and the second was the photographing of.
I must say now that I honestly don't hate my body and when I get dressed and look in the mirror I am happy enough with what is staring back at me, but when it comes to being photographed I cannot stand it. I wish I had a professional photographer, hair and make-up artist, good lighting etc... to help get me through it, but alas they all had the day off!
Back to the swim suit! I originally had in mind a bikini (see here) with very high waisted shorts, but I could not visualise it and did not think it was going to work for me. I put together the bottoms and got the fit right, but then deviated from my plan and started to look at RTW swimsuits for inspiration. I like the look of the v-neck as it helps to stops me looking too broad on the top and I wanted an open back with not too many straps as I didn't want too many dodgy tan lines (if I were to go on holiday ever!). There was lots of interesting RTW details like peplums and frills that I was tempted by, but thought it may just add too much bulk to my already curvy shape.
The top was added by draping it directly to my body for a good fit. I don't have pictures, but I wore my bra and the shorts part, marked the centre front grainline on some swimsuit lining fabric and pinned this taught across my torso/chest lining the centre front with the centre of the shorts/bra. I then marked the side seams, neckline and waist I wanted on one half with water soluble pen. Once off the body I folded the piece down the centre front and cut out with added seam allowance. I made a paper pattern before going further, but this formed my lining and was used as the template for the main fabric. All edges have swimsuit elastic added to prevent any gaping and the straps/ties were made by sewing tubes from thin strips right sides together and then turned back through.
How best to photograph the behind with the dodgy leg dimples!!!
What about that fabric? I don't even know what drew me to this neon leopard, but I was in the queue in Fabricland and remembered I wanted some swimsuit fabric, so just grabbed it along with a nude coloured one for lining. I really like it actually and don't think it's bad for £6.99p/m.
Here some inside shots to show how the panels are joined. I have not included a gusset just yet and was wondering if it is even essential. I'm not sure what to do with that, so may leave it off and put one in the next one.
I feel that this was a great challenge and a really good start towards swimsuit perfection. I must admit that I do feel good in it as the fit is great! The problem I have always had with RTW is that I seem to be too long in the body for most costumes so largely resort to bikinis. I do not really feel comfortable in a 2 piece anymore though, so this offers a good balance of coverage without being too mumsy. This is definitely more of a wearable muslin, as there are tweaks to make such as include a built in support on the bust and add the gusset (as previously mentioned), but hopefully this will make it into a swimming pool sometime soon. I might just go and test it in the bath quickly first!