Today in misadventures! I finally tried on a swimsuit that I had sewn up just before NZ went into lockdown, and discovered that I could barely get it on and the fabric was very stressed being forced to accommodate me!
I’d been saving this lovely ribbed black swimsuit fabric from Nellie Joans for AGES for this exact project. I’ve made a few swimsuits over the last year, using the Muna and Broad Banksia Bralette and the Kapunda Undies (in the same sizes that I make my undies versions from).
I barrelled straight into this project, with quite a bit of misplaced confidence (I can say in hindsight), since I’d had so many other swimsuit successes. I think the issue is that the fabric that I’d used for previous projects was especially stretchy (and perhaps unusually so).
Although they look okay in the pictures, because there’s not a huge amount of stretch, I had to do a decent amount of careful placement of things inside the bralette to ensure decency, and the bottoms are so taut that the overlocking thread (bright pink, no less) is VERY visible along the seams. These are like super compressive spanx versions of swimwear, if spanx could suddenly burst on you, revealing your entire bottom half to other folks enjoying the local pools.
Size details: I made a Size F in the Kapunda Undies and I used my modified Banksia Bralette pattern which is Size E, D cup, narrow shoulder with approx 3” removed from the centre front.
I’ve probably been quite spoiled because a lot of my bralettes and undies have been made with cotton or bamboo fabrics with 4-way stretch, so the fabric is easily able to stretch and accommodate my bits which need extra accommodation.
I’ll be doing some squatting and stretching in this before deciding if it’s safe to wear in public in front of others! One thing I could do to fix this is to unpick the fold-over (yuck) and cut down the front and back pieces of the bottoms and add side-panels which have more stretch. This would effectively convert the bottoms from View A to View B, and could give me the extra room I need.
Next time, I’ll make sure to test the stretch on my swimsuit fabric before rushing in!
Oh, ouch! Knits are so perverse that way, some small innocent-looking difference in stretch leaves you either swimming away by yourself, or squeezing yourself into an unexpected girdle. Sorry about this nice-looking suit, which looks so much better than it feels..
I’m going to do some test stretches to see if it can be safe for wearing in public!
Well that outfit looks pretty damn fantastic in the photos. I feel your angst about the potential seam splitting though. Scary thought!