Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just Keep Swimming...

School is out.  Summer vacation is here.  I've been going to the pool in the mornings for my girls' swim team practice.  Since I'm already there, I might as well swim laps right?  And I might as well wear one of my new Jalie 3134.
Jalie 3134

 How about a Purple one?  Or a Blue one?  

I made the purple one first and gave it a test swim and then made the blue one a week later.

Let's do a breakdown of this pattern.  The front is designed with 5 (yes 5 pieces).  1 Center front.  2 inset pieces possibly done in a contrasting fabric, and 2 side fronts at the hip.  I originally wanted to cut the front in one piece like I had done for my daughters.   Ummm...not happening.  Curvy moms need curvy suits.  The front pieces provide the necessary shaping at the bust so I couldn't merge the pieces into one.  What I could do was merge the inset with the side front piece so that the front of the suit had 3 pieces rather than 5.  Much simpler.  The center front and side front pieces are individually lined prior to assembly, so there is a visible seam on the inside, not hidden by any lining.

Speaking of curves, normally I add bra cups to my suits.  I had some inspiration from the Funky Seamstress when she did the same with this pattern.  But since I wanted my front pieces to be interlined like the pattern instructs, how could I add the bra cups after the suit was assembled so that I could position them correctly?  What to do....what to do....Ding Ding!  I decided to add an additional layer of lining to which I could attach my bra cups and also add a band of 3/4" elastic at the bottom like a shelf bra.  I waited until I had assembled the entire front then traced the front bodice onto tracing paper.  While tracing I stretched out the bust area so that I could get a more accurate width.  Just like the Funky Seamstress, I wanted the elastic band under the bust to line up with the elastic on the back band.  I fiddled a bit until everything lined up.  I used a zig-zag stitch to sew the bra cups to the extra lining placing the cups between the 2 lining layers.  So my swimsuit front pieces were interlined and I was able to have a bra cups.  Win-win!  This is what it looked like prior to sewing this layer in.
I basted this lining/bra piece to the swimsuit front using a zig-zag stitch prior to serging the side seams and then constructed the rest of the suit like normal.   When making the blue suit, I omitted the bra cups because it made the suit grab a little bit too much water when I was swimming laps.  I didn't really need a drag suit.  :)  I also made the back band slightly (about one size) narrower to pull the chest in tighter.   

One change I made to the pattern was thanks to a comment I received on  She asked if I had lowered the leg opening on my daughters' I didn't alter theirs, but looking at the envelope photo I NEEDED to lower it on my suit!  Thank you, Thank you! thank you KD in ATL for asking!  I lowered the leg opening by 1" and it was just right.  Not too high and not grandma-esque.  Just right!  Check it out from the side view:

Now I can't be selfish and only make myself new suits can I?  Nope.  I did an assembly line and made 4 suits at a time (3 for us and one for a friend's daughter--my first commission!!)  Here are my girls' new suits:

All fabric was from Spandex World.  My eldest wanted the colorblocked suit and I sent away for swatches from order to choose which blue (cobalt or navy) would look best with the print I had chosen.  I'm glad I did order swatches, colors do look different on your computer monitor.  One note about using all 5 pieces of the suit front:  it creates 2 seams that hit along the front of the thigh, and when attaching the elastic they are folded under and it makes a bit of a bump along the seam.  The smaller the suit, the closer together the seams become.  When my eldest first put the finished suit on, she complained about it.  Thankfully she hasn't mentioned it since, so it can't be too bad.  In any case, I thought it worth mentioning. 

We all love our new suits.  I have now made this pattern 7 times.  I think that is a record for me!!


  1. you are amazing at making swimsuits! did you see the new bombshell suit that closetcasefiles just released?

    1. Oh thanks...Yes I did see the new bombshell suit and have seen some beautiful versions. I don't think it's really my style though so I think I'll stick to the more utilitarian suits! :)

  2. beautiful, you just use Printed Spandex ?

    1. Yes, I used Printed Spandex, and looked for something that was at least 6oz/square yard. Anything lighter is too thin for swimsuits. :)

  3. I absolutely love your suits! You look great! Great tip on lowering the leg opening! And your girls look adorable. Swimwear is addicting, isn't it? hehe

    1. It is SO addicting! I just made up a swim shirt for myself, and am now working on a suit to go with it! :)


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