This is a crazy post to make because I'm still kind of in awe by this.
I made a freaking swimsuit. And it fits. And I literally have had the best summer because I can go to the city pool, I can go to the lake, I can lay in the sun, I can do whatever I want and know I have a suit that makes me feel good!
I'd tried a few patterns by Jalie and had really good results. Their customer service is so good, any time I previously had a question, I always received a well thought out and helpful response. I thought "WHY NOT!" And bought pattern 3350.
Next I needed fabric. I've been quilting for many years so online shopping isn't new to me ;) I found Imagine Gnats through instagram and saw she carried swim fabric and power mesh. It wasn't too terribly expensive, I figured this would be a muslin! It couldn't hurt to try. Her customer service was also great, I placed my order one evening and the next day she sent out a newsletter about swim suit sew-a-long with a promo code. I asked if it would be possible to use the promo code on my order and not only was she super nice about it, she sent over some wool jersey swatches we'd been chatting about on instagram! *High Five!*
I mentioned on the 29th of June on Facebook that I really wanted to do this and everyone was like "WHOA WHATTTT". And it turned out to be not hard at all! By July 1st I had a swim suit that FIT and the next day...POOL TIME!!!!!
- Pattern: Jalie 3350 View B front, View A back
- Fabric: Snakeskin from Imagine Gnats & Black Powermesh
- Notions: Bra cups, lingerine strap slides and rings, swim hook all from WaWak.
- Modifications: I am very large busted but have a narrow waist so I shortened the shoulder straps and tightened the under bust/upper back piece. This gave me plenty of support, even without underwire. I also added a few discrete stitches in the upper bust area because I was worried it was too much cleavage. I underlined the entire suit with power mesh.
- Lessons learned: Trust the pattern and really focus on your measurements. I had so many moments of "this is not going to fit" but when I put it on and it fit perfectly, I almost cried. I was THRILLED. The front cross over part had me a little confused because I was overthinking it. I also accidentally crossed the opposite direction of the pattern. Design feature right. ;) I learned adding elastic to knits.
- Sew Again: YES! My suit has held up beautifully. In a future version, I think I'd avoid underlining the whole suit, the outer fabric dries super quick, the lining not so much. I'd also skip using my coverstitch machine and just zig-zag stitch the entire suit. It would have been much faster if I wasn't switching between machines.
- Pattern Difficulty: 2.5 out of 5. Jalie just gets to the point in their patterns and includes well illustrated diagrams.
- Size Made: DD. My waist is 38/39 which was why I was able to tighten that upper back section for extra bust support, pattern is drafted for 40.
I'm not quite ready to share a full body bathing suit shot but I will share a selfie I took at the pool this summer that I used for an instagram story!
Here's the thing about sewing a bathing suit: it gives you this feeling of AWESOMENESS. You don't have to feel that awful dressing from feeling and you can wear a suit that fits! I don't have a "beach body" (whatever that even means) but I enjoyed my time at the pool so much. I wasn't worried about wardrobe malfunctions or swimsuit drama. It stayed put, I swam around, I read books by the pool, I did laps, I cannon balled over unsuspecting kids. Yes, my body was the same, it's pudgy and lumpy but YOLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It gave me a ton of confidence and I'm so glad I did it!