I can’t believe I made a swimsuit! I mean, I guess it’s not that surprising since everyone and their mother is making a swimsuit this summer (has anyone made one for their mom? I’m guessing my mom would love it… but don’t give her any ideas or I’ll be running a swimsuit sweatshop… my sister already has her eye on this!), but the thought of sewing swimwear has always made me say, “No way, Jose!”
But, along came the Bombshell Swimsuit pattern from Closet Case Files to tempt me into sewing swimwear! It’s a very flattering suit with a lot of coverage, perfect for those who don’t feel like baring it all at the beach. This has been a super popular pattern this summer, so I’m definitely not the first person to sing its praises, but it’s pretty fabulous. Not gonna lie– this is the first one-piece I’ve had since I was about 10 years old, so it’s kind of a change of pace for me, but there are definitely occasions when a bikini is a bit too revealing that this will be perfect for.
I thought this would be fiddly and difficult to sew, but it was actually really easy! Stretch (not ballpoint) needles are a necessity, and a simple zigzag stitch is your friend. The fabric isn’t slippery at all, so it was very easy to cut and sew. Because the main fabric is gathered and ruched, then attached to the lining, I used my walking foot to help keep the layers and gathers even. Heather Lou’s sewalong posts are packed with helpful tips and photos, and she covers everything you need to know! This was the perfect pattern for my first swimsuit sewing experience.
I bought this fabric at Mood Fabrics NYC for my July Mood Sewing Network project. It might surprise a few people to know that they sell swimwear fabric, but yes, they have lots of it! I planned to get a solid color, but this print had a fun retro appeal that I couldn’t resist. It’s a nylon/lycra blend with a matte finish and a fairly loose weave. The suit is fully lined with a champagne-colored mesh-like nylon blend. Both fabrics are four-way stretch– definitely what you want in a one-piece swimsuit!
Swimsuits are one of those things that I hated buying even before I sewed. Even if you find one that you love and it fits, they always seemed so expensive considering how little fabric they used! This project was very economical– I used a little over a yard of fabric, a half a yard of lining, and a couple of yards of swimwear elastic, and it was a fraction of the cost of a similar RTW swimsuit. I just cut out a bikini using less than $10 worth of materials!
I think this swimsuit looks really lovely on girls with an hourglass or curvy figure. Since I don’t have a very defined waist, the ruching kind of obscures my waistline and makes me feel a little boyish in this style. I’m also a little on the fence about the print paired with the pattern– I’m pretty sure I’ve made a swimsuit that my grandmother would love! But these are minor concerns and overall I’m really happy with the suit.
If you’re on the fence about sewing a swimsuit this summer, give it a go! You can totally do it! I think you’ll be really pleased with the results, and you’ll love telling your friends “I made this!”.