I made a swimsuit… whaaaaaaat????

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!”

If my photos look a little nicer than usual today, it’s because my bro-in-law was on the camera and my sis was calling the shots. Thanks J and B!

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!

My sister insisted that I include this shot, even though (well, probably BECAUSE) I look like a big dummy!

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!

Don’t forget your sunscreen!

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.

This is my sexy fish face.

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!”.

192 responses

  1. Add me to the list of people saying that the suit looks fab in that fabric, and that you don’t look in any way boyish. And that I am jealous of your great legs. Wear more mini skirts, Ginger.


    • Thanks, Elise! It was fun to be able to take the photos with my sis and brother-in-law. For some reason I’m never very relaxed when I take photos with my hubs– I always get really nervous and stiff!


  2. I think it looks amazing! The combination of style & fabric are perfect! This is one post I’m not sharing with my girls though, it will put ideas in their heads & next thing they’ll be wanting custom-made swimsuits too! Lovely work!


  3. Super job, great legs! The fabric is wonderful it suits you. If I thought there was any danger of me going anywhere near a beach I’d make this too.


  4. Super cute suit!! This pattern really really does flatter everyone!

    On vacation, my Phin refused to share his water with me until I made my “pouty fish face”. I’m going to have to work on my sexy fish face. LOL


  5. This swimsuit is AWESOME. I think it looks great on you – not curve obstructing at all. If (when) I make this suit, I will forsake other clothing and wear it everywhere, if it is half as flattering on me as it has been on the many bloggers who have made it. Probably I shouldn’t make it…


  6. Oh so cute!!!! You look anything but boyish in this! Amazing work. Oh, and how nice is it when you realise a sewing project actually worked out CHEAPER than buying the mass-produced equivalent for once?! xx


    • It’s such a plus! Not to mention that they’re infinitely cheaper when you factor in how much more likely you are to wear a handmade garment for a very long time instead of a cheaply-made mass-produced one. 🙂


  7. Um, I straight up want to copy you!!!! This swimsuit is perfection. And flowers + animal print have my heart.


  8. Lady, that is so NOT a grandma’s swimsuit! Va va voom!! Super glamorous on ya, I love it!! That neckline, both front and back, suits you amazingly well. (Plus, I love the fabric choice. 🙂 )


  9. I really want to make this swimsuit – everyone is saying how fantastic it is! I may put it on my spring to-do list 🙂 Yours looks great!

    -Amy (www.thatssewamy.com)


  10. Oh I’m drooling over this fabric. Most of the swim fabric prints I could find were just a bit too twee (for me), but this is lovely. Funny how we all got sucked into swimsuits… I still haven’t made it to any kind of water this summer. Other than my sprinkler!


  11. WHY am I pregnant this summer??!! (No, don’t answer that; I know why). I’ve been having swimsuit envy because *of course* you and Lauren and 1500 other people keep showing off your mad swimsuit skillz and cute little bods. I hope I remember this is out there when next summer rolls around.


  12. Pingback: Top 5 of 2013: Hits & Misses! | Ginger Makes...

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