Monday, August 13, 2012

Swimming Along with Kwik Sew 2689 and 3330


Or maybe I should say, "Strolling Along" since I didn't actually get fully immersed in the ocean this evening!  As many of you can relate, ready-to-wear (rtw) swimsuits can be really hard to fit!  The shape and size of women can be as diverse as the stripe pattern on a zebra.  I won't go into the details of why I have fit issues, but I do, and it's time to make that a thing of the past, especially when you consider the cost of rtw vs. self-made.  Quite a difference!  When you live in a place like Maui, and if you spend time in the water, it is nice to have an affordable option for new suits.

Enter Kwik Sew 3330 and Kwik Sew 2689:
I used the the bikini bottom pattern from 3330, view B, and the bikini top pattern from 2689, view B.  Neither have been made to exact specifications, so I will share what I did to come up with my final look.

To begin, I made a muslin of the bikini bottom using the size "small" and discovered a couple of fit issues.  The waist was too high, the width in the crotch was too wide, and the front did not have a slight scoop, which I think is more flattering than when suits go straight across.  The back of the bikini fit great so I left that alone.  To fix the front I made the following changes which you can probably see here:
The black line shows the original sizing and the tissue paper shows how and where I scooped some extra fabric out; there at the inner leg, and at the top of the waistband to give the front a slight scoop shape.  I didn't worry about trimming the overall height of the waist on this piece, but just shortened the contrasting color waistband that you see in view B on the pattern envelope.  For the top, the only thing I did different was to pleat the center of the suit to scrunch it down in the middle.  This resulted in two triangular shaped cups.  Then I added a black band in the center for decorative detail.  There was plenty of fabric in the top, so it didn't impact the fit.  It just changed the shape.  The top doesn't look so plain now.  I used a wavy zigzag stitch for all the top stitching, because I thought it looked cool with the zebra print.
Bikini Top

Bikini Bottom
I  used 3/8" rubber elastic for this suit.  It is applied to the leg openings, the black waistband, the armholes, across the top of the suit, and would have been on the lower portion of the bikini top, if I hadn't run out.  I ended up using the typical braided swimwear elastic there.  I am going to order more of the rubber elastic though.  It was easy to sew, and it feels sturdy.  Time will tell how long it lasts.  There is a one inch wide, clear, plastic, swimsuit, hook at the center back, and the black straps tie at the back of the neck.  The top of the suit is fully lined and has thin foam pads.  The front of the bikini bottoms are also lined.  The pattern called for the back to be lined too, but my fabric is fairly substantial and a dark color to boot, so I omitted the lining there. 

Maybe hot pink zebra is a bit juvenile and 80's, but I gotta say, "I'm really happy with this suit!"  Just look how nicely it matches my towel!
And thank you to Carrie who alerted me to the zigzag over fishing line method of gathering.  I am definitely going to give this a try on my next big gathering project.  

24 comments:

velosewer said...

Making your own swimsuit is a great idea and you've nailed the fit issues.
How wonderful to also have the matching towel.

katherine h said...

What a wonderful result. You will never need to go swimsuit shopping again.

Kyle said...

Great job!!! Hot swimsuit!!

Texan said...

Its realllllly cute.

knottygnome said...

great suit! i'd love to make my own bikini but my problem is finding cute fabric. yours turned out really well.

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

super cute!

Marie said...

Your bikini looks great.

pdiddly said...

lovely looking bikini - when I can get to binki size (may take some time) I'll have to make one.

Mary said...

Your bikini is so cool---you have a great figure for that style and now you can whip them up in no time. I must make some swimsuits of my own as mine have floppy elastic. When we were in Kuaui I lost my top in the pool :-)

Sue said...

Great swimmers! Love the fabric - togs are one of the items you can have fun with print and colour.

marysews said...

The few KwikSew patterns I've used for swimsuits and undies were too wide at their narrowest part. I always narrow them a little bit.

Kat said...

Ha! I really *like* the bright pattern!

I think it's brilliant that you can make swimsuits that you enjoy wearing, and that fit you exactly as you wish.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

What a fun swimsuit! I'd love to know your source for rubber elastic, if you don't mind sharing.

Myra said...

Oh I love this swimsuit! and truly wish I could wear one like it! (that will never happen!) I will just live vicariously through you! Beautiful!

Carolyn said...

A lovely new bikini! and now you have your fit issues sorted out you never have to worry about shopping for bathers again. They are a terrific match with your new towel too :)

Joy said...

Shopping for swimsuits is no fun! Luckily you're only a sewing machine away from a great suit. Swimsuits and leotards are where you really do save money by sewing.

The bright suit is very fun!

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

I'm sure this will turn some heads on the beach! Cute!

kathy said...

Having just bought a new swim suit for my vacation trip, I am wondering why I am not sewing one? THe cost is crazy, the fit is so-so.
Oh - that would be thinking ahead of time instead of one week before we left.
Obviously, the beach is a tad closer to you than me. Although I can tell you the one and only place where I have seen a bikini-clad gal in Oregon.
(Short Sands).

kbenco said...

Your bikini looks perfect. How fun that it co ordinates with your towel

fabric epiphanies said...

Ooh I love these. I really admire anyone that makes swimwear. I have some fabric and a pattern but am yet to attempt it.

Anonymous said...

I really love your newly made bikini! The black band sets off the pink print nicely.

You're welcome on the tip on gathering by zig-zagging over fishing line. The way I do it is to tie a knot at the end of the line, pin that knot on the WS's left seam allowance. Then I zig zag over the line between 3/8" to 1/2" from the edge. Before pulling the line and gathering the fabric, make equal distance marks along the edges of both pieces of fabric indicating, 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, etc. so that when you gather and pin, your gathering will be spaced evenly. If that doesn't make sense, just figure out what works for you. I think you'll love this easy way to gather!
Carrie

Amy said...

Love the fabric! Cute suit and helpful to have in Hawaii I'm sure.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Cute suit and matching towel!

Bri said...

Wowza, I love the print you used! I've made one swimsuit, and can't say I really feel the need to make more as living in a land locked area of Canada is really not like living in Maui!

You look fabulous in your suit, bravo!