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.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Another New Look 6033 in Teal

Hello Again!  Lots of sewing going on here.  How about you?  Some I can show you, and some that will have to wait until the big reveal.  So today, I've squeezed in another version of New Look 6033.
I've used a knit that has been in my stash for a couple of years, at least, that came from  It is a dark, jade colored, cotton, jersey with a slubby texture that has no lycra or spandex in it.  This fabric feels super soft and cool, especially when made up into a version of view C, which has the airy fluttery sleeves.  Once again, I did not put the elastic in at the waist, but rather finished the hem with a band of fabric like I did in my previous version of this top.  Since this fabric does not have good recovery, I cut my hip band smaller.  (Length 32.5", 1/4" seam, 7" wide.  Folded over to make a 3.5" finished band width.)
This next picture shows the truest color of the fabric along with the texture.
  Here's the top with the white shorts I made in the last post.  I love this color with white!
I've tried to show with these pictures the five areas of gathering around the neckline.  There is gathering at the center V, over the sleeves, and at the back.  This is the only drawback to the pattern, if you find gathering tedious, like I do.  But if you can stick it out, the finished top is awesome!

I thought you might like to know that my son's team won the championship for his division at the soccer tournament last week.  This is the first championship they have won.  Way to go team!  Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful weekend!