Monday, March 26, 2012

How to make a Bathing Suit

Yes, I made a bathing suit! I'm so proud. I have never made clothes before save a pair of pj pants in high school, but I found a tutorial online that made it seem do-able. Let's start with the back story:

 Last summer, I bought a swim suit for $5 at Gap and it served me well in my post-pregnancy state. This year, however, it's a little stretched out and I was searching for a new one. Swimsuit shopping is so annoying because, if you don't buy one in March, you're hard-pressed to find one when you actually need it. I only wanted to spend around $30, which narrowed my options quite a bit. I also wanted a suit that covers what needs to be covered and provides enough support where necessary (I may be 25, but I have had 2 babies, after all). I searched and found the perfect Anthropologie...for $138.

 It had retro high-waisted bottoms and a wide-strapped top. Everything I need!! Not for one second did I consider spending that much but it got me thinking. How hard can it be to make a bathing suit? I googled and pinterested until I found this site. It has very clear instructions AND a free pattern! Not only that, but it tells you exactly what kind of material to buy and where to buy it. Within an hour of pinning the tutorial it had already been re-pinned like 50 times, I struck gold. I decided to give it a try.

The website she directs you to to buy the fabric is spandexworld. You have to purchase a minimum of $20 of fabric (about 3 yards) which will give you about 3 swimsuits! I bought a yard of light yellow, a yard of light apricot, and a yard of white lining material. I wish I had bought another yard of swimsuit material in another color rather than the lining, because you can use the same material you're using for the swimsuit to line it, although it's a tad more expensive.

I printed out the free pattern but couldn't quite enlarge it correctly, so I used the general shape to make my own pattern using the measurement guidelines she give in the tutorial. I was really second-guessing myself because the resulting pattern looked HUGE. Don't let this alarm you. Mine turned out to be just right. It was also helpful knowing I had plenty of fabric should a disaster happen. I got really frustrated once while making the top because of the ruffles I added and ended up cutting out the liner pads and starting over. Overall, this was surprisingly easy. I got the fabric in the mail on Friday afternoon and finished the swimsuit on Saturday night. (I also had extreme enthusiasm on my side)

The resulting swimsuit, while not perfect, is fully lined, fully and securely padded, and well-fitted! Best of all, it cost around $18 (not including the extra fabric for more swimsuits). I'm thinking about trying to adapt this pattern to a one-piece. It would also be extremely easy to make regular bikini bottoms using the same pattern.

I know I would want to see pictures of it on if I were you. I was brave for you.

UPDATE: check the facebook page for the one piece I made!


Marisa said...

Excellent job!!!!! I wanna try making one too :)

candyqueen said...

Lovely! I love your swimsuit and I'm going to try making one like it in another colour. I found spandex fabrics on and I've already ordered some. Thanks for posting and pinning this article!

Anonymous said...

thanks for being brave, it looks amazing, just the type of bikini I've been hunting for..... adding it to my project list to make for summer