Oct
30
2008

  Bikini Top-- Done

I need a new swimsuit to wear on vacation next week since all the little string bikinis I wore back when I was an A cup are just obscene now that I've grown a bit more voluptuous.

Yesterday I went to several shops in town and only one had any swimsuits at all, and they didn't have any that fit me. I doubted I could find anything online that I could have delivered in time for my trip, so I decided to just make a suit.

I got a pattern and smoe fabric & elastic at Walmart, and lining fabric and thread at a fabric store, and cut out the pieces for the bikini top last night. Tonight I sewed it up, and I think it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. Tomorrow my goal is to cut & sew the bottom half.

I'm glad I got a pattern, since I was originally considering winging it. How hard can it be to make a bikini? While I probably would have done an ok job cutting the pieces (the pattern pieces are exactly what I expected), I'm sure I wouldn't have used enough elastic.

I had no idea that there was so much elastic in a swimsuit! I thought the stretchy fabric was enough. But there is actually elastic sewn into all the edges, it's just hidden in the edge seams. Now I know.

It was also a little tricky sewing with the swimsuit fabric, and that's even with me using a non-traditional fabric that's probably easier to work with. I found a stretch velvet with a sort of mottled finish. Thankfully, it doesn't show needle holes. The lining does, but I don't care since it's just on the inside. A lot of basting was called for, and I found it very necessary. Even with basting, though, I still had a little problem getting the very front part where both cups meet at the center of the lower band lined up correctly. I wound up just closing the small gap with some hand-sewing.

I think the next time I make a swimsuit (if necessary), I'll see if I can find a pattern for an underwire top. Or maybe I can retrofit one into my current pattern. The top I just finished fits well, but the way the pattern is cut seems to be more for the combined benefits of comfort and ease of sewing rather than high fashion. And I'm partial to high fashion swimsuits. It's just that I'm an unusual size right now, and I didn't want to drop a lot of money on a swimsuit I'd wear a sum total of seven days, since I know I'm not going to be the same size next summer. Although since it is a bikini I guess I might be able to wear it again if I'm approximately the same size. I do doubt I'll be back into the string bikinis next summer, I'll need to get a new suit with a halter top either way.