Sunday, July 21, 2019

Floral Cottesloe Swimsuit

Busting out all the photos and garments that make me mildly uncomfortable this week! First shorts, now a swimsuit... blame it on the heat.

This smile says "Jeez, I hope none of my neighbors come outside right now while I'm taking photos on the porch in my swimsuit!"

It's been a couple of years since I've made a swimsuit. I love the first few swimsuits I sewed myself, but they've all seen a lot of wear at this point- lots of beach, pool and scuba diving outings back in Bangkok! Time for a new one. In Vermont summer, we actually end up in swimsuits a lot since we have that big lake within walking/biking distance, and no AC. Time for a new suit!

Since I'm participating in Heather's #ProjectFabricFast / #SeasonoftheStash, I wanted to use materials I had on hand. And while I have two swimsuit sewing kits in my stash (Sophie and Ipswich), I wanted to sew something even simpler and a bit sportier for doing active swimmy/water things (stand-up paddleboarding is our new thing this summer). Megan Nielsen's Cottesloe pattern caught my eye, so I went that route. 

I still used stash fabric and elastics, though, even though I didn't dig into those kits. The fabric is a large-scale floral I got at Imagine Gnats about a zillion (maybe 4?) years ago. The lining is black swimsuit lining from Joann; I bought a lot on sale at some point. The floral definitely needed lining for support and opacity, but damn I love the maroon/periwinkle/magenta color combo!

For my Cottesloe, I went for View D, which Megan describes as "an athletic inspired bikini top and high waisted bikini bottom with wide waistband." I chose a size 16 for the top and 18 for the bottoms, and didn't make any fit changes. Sizes 16 and 18 are found in both of Megan's size charts. I used the 0-20 range, which is drafted for a B-cup, although maybe I should have chosen the 16/18 from her curve size range for the D-cup option.

I fully lined the whole thing and used zig-zag stitch on my machine for all of the sewing.

That little sliver of belly skin hasn't seen the sun in years... it's almost white enough to look like a waistband, doesn't it? Ha!

Since I was using stash elastic, I used a mix of 1/4" and 3/8" cotton swimwear elastic, which maybe wasn't my smartest move. The top used the 3/8" elastic and is perfect. For the bottoms, I used the 1/4" elastic and it feels much flimsier and less snug for some reason. I used regular 1" elastic (not swimwear elastic) for the underbust and waistbands because I didn't have a ton of luck finding 1" swimwear elastic. Hopefully it holds up ok!

Like I said, the leg elastic on the bottoms feels a bit flimsy and loose. I'm not sure if it was my elastic that's worn or too narrow, or my application of said elastic, or perhaps the elastic lengths as specified in the pattern don't work for me? But in any case, I'm going to undo them and tighten them! 

You can't see very well in these photos, but the edges are bit loose in the front and back, which only worsened when the suit got wet. I was feeling a breeze down there in a way I did not enjoy. Ha! I stopped at Joann for more elastic (3/8" this time) on the way home from this suit's first swim outing:

I think my Cottesloe turned out really cute! On the bottoms, other than the elastic, they fit great.

Same for the top. It's definitely more supportive in a compression sense rather than a lifting, enhancing kind of way. But for my purposes, that's fine. 

All told, I'm pretty chuffed with this Cottesloe swimsuit! Once I tighten those leg elastics, it'll definitely get a lot of wear!

Are you making a swimsuit this summer?