Monday, June 29, 2020

Ipswich Bikini

It's swimsuit season, y'all! 

I might live in a place that has a short summer, but I take advantage of that summer weather and Vermont's various water bodies. I'm in the water at least 3 times a week, if not more frequently. Swimming, SUPing, just lazing by the water. I'm there. Which means I need a lot of swimsuits. 

This swimsuit has been a long time in the making: I think I ordered the colorblocked palm print Ipswich swimsuit kit from Cashmerette waaaaay back in 2018 when the pattern was first released and am only just getting to it now!

I've sewn lots of swimsuits (check them out: Cottesloe, Jalie 3350, Jalie 3350Maison Fleur), but the Ipswich was by far my most complicated with the internal underwire bra and all of the colorblocking! This pattern has a lot of pieces and tons of notions, which is why I think I avoided it for so long!

My hot tip is to keep your paper pattern pieces attached to your cut pieces right until the moment it's time to sew, in order to keep track of what's what. Mark the wrong side of any solid swimsuit fabric, too, because things get confusing.

For my Ipswich, I cut a size 18 C/D in view B, which is the high-waist bikini/two piece. Because I was using the kit I bought a few years ago, I only had a size 42 underwire, which I think would have been appropriate for my size at the time (16 C/D), but was a little small for this size. It still worked, though!

Folks, this suit has some serious structural support: an optional underwired foam swim bra sewn into the bodice, and boning at the side seams. 

I was a bit intimidated by sewing the foam cups and underwire (my first time sewing both!), but it really wasn't difficult. Plus, even if your "bra" sewing isn't the neatest, it's all hidden away inside the bodice, so any imperfect sewing is camouflaged.

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure I need all the support the swim bra provides (I usually go for simpler/more streamlined swimsuits), but I definition appreciate that it would be fabulous for folks with more bounce than me! On me, I'm finding that when I adjust the top to sit the way it's comfortable, the underwires are about an inch lower than my chest. But I think my gals ride a bit high, generally.

The jury's still out, though. I'll admit I've yet to wear this suit in the water, so I may have feelings about the top once I do. I'll keep you filled in.

I love the look of the Ipswich's colorblocking, but it is a lot of seaming. I could see eliminating some of the seams by using the lining pieces for a sleek solid swimsuit.

All in all, I think it's a cute suit! I'll save my final opinions on the top until after I take it for a test run. I still think I prefer a simpler look and feel, as well as a lower, v-shaped neckline, but we'll see how it functions for my needs. The bottoms fit great, though, and I'm generally liking the look of it. Plus it feels good to have taken on the challenge of sewing this complicate project... very satisfying!