I don’t know whether I love sewing swimsuits or hate it. I feel quite accomplished when I finish one, but the process can be one filled with lots of frustration! After seeing my girls run around in their mama-made swimsuits though definitely makes it all worth it!
I tested the sleeve addition (which is going to be free) for the Classic Maillot Swimsuit by Designs by Call Ajaire. She also added a little band in the back to keep the shoulders up, and I think she’s going to add a bow too! She hasn’t released it yet, but if you follow her Facebook group, she’ll announce it there I’m sure.
I really enjoy selecting fabrics because they’re so fun and colorful, but my girl usually has other ideas of what she wants. I decided to completely ignore her this time around and go with what I wanted, especially since I have so much of this polka dot fabric!
Regarding size, her measurements put her all over the place, so I knew I’d have to make a muslin suit. This is a size 4 bottom and length, size 3 everywhere else. It’s way too big (I didn’t add the elastic at the legs if you’re wondering). This is also the first version of the sleeves, so there’s some extra fabric at the arm hole.
In this version I made a size 4 bottom and size 3 everywhere else. This is also the second sleeve version. I decided to use a power mesh lining in the front this time. Usually I just use a white lining since I have so much of it (I’ve heard it’s better to use nude for women’s suits though since it’s less see through). This version was very tight lengthwise when she tried it on. It was too short, and the power mesh didn’t let it stretch as much. Also, she didn’t like the feeling of the power mesh against her skin. The waist was too big, and the back was pulled taught and didn’t fit around her waist well.
Unfortunately when she took it off for me to make some changes to the waist, which I was going to get to the next day, my dog decided he wanted to take it to his bed. He never does this kind of thing, so I’m not sure why he did it with this suit, but sadly the entire suit was snagged like crazy when I found it.
On to my next version… My daughter then decided that she wanted a tankini to match her sissy. I decided to do a size 3 in view E for the top, and for the bottoms I made a size 4 with a size 9 months waist. I wasn’t sure if it would end up too tight around the waist, but she has the measurements of a size 6 months waist, and I just couldn’t bring myself to make it that small!
It was very easy to add the sleeves to the tankini (and yay to not having to add elastic and topstitch those armholes!). The floral and gingham fabric are from Peek-a-Boo Fabrics and the black fabric is from Imagine Gnats.
The band at the back helps keep the shoulders up. I chose short sleeves again because I figure it would be torturous for me to get wet long sleeves off of my girl. I imagine Exorcist levels of screaming and writhing…
The only thing I would do differently is make the top part in black a bit longer; it looks tiny on her here.
I really love this suit though, when I was done that is! The amount of time I spent seam ripping during the making of these three suits make me swear I’ll never sew another one again, but then I find myself dreaming of the next swimsuit I’ll be sewing!
I’ve already made myself a couple of bottoms, but I think it’s time to make an entire suit. Now I need to muster up the courage to tackle that fitting adventure! Any tips for me? What are your favorite shops for swimsuit fabric and notions?