I was determined to make myself a new swimsuit this year, for three reasons:
- The whole Colette team was planning a river floating day.
- I planned a trip to Palm Springs this year.
- Last year, while goofing off in a lake and climbing on a log, I managed to rip the crotch of my old swimsuit almost in half on a nail. I was literally hanging from the crotch of my swimsuit in the water, totally stuck. I had to play it cool while struggling to unhook myself, then crab walk out of the water and wrap myself in a towel. Oops.
So that brings me to this year.
I wanted two things in a swimsuit this year. First, I wanted something that showed a bit more skin than the typical one-piece, but I didn’t really want a bikini. Second, I wanted FLORAL. Because I just love floral everything.
The pattern and fabric
I was totally inspired when I saw this vintage pattern and immediately scooped it up. I guess they’re calling this a monokini now, though I associate the monokini with the famous Rudi Gernreich topless swimsuit.
I wasn’t totally sure that something obviously intended for a lithe 1970s model body would work on my frame, but I figured I’d give it a shot. I’m sort of tired of worrying about how high my boobs are hoisted, you know?
Next, I sought out some nice lush floral swimwear fabric. I ended up with this one from Fabrics World, which is absolutely perfect. I also got some donut fabric while I was at it which I intend to make into workout shorts, by the way.
Here’s another floral fabric I was considering, which I think is equally pretty.
First, I sewed this out of the envelope and it came out big on me. I think much of this has to do with the fabric. Being an older pattern, I’m sure it wasn’t intended for super stretchy spandex. I ended up taking about four inches out of the hips, and the next time I make it, I’ll probably grade the whole thing way down.
I made one major change that I highly recommend, which is that I swapped out the bias tape it specified for fold over elastic. This made the whole thing a very very quick and easy project. In fact, if you go this route, this is a great swimsuit for those new to sewing swim or lingerie.
This was almost entirely sewn without a serger, and you could easily make it without one, which is nice. Just a lot of zigzagging.
I was unsure whether to line it, but in the end I opted not to. If I had, it might have reduced the amount of stretch, which could have been a good thing, I’m not sure. But the fabric really didn’t need a lining, and now that I’ve worn it in the water, I’m confident it isn’t necessary.
I’m pretty jazzed about how the suit turned out, small fit adjustments for next time aside. I managed to get Kenn to snap a lot of photos in Palm Springs on vacation, and I’ll share the finished suit next week in part 2!
Look for those photos Monday.