Ok, so this post is a little picture heavy but I am so proud of these swimsuits!
I was really apprehensive about making a swimsuit for a whole platitude of reasons... the biggest was sewing on the swimsuit/spandex material. I imagined the warping seams from being stretched when I sewed, I couldn't gasp how the fabric would still stretch when the thread itself wasn't stretchy and frankly the swim elastic intimidated me because it looks like you only have one shot at sewing on it and the holes are there, weakening the elastic, forever. But I read and reread a ton of swimsuit tutorials and after getting all the supplies I tried it out.
And here is how they came out:
I absolutly love them! I got the top material on the clearance aisle at Joanne's (didn't want to spend too much in case this didn't work out!) and the bottom material for $1 a yard at walmart last year (that is how long it took me to get up the nerve to try this).
I decided on tankinis because of bathroom reasons and at the last minute I thought of this pattern, Simplicity 4203.
I have made the top before for both the girls and thought that it would work for the tankinis if the bottom part of the top wasn't so full and more a-line with no gathering.
I worked out great! The back has the elastic pulling through the casting and so it was really to get a good fit.
I cut up an old pair of their underwear to use as a pattern for the bottoms. By using the underwear as the pattern the swimsuit has a wider bottom so it has better coverage than other swimsuits they own.
I also made the tops a little longer because 1. I don't like it when their little tummies are peaking out from under their shirts and 2. I am hoping that they will be able to wear these next year since summer is half over now.
I fully lined the bottoms but only lined the top bodice piece on the tankini (just like the pattern called for).
For the leg and waist holes on the bottoms I wrapped the elastic and sewed with the largest zig zag stitch I could while stretching the elastic to match the lenght of the fabric. Confused? Here is a illustration:
The pattern worked great as a swim top, it is tight enough to stay where it suppose to in the water and has great coverage in the bodice area.
The size is pretty true to store sizes but I increased the length of the top over 2 inches on both suits. i would suggest to anyone making this top to use an existing shirt in the size you are making to insure that you aren't cutting it too short.
Now, with my confidence renewed I am ready to make a self designed swimsuit I have had on my mind for a while, so stay tuned!