Swimming Suit 3 of 3

4:41 PM

I wanted a black, classic, vintage-inspired one piece bathing suit.

A few different inspirations went into my design of this last swim suit. I love vintage bathing suits from the 40s and 50s. I remember seeing photos of my Grandma in her swimming suit as a teenager. I love the low leg lines which almost look like skirts. Back then before spandex and lycra were invented, the bathing suits zipped up and used boning to create the almost corset look. I mean look at all those waist lines!

And since my form is closer to the plumper women of the past rather than the super-thin 12-year-old-boy-look of today, I thought it would be more flattering...I hope.

The bathing suit has four main pieces, The back, the bodice, then the front has the lining, and the top skirt piece.

I found a great deal on the black lycra from fabric.com and it was around $4.00/ yd. It's thick and really great. I didn't even have to line the back.

The front is rouched, or scrunched. So it had to be longer than the length of my torso, because it would be scrunched up. I made the front 2.5 times longer than my torso measurement.

I bought a cheap $7 bra to go inside the bodice. I hacked off the straps, and sewed 1" wide elastic, probably 10" or so for the straps. I cut off the hook on the back and added 4-5" of 1" elastic. To figure out the shape of the bodice, I put tissue paper on my chest, then put the bra on, then drew on the paper where I wanted the bodice to go. That works pretty great.

I thought initially I'd make this a tutorial of each step, but a little way into it I realized no one may even like this design and therefore not make it, so a waste of my time.

But I did want to show the construction of the suit, mainly how the two front layers connect with the back. Because you have the front skirt layer, then the lining swim suit layer, and both have to connect with the back.

The crotch of the lining was sewn to the crotch of the back.

Then elastic was zig-zagged along the leg lines, folded over, and top stitched.

But the elastic doesn't connect together around the legs. Both ends of elastic end up being sewn in the side seams. The lining front leg elastic goes up like regular swim bottoms into the side seam. But the elastic from the back went low around and under the booty and connected in the side seams at the bottom of the skirt rouched front layer.

So in the end, from the sides it looks like a mini-dress, but there is the lining swim suit underneath the rouched skirt.
This was the trickiest thing to figure out in the design and I was so excited it all worked out so well.

I couldn't decide whether to sew the straps straight back or criss-cross. My mom suggested bringing them together in the V shape, and I like it a lot.

I think this is my favorite bathing suit I've ever had! It was great for our recent trip to Hawaii!
Vote for Lynette's dress design #12!!!

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  1. Ok Jess, that swimsuit looks really good on you! You did an awesome job!!

  2. Okay, I LOVE that swimming suit! You could sell those - I would buy one!

  3. I so want one of your swimsuit's it looks fantastic you did an awesome job, just been poking around your very creative and I love all the how to's.

  4. i love this swimsuit! how many yards did you need to make it? thanks! oh and i'm currently working on your owl bag. i'm gonna try vinyl lining it for our beach bag for our trip this summer!! thanks for the awesome blog :)

    genevievecurtis at gmail dot com

  5. My husband calls today's look the twelve-year-old boy look too. Good work.

  6. This is fabulous! I love this swimsuit; it looks so good on you!

  7. This is great!! I love your swimsuit! And you sure don't have a wide hip like you might think you do.

  8. How much fabric did you buy?



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