The nice thing of a weekend? Finishing a me-made swimsuit and going to the river to take photos! Ok, let’s be honest, we would have gone to chill down in the river anyhow – it’s been pretty sunny and hot around here!
Being a kickass pattern, you might have already recognized the bikini top: it’s the awesome Closet Case Files Sophie Swimsuit. I made view B, the bra-style halter tied top, using two contrasting fabrics. The briefs are instead by the Australian pattern company Swim Style and they feature ruching on the sides, perfect for color blocking.
The Sophie is a pretty full on pattern, but instruction are super easy to follow and they yield to a very professional looking swimsuit. I’ve followed them step by step and though being a bit intimidated by all the supplies and all those little pattern pieces, in the end everything went together pretty smoothly. The hardest part was inserting the bra channeling, but I took my time and it came out ok at the first go. It surely is not a quick make and of course there is room for improvements, but the final result gives you so much satisfaction that it’s impossible not to love every single stitch.
The Sophie swimsuit is drafted to accommodate a huge number of sizes, in fact the bra comes in eleven sizes with five different cup sizes each. You have to choose your main size based on your under bust measurements, while your cup size is given by the difference between your full bust and under bust measurements. I took my measurements with a lightweight bra, but then I messed around with foam and sizes and ended up with a slightly too small bra. All my fault of course, the pattern has nothing to do with it! Let me explain. First I cut a size 8 and 4 for the cup, as per my measures, and made a foam cup toile. It looked like my breasts would not fully fill the cup, so I went down a size in cup and had also the brilliant idea of using a bulkier pre-made set of foam cups, instead of the light foam sheet I had in my stash. Of course something went wrong. As you can see, the cups are now a slightly too small – my boobies are a bit squished and the bridge is not laying flat against the body. Probably, with the heavy foam I’ve used, I should have stayed with size 8/4, I’ll try on my next Sophie. Needless to say, after all that hard work, nothing it’s gonna stop me from wearing this swimsuit!
On the plus side, even if the fit isn’t spot on, the bra is very comfy and it stays put even without the help of the straps, making it perfect for tanning – which I clearly need to work on.
Sizing apart, I’m very happy with how my first Sophie – and also first full on bra – turned out. I really tried to be as precise as possible with the stitching and seam alignments too and I’m very pleased with the result. I didn’t quite love the way the wide straps are stitched to the cups, with two parallel rows of stitches floating on the top of the cup, so I decided to “end” them. Like so:
I think this way the stitching makes more sense, if you know what I mean.
For the Swim Style bottoms, from the pattern Indigo Ruche Bikini, I’ve cut a size 12, but again I would do with some more coverage as they’re a bit skimpy. I really like the cut of the leg and the side ruches, but maybe I need to go up a size to raise the front and the back. Or am I being too nunnish? What do you think? Also, for my next pair, I’m going to cut the elastic almost the same length of the leg openings, to have a bit more give around the bum, this pair is quite tight.
This is my second time using a Swim Style pattern (I’ve already made another of their bikinis, the Sunlover) and I can say they’ve got a really awesome selection of swimwear patterns. Instruction are very well written and there are both pictures and photos to better show you the different steps. The whole Indigo Ruche Bikini is on my to-sew list – the sporty hI’ve neck top is everywhere in the shops at the moment and can’t wait to make one myself with a floral border print Lycra I’ve got.
The supplies for this bikini basically came from all around the world! I got the main floral Lycra from an awesome shop in Melbourne and I believe is from the Australian swimwear brand Seafolly. The cherry Lycra and the lining are from a cute Italian online shop, Lafabtessuti.it. Foam cups were also bought in Australia, from Lincraft, while all the other little pieces, like wires, channeling, bra clasp and elastic come from the European branch of Bra Makers Supplies, called B.Wear. Sourcing the supplies from all these different places hasn’t been exactly cheap, but the result and the satisfaction are surely worth the money.
A side note about the floral Lycra: it is very sheer and it was necessary to line it twice to make it wearable and also (I hope) more durable. It was quite a pain in the bum cutting all the extra pieces and also a bit more stressful manage the extra layers of Lycra together, but in the end all worked out as planned.
I’m extremely proud of this bikini and I love to wear it – the top has a very cool retro pin-up style and the I’d be curious to try the high waisted bottoms as well, for a full on 50s swimsuit.
What about you, did you make your own swimwear this summer?