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August 12, 2015

Beach Body Ready

Dear Mr Troll,

Prepare yourself. Remember that sketch of a swimsuit that offended you so? Well here’s the real thing!

And don’t I look fabulous?

Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit

It’s another Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit – and unlike last time I chose a quality fabric so I can actually wear it! Since I made my last one, Heather extended the size range to 20, so I just used that rather than my previously graded size. As before it went together easily, except for my machine having a temper tantrum when topstitching elastic, which meant almost all of it went in wavy and had to be unpicked (zigzag unpicking! argh!) and re-done with a higher tension on the elastic.

I was planning on using the swim bra that I ripped from my last suit (and originally came from a RTW tankini) but for some reason it just didn’t work this time. Not having support – or some flimsy foam cups – wasn’t going to work for this here busty lady, so I went down a different route: I sewed a bra in. Yes, an entire bra. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it went in a treat! I used an old bra I don’t wear any more, and stitched it into the front neckline first, and then through the back until the straps. It was a little tricky figuring out how to cover the straps without cutting and re-attaching them, and I can’t pretend they’re perfect… I ended up wrapping pieces of fabric around them and serging, and then securing it so that the serging is on the inside of the straps. Anyone have any better ideas? 
Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit

This time round I also thought I’d skip the butt ruching, because really my bum doesn’t need any more ruching. To do that, I just used the lining piece instead and it worked well. The back middle seam is really curved so I couldn’t cut my stripes on the fold, so I had to do some pretty painstaking stripe matching. However Wonder Tape saved the day – you can attach and re-attach to your heart’s desire until you figure it out!

Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit

I love my final suit – I could probably do with a slightly higher cut leg so I may look for a pattern like that next summer, but for now I’m going to flounce around in 1950s glory. And maybe eat some cake. Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit

Did you make a swimsuit this year? Do you have any pattern recommendations which are tummy-friendly but have a higher cut leg? I need to start planning ahead!

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August 14, 2014

Tutorial: How to sew a swim bra into a swimsuit

Hey ladies! Want to sew your own swimsuit but need a bit more support than a layer of spandex? Then never fear, because it’s super easy to put a swim bra into your hand-made suit.

Bombshell

This is just the approach I took for my polka dot Bombshell – there are others, including putting elastic in to make a shelf bra (my bust LAUGHS at your shelf bra, but others may be in less need of industrial support), or actually making a swim bra out of foam and bra notions. However I took the easy way: I took a very old and worn out tankini, and seam-ripped the internal underwired bra out, and sewed it into my new suit.

SwimBraTutorialSmall

1. Complete your suit to this stage: the front and back are attached, but you haven’t put the straps on yet.

2. Serge (or zig zag) along the top of the suit and lining to join them into one piece.

3. Place your swim bra over the front, making sure the underwire is at least 1/2 inch below the neckline (because you’re going to be folding it over with elastic to finish it). Remember to put it the correct way round, so the softer side will be against your body. I also put the sides of the cups about 1/4 inch beyond the side seam, to avoid too much bulk. Note, your bra may not perfectly match the shape of your suit: no worries!

4. Pin that baby! There was more fullness in the cups than in my suit, so I lightly tucked where necessary and pinned so that it would lie flat to the neckline

5. Stitch it down! Just stitch the neckline, and stop at the edges of the cups – the back strap will be free floating.  I used a narrow zig zag.

6. Trim off the excess if you have any (my swim bra was from a halterneck so had a lot of extra)
7. Now continue with making your swimsuit – the next step in the Bombshell is putting elastic along the neckline.
A couple of things to bear in mind:
– You will want to raise the back of the Bombshell into a less acute curve in order to cover the back strap
– You may also want to change from halter neck to straight straps – that’s super easy, just try on the suit with the bra in, measure the length that you need, make some fabric tubes, and feed bra straps or swimsuit elastic through them. You can see a technique for doing that here.
– Need to grade the Bombshell suit up? You can find my tutorial here.
Hope this is helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.

Want to be the first to hear about future Cashmerette Pattern releases, have the chance to be a pattern tester, get cool tutorials and keep up to date with all the latest curvy fashion inspiration? Sign up for the Cashmerette mailing list here: 

 

How to sew a swim bra into a swimsuit! Tutorial by Cashmerette

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