As I write this, the temperature has climbed above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Shorts and swimsuit weather is finally here so I couldn’t wait to finish my suit!
The suit is a simple scoop neck one-piece, fully lined with sewn-in foam cups. This project really exemplifies why to learn to sew for yourself. If a suit that fit this well existed in the retail market (which it doesn’t – trust me), it would probably be in the $100-$200 price range. That is the going rate for a suit that has lining in the back and uses high quality materials. After taking the craftsy class, I have a pattern that I can use again, and the skills to branch out into different styles. When you think about how little fabric you need, you can really splurge on something great that’s exactly what you want and still come in a lot cheaper than $100.
Putting the pieces together was pretty fun. I am so glad to have my duct-tape friend to help me with fitting. It made putting in the bra cups so easy. Using the class instructions, I pinned the foam bra cups directly to the mannequin. Then I pulled the basted-together suit lining over it. After carefully pinning around the foam edges, I cut starbursts into the lycra over the cups until the fabric around the armholes lay flat against the body. After carefully removing and unbasting the lining, I measured to make sure there was enough fabric around the cups to put in the elastic. There wasn’t, so I shaved a bit off the upper edge of each cup.
Using my everyday sewing machine, a size 75 stretch needle, the walking foot, and regular polyester thread, I zigzagged the cups to the lining. Once I cut the extra fabric away from the seams, I was pleased to see how professional it looked.
The next step was to cut the fashion fabric pieces and pin them to their lining counterparts. You could also put them together with a spray adhesive, but I didn’t want to deal with overspray mess. I would seriously consider doing it that way if I was making a bunch at once though.
Assembly was pretty straightforward until I got to the elastic casing. This was my first time using “plastic elastic,” also known as clear elastic or Mobilon. While it was very simple to zigzag into place, I did have some tension problems. The underside is pretty messy. Good thing it doesn’t show!
Although I really like my suit just as it is, I think it could be improved with a few more tweaks. I wanted to raise the neckline a bit and smooth out the leg curve, so I re-re-modified the pattern pieces. Then I made a good copy on Swedish pattern paper, so the next one should be super easy (with a lot fewer mistakes!).
Something tells me there will be a spandex stash in my sewing area’s future!
Missed Part 1? Find it here.