Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sewing Skivvies: Ohhh Lulu's Ginger Swimsuit

Guess who's finally finished with the swimsuit!!



I am so in love with this suit. It's not perfect. Not even close, but I am ridiculously pleased with it and now I need to go to a beach immediately!

So if you remember from a month or more ago, I used Ohhh Lulu's Ginger Bodysuit, which is not in her shop at the moment, but check back because I love it! I did have some issues assembling because I cut out the parts and discarded the paper BEFORE placing it all together. That might have been helpful. Luckily, Ashley was there to help me out.

Unluckily for her, though she somehow never complained, because she would arrange the pieces and I would feel a shudder of terror go through body as I would shriek, "No, no, do it again! This isn't right! See the stripes?! The stripes must match!!!" 

It was  a terribly dramatic time for me. Sorry, Ashley.


But anyway, stripes! My first time with stripes and they mostly match. There's a few pieces around the top that don't line up exactly, but I made it work and I'm so proud of myself.

I'm a little disappointed with the adjustments I wanted to make and didn't follow through with. I wanted gathers under the bust but even though I cut the largest size for the chest (so I'd have plenty of extra to play with), it wasn't nearly enough and in fact, I ended up needing all of the fabric I cut for the top.

I also wanted to lower the sides on the bottom and add ruffles, but then I got tired and decided to scrap it. I still have some fabric for another pair of bottoms, but we shall see if I have the time or energy.

That being said, I am very pleased with how the pattern turned out sans the modifications I was thinking of making.

I was terrified that the bottoms were too revealing, despite having a higher waistline.


I was also annoyed that the back rides up (due to my larger rear) and Ashley and I discussed jokingly about doing a full bum adjustment.

Not a bad idea to be honest, but once I tried on my old swimsuits for comparison, I realized they all rode up in the back and I had just never noticed. Furthermore, they were actually more revealing on the bum.

Weird how you only notice those things once you're sewing!

Another thing I'd love to work on with my full bum adjustment is the saggy part in the back. It's actually not as noticeable with this swimsuit, but it's something I always have to deal with and if I'm making bottoms there must be a way to do away with it.


(Or is that one of those things that's totally normal and once again I missed the boat because I was over in the corner being self-conscious?)


Can we pause for a moment and talk my hair? I wanted to do an old time-y photo shoot  because the stripes just scream retro to me (and completely forgot to bring the rest of my props on the roof!) but this hair-do with the victory rolls is so easy and I felt so gorgeous and also like a siren. I told my boyfriend I wanted to go out and call men to their deaths and he just laughed.

I was so serious.


Okay so back to the swimsuit. 

I'm going to compile a tip sheet for swimsuits with links to people who know much more about swimsuit sewing than I do. But I was so surprised at how difficult it was. I like knits. I think sewing with knits are fun.

But this was not fun.


Maybe it's been too many months since I actually worked with knits but this fabric rolls like crazy. And the trying to get the stripes lined up was insane.

Perhaps if I had basted the lining to the main part instead of trying to serge all 4 layers together at once while lining up the stripes.

But why would I do anything to make my life easier? ;-) It worked out in the end.


Everyone wants to know about how concerned I am with the white stripes on the swimsuit. I'm not at all. It's fully lined and I carefully laid out the pattern pieces so that not only would the stripes match but the green parts covered all my bits. So I am 100% okay with jumping a body of water.


A lot of people having been making a lot of awesome swimsuits this summer, and every single one of them says that they love how they feel and they want to wear it out. While I'm glad everyone's feeling some self-esteem, I may have scoffed a bit because it seems a bit ridiculous to feel amazing in swimsuit but actually, it's true.

I feel incredible in this suit. I don't feel self-conscious at all. I think making your own suit is perfect because you have so much control over it, from the pattern to the fabric to even how tight you like your elastic. And it's a million times cheaper than paying $150+ for a nice one.

So yes. Everyone go make swimsuits!


And, ahem, that officially concludes the Show Off Your Skivvies challenge on my end... only 13 days late. Not too shabby. I'll compile a list of links for those looking for resources for the own swimsuits, and I'll have a final round-up post.

Next up: probably a dress.

36 comments:

  1. GORGEOUS!

    I'm almost (ALMOST) glad I didn't make a swimsuit...my legs are all bruised and bug-bitten and do not look nearly this nice.

    And, I died laughing in that last photo. Thanks for that.

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    1. Haha I've been trying to keep my legs clear of bites, scratches, bruises, and the random body pimple for the last week and it's been really hard!

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  2. Oh man, this is gorgeous! The fit looks fantastic.

    I missed the boat on sewing myself a suit this summer (and anyway, I haven't spend much time in or even near the water) but I look forward to saving all the advice for next year.

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    1. Thank you!

      Yes, I put it off for lots of reasons, but I also haven't been near a beach so it didn't matter. Hopefully I can remedy that soon!

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  3. This is so super cute! I love it! I started a two-piece a few weeks ago and then dumped it when something more fun caught my eye, but you've got me wanting to go back and try it again!

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    1. Ooh yes, I'd love to see your bikini since your bombshell looked so incredible!

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  4. Wow! That's amazing! I can't believe you got all those stripes to line up so well, but it's worth it, they look great.

    Also, I love your hairdo.

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    1. Thank you, thank you! Getting the stripes to line up is part of what took so long since I kept ripping out the mistakes and re-doing it.

      And thank you - I'm awfully proud of my hair, especially since I hardly brush it most days.

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  5. It's so cute! After hearing how much harder it was to work with than knits, I'm kind of glad that our beach plans kept getting moved around, and now they're entirely cancelled. Otherwise, I would have had to whip up a swimsuit on the fly and had most likely disastrous results. I'm crossing my fingers for next year though!

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    1. Thanks! It's not so hard to work with knits. They just need a little extra love. ;-)

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  6. Well done! It looks amazing and I love the stripes. Look forward to your round up of tips.

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    1. Thank you! I shall try to have them up tomorrow or the next day!

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  7. This swimsuit is da bomb. https://www.facebook.com/SassySewingBees

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  8. so amazing. and your hair and shoes are perfect! you did a great job with the stripe placement, I wouldn't have even thought about the green having more coverage! you look awesome.

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    1. Thank you! Ha, I tries so hard with the hair and the shoes. I had a plan to bring sunglasses and one of my vintage suitcases but I forgot. Less is more, I suppose. ;-)

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  9. You look great! The suit is perfect and I want one for myself now. Your hair - so cute! You need to head for the riviera or some other swanky beach to show yourself off.

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  10. This is fantastic! I used to make figure skating costumes and...ugh! Sewing that fabric is a pain in the rear. Did you try sandwiching it between sheets of tissue paper and ripping it away when you're done? Sometimes that helps!

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    1. What a brilliant idea!! No, ha, I didn't try that and now I'm kicking myself because it would have been very helpful. Thank you!

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  11. Kristin, your suit is AMAZING. It's a little late in the season, but I kind of want to make one just like yours!! I had never really considered a two-piece before.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, two pieces can be amazing!

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  12. You look terrific in your swimsuit Kristin! Well done on persevering and getting them finished. Hope you get into some water soon to baptise them.

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    1. Thank you so much! Time keeps slipping by, but maybe the first of September will find me near a body of water. Fingers crossed!

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  13. What a happy swimsuit! It's so fun and flattering and fits you beautifully!

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  14. Ah, Kristin!!! You finished it!! And, it is absolutely fantastic. I'm just in love with it. You lined up the stripes so cleverly, I love the design they make on the top. And, it fits you beautifully! I know what you mean about the bottoms riding up, many of my swimsuits do, as well. I wonder if it's just a matter of needing a tighter elastic at the leg band? But, really, this suit is so very flattering on you, you need to wear it out in the streets on a walk! :) Love your hair too, by the way. Very retro and sexy.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I also thought about tightening the elastic at the waist band, but then I couldn't tell the white thread from the white elastic from the white stripe so I just went with it.

      Haha, I wish I could go for a walk with this look. I'm sure I wouldn't turn many heads in NYC, but I would still feel a little strange. :-)

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  15. That is such a cool swimsuit, I'm loving the colours on this and your shoes. You should swim with the shoes on so you're always wearing them, you know, incase of pictures ;) Love your hair too! I made the Closet Case Files swimsuit for my holidays and was pleasantly surprised at how well that went together. Definitely something I'll make again for next summer.

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  16. You look so gorgeous in that swimsuit, and I love your shoes! Where did you get them?

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