I decided to have a go at a super basic design and effectively draft my own swimwear block. I used Kwik Sew 3780, mostly because I got it at a fabric swap and it was free. I traced off the pattern and added a strap to the right shoulder. Well actually, I traced the left side and put a foldline mark in the middle. I took the following body measurements:
- my torso from shoulder to shoulder, going under my crotch
- shoulder to bust apex, and
- compared the side seams with an existing pair of bathers.
The pattern was duly shortened, both above and below the bust points. I cut it out in both lining and main fabric, stitched it together using the chain stitch on the coverstitch machine and tried it on. I used a fabric I like but don’t love. It was bought (2 years ago) because it was bathers fabric, on sale and suitable for a trial. I like how the back seam adds some shaping, but wished I’d matched up the print a bit better.
After trying them on I discovered that the straps needed shortening even more. Otherwise all was good. I slipped in some bra pads that I retrieved from an old sports crop top. The stitching and placement is less than stellar.
Next I pulled out the chain stitch I’d used for basting and stitched up all the seams using a three thread stitch on the overlocker, because Zede & Mallory say it is better for super-stretchy seams. I cut the legs a bit higher as I prefer that and set about putting in the elastic. I was careful (took my time) and didn’t overstretch the elastic. I used a clear swimwear elastic. Zig-zagged on, turn over and coverstitch down.
I compared them to my old bathers. The old ones have stretched out a bit, both lengthwise and widthwise. They are comfortable and are perfectly OK for swimming!
Now I have a basic block I plan to get creative. Change the neckline, cut a few stripes into it and play with colour blocking.
I’m swimming twice a week now, I’ll be needing a few more pairs.
Fabric was from The Remnant Warehouse but has sold out. It was around $25.00 for two metres. I have over a metre left.
Lining – in the stash for some years. I have no idea where I got it.
Pattern – Kwik Sew 3780 and free.
Threads – Maxi-lock stretch in the coverstitch looper.
Annoyance factor – very low, surprisingly.
Do it again – yes.