Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Corsican Swimsuits or Swimwear without a zig-zag stitch

I bought some cool Lycra at Discount Textile Outlet here in Chicago before we left on vacation because I wanted to make two swimsuits. Enter August's Giveaway if you want to win what is leftover!

Now swimsuits themselves are not hard to make, but I have an old Singer 15-91 and it of course only does a straight stitch. I do not have a serger or anything else either, so I needed to design a swimsuit that didn't really need to stretch. This means a tie-side swimsuit and I spent some time looking online until I found a version from Nordstrom's that tied in the front and was cute. 

I cut apart a pair of underwear as my bottoms pattern and then made up a trail version (below). I topstitched the edges which made them look terribly wavy and lose all the stretch. Plus I forgot about logic and lined the ties with the nude lining, so that it showed and looked awful. The crotch and leg lines were too wide and low and were very uncomfortable. 
Trail run failure.

This is my end pattern, with all final tweaks included:
Bottoms are one piece to eliminate crotch seam. The band ties either front or back and the cup's tie can either be sewn closed or elongated to tie. 
The green version was my copy of the Nordstrom's suit. It has a chest band that ties in the front and the neck band is one piece. The neck band ended up a tad too long, so I had to shorten it; it was meant to have all the seams hidden by the lining...

The bottoms tie on the side with self lined pieces to not look super tacky and ugly. I narrowed the leg openings and crotch  to eliminate the pinching and bunching from the test run. 

 Pictures from Corsica (we were staying on the north coast of the island near Ile Rousse):

I made the pink and orange one second, with a  few tweaks. I made the bottoms a bit smaller and with a lower waist on the back and the top ties at the neck and in the back rather than the front. 

 The top stretched  a little on the band, which I did not anticipate and therefore made the space between my boobs a little too big. The top on this one needs the front seam taken in maybe an inch. Good thing we were in France and no one cares that you are popping out of your top every time a wave comes by...

 You can see Calvi across the bay. This is a different beach than the other pictures, though both are rochers (large boulders instead of sand). There are sandy beaches, as well. It is such a beautiful place to visit and we had fun visiting Andrew's grandparents and family there.
I hope to get a serger at some point to make my clothes look more professional on the insides... The green top is my favorite and the pink bottoms are better. Mixy-matchy time?


  1. I think they both look cute :D Great job!

  2. Ooh I love that green one! Wish I were on vacation right now instead of packing.

  3. Oh my gosh wow. Can't believe you made these. Copying swimsuits you love really is the key I think to ending up with the perfect hand-made suit. That green fabric is beautiful too!

  4. Fabulous swimsuits! And such amazing fabrics you've found to sew them with. Not to mention the stunning Corsican backdrop! You look great!

  5. I am so impressed that you could copy a suit you saw at Nordstrom and then make such a nice looking suit, two in fact! The fabric is so beautiful and the photos are great to see!

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