Wednesday, 24 May 2017

A new swimsuit made and worn in a day

In the changing room just before it's first launch
I've made another swimsuit. This one was badly needed! I made a wearable muslin one last year but the chlorine had eaten the non-chlorine resistant elastic. It had done well to last a year! So, in typical 'me-ness', I bought Jalie 971 and made that one instead of using Jalie 3134 that I trialled last year. Makes perfect sense to me!

Inside view of the swimsuit front
I already had the black fabric, bought from Edinburgh Fabrics last year. The patterned fabric I bought online from FunkiFabrics and I still have some left. I overlocked all seams and for the central back seam I also topstitched using a twin jersey needle, just for reinforcement. I like to feel secure in my suit, don't want any wardrobe malfunctions!

Inside view of the swimsuit back
I bought chlorine resistant 10mm wide elastic from Minerva crafts and used the best part of two packs for this suit. I used ordinary Gutermann polyester thread in my sewing machine and normal overlocker thread (can't remember what brand it is). I lined the front of the swimsuit with power mesh and made the built in bra support using a combination of the pattern piece I'd drafted last year and the pattern piece from this pattern. 

Jalie 971 is an out of print pattern designed in 1996 but you can still buy the PDF pattern on the Jalie website. It's a whole 14 pages to tape together! I think I cut out a size Z and added 1" to the body length despite it being designed to fit my height, 5'9". I could be a little too much added length, going by some wrinkles on the back, but I don't think it's worth removing literally a quarter of an inch. You need to be able to move about! One other point about it being designed in 1996 - the legs are cut quite high, which is fine by me but they sit quite high on the hips.

I used the elastic insertion method from Jalie 3134, which is quite ingenious. You sew the elastic onto the wrong side of the fabric using a zig zag stitch. The 'zig' sews the elastic onto the edge of the fabric, the 'zag' sews into fresh air. Fold the elastic back towards the wrong side. Topstitch with the twin jersey needle. Job done! I love how the elastic feels like it grips well, much better than the RTW swimsuit I had been wearing.

So I now have a new swimsuit which I wore to my swimming lesson last night. It performed well and I'll be wearing it again next week. Have you made swimwear? Want to but a bit scared?

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