Mary Anne Tries to Sew Herself a Swimsuit, Part 1

Now that I’m swimming more (go, me!), I set aside the day (nothing urgent due, amazingly, for the first time in I don’t know how long…) to try a fun project — sewing my own swim suit. (And as a bonus, doing it with fabric I’d designed.)

I’ve been listening to two sewing podcasts for a while, Love to Sew and Seamwork. Both of them focus on sewing clothes for yourself. I figured I’d gotten enough education out of both of them, I’d see if there was a beginner swimsuit pattern they offered that appealed to me — I like supporting indie designers whenever possible. One of the Love to Sew people runs Helen’s Closet, so I headed over there.

I wanted something fairly straightforward, a two-piece, but not skimpy, something I could swim laps in comfortably. And there it was — the Sandpiper swimsuit looked like it would work.

I bought the pattern, downloaded the PDF, printed the instructions, taped the pages together to make the full pattern, read through enough to get to the sizing part, took my measurements — and was then a little bit stumped.

Because it turns out that I am a size 12-14 on top, a size 20 in the waist (thanks, babies…), and a size 8-10 in the hips. Um. (This pattern goes from size 0 – 34.)

I figured swimwear fabric has a lot of stretch, so maybe I just sort of split the difference and see what happened? And if not, I could try to do adjustments for the second round. Today was all about experimenting. The pattern gives LOTS of instructions for adjusting after you do your first draft, and also notes: “Swimsuit fit is very personal.” Yes. Yes it is.

I ended up cutting out both top and bottom pattern pieces in size 14. Onwards…

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