Friday, July 2, 2010

Swimsuit #2: Black Tankini

This one is for a coworker, who asked me to make her a black tankini that would fit her (ahem...) ample bosom.  She required an underwire, so I chose this (very old) Jalie 949 that I found on PatternReview.
It would require some altering to fit her DDD cup, and I would cut it off at the hip, and use my other Jalie pattern (2447) to make the bottoms.  She wanted a simple, black suit, so I ordered the spandex from fabric.com, got the lining at Joann's, bought the elastic at sewsassy.com, and got the underwires and covertrim from Summerset.  Let's start with the pattern alterations...
I knew that for each cup size increase, the pattern would need an additional 1/2" of coverage in both directions.  I distributed the additions in a few places, as you can see in the picture.  Using the underwire as a guide, I was able to see the necessary final "circumference" of the cup, and it took some of the guess-work out (thankfully).  I've never sewn with/around/using an underwire before, so this the intimidating part of the project for me. 
I cut almost everything twice, from the spandex and the lining (except the top back and the straps).  With the bottoms, I made up both (fabric and lining) bottoms, then placed the lining bottom inside the spandex bottom, wrong sides together, and stitched (zig-zag) all the edges closed.  With the top, I made 2 sets of cups, and did the same thing, placing wrong sides together, and again with the top front.  I did almost all the sewing on my regular machine, and did the edge-finishing on the coverstitch machine.  It gave it a professional finish and I'm so glad I have one!
The bottoms were cut at the "normal" waist height, not the higher, less revealing level.  In my opinion, it's still a little high, and could stand to be lowered.  Full rear coverage for sure, though!

Hindsight is 20-20, and if I had to do over again, I would've bought a bra pattern from sewsassy.com that was designed to fit an f-cup, and used that to help guide the pattern alterations.  I also should've made the straps twice as wide to accomodate the "load" they needed to support.  She was satisfied with the final result, although the cup could still stand to be bigger.  Come to find out she is expecting, which could explain the final results being off... or maybe I didn't add enough room.  I should've left myself enough time to do a muslin, but with each new swimsuit I'm finding them easier to wrap my brain around and the results are getting better and better.

6 comments:

Marybeth said...

What a lot of work - beautiful job!

beangirl said...

Hey, this looks GOOD. I wish I could have the patience to learn to make underwired garments. This would make my life much simpler in the long wrong. I'm jealous!

beangirl said...

Not the "long wrong". The long RUN. Obviously. Doh.

Michelle said...

Great work! I think it turned out really, really well. Thanks to you, I am considering making a swimsuit, something I FEARED even more than blue jeans!

meredithp said...

Your projects always turn out so beautifully! But boy, are you brave! Your second swimsuit would intimidate the heck out of me.

amber said...

You did a great job on this!