Creative articles about sewing

Ipswich Extra Sour, please!

Hello my Sewing-Friends! This month I have something special for you. I made a brand-new swimsuit (and my first self-made one ever).

If you are not familiar with sewing bras I want to encourage you to read my intro into sewing bras because for some swimsuits and bikinis you might want to consider an inset bra for support.

On my pattern choice

There are a lot of swimsuit patterns out there, from the big four (McCalls, Butterick, Simplicity etc.) to independent ones. You want to do your research here and really focus on what it is you need in swimwear. Is it just for hanging around on the beach or for swimming? How much/little coverage do you need? How much support do you need?

Closetcase Patterns has two patterns for swimwear: The Bombshell and the Sophie. Megan Nielssen just released the Cottesloe Swimsuit; Evie La Luve has more delicate bikinis and there is of course the one I chose: The Cashmerette Ipswich Swimsuit. The reason for it being that I love being in the water but I need support and a well structured swimsuit. Plus: I have a D cup and Cashmerette has a wide variety of patterns with different cupsizes included.

I made a size 14 graded to a 16 at the hips with a C/D cup and let me just spoil the ending for you: It is absolute perfection!

IpswichSwimsuit 1

On my fabric choice

I have been obsessed with lemon prints ever since Dolce and Gabbana came out with their collection a few years ago and decided I wanted lemons on everything. Sadly, there is not a lot of lemon swimwear fabric around. Suddenly I remembered, that I was gifted some Christmas fabric from Spoonflower and it dawned on me that I just had to check if they had swimwear/lycra fabric. And they have!!!! After I chose my design I contacted Spoonflower and the kindly gifted me the amount of fabric I needed. The only downside is that I now want every fruity design there is. I especially like the fact I could make myself a watermelon Moneta dress with the green stripes on the bottom and the pink pulpy part on the top… that would be hilarious TBH.

Anyway. Let’s get down to business. To make a swimsuit you need to consult your pattern first. Generally, it asks for some four-way-stretch lycra fabric, swimsuit lining, swimsuit elastic, closures and mesh. You can use regular elastic but if you indend to get wet it’s preferable to use specific swimsuit elastic because the chlorine or saltwater will not do well with your regular elastics.

IpswichSwimsuit 2

Do not let the many pattern pieces scare you. Instead cut out everything in your size and put every piece where it belongs.

IpswichSwimsuit 3

Same after you’ve cut out the pieces

IpswichSwimsuit 4

Because I chose a pattern with an integrated bra I started by assembling the foam cups.

IpswichSwimsuit 5

The pattern even gives you instructions on how to cover the seams on the inside of the cups. Neat, right?

IpswichSwimsuit 6

The finished bra piece.

IpswichSwimsuit 7

Assemble the front and back pieces according to your layout and your pattern.

I achieved perfectly matched stripes because I always aligned a vertical stripe with the grainline-arrow of the pattern pieces. Thank you, Jenny Rushmore!

IpswichSwimsuit_8

Join the lining to the main fabric

IpswichSwimsuit_9

… and do the same at the back.

IpswichSwimsuit_10

Now it’s time to join the front to the back. The best way to do this, is with the “burrito method”.

IpswichSwimsuit_11

Voilà: Inside!

IpswichSwimsuit_12

Voilà: Outside!

I can almost taste the lemonade now! You go on joining the side seams.

IpswichSwimsuit_12

And then on to the elastics and the straps. 

IpswichSwimsuit_14

On the first go you attach the elastics with a serger (or a zigzag on your regular machine)

IpswichSwimsuit_15

On the second go you topstitch from the right side with a three-step zig zag (No. 18 on my machine)

This is how it will look on you.

IpswichSwimsuit_16

After you’ve attached the closure. You are officially done!!!


Well, I said I am happy with the result… The support is fantastic and I already feel like summer…

That’s it from me. Happy sewing!

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Time to Complete: Weekend
Used Material: elastic, Lyra, Swimsuit Lining
Used Products:
BERNINA 350 PE
BERNINA 350 PE
BERNINA L 460
BERNINA L 460
Three-sole walking foot #50
Three-sole walking foot #50

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