A Maleficent Swimsuit
We’re just back from a truly fantastic week spent with family and friends in Minnesota. We always love the chance to get back to our beloved Minnesota, but this trip was especially nice because we didn’t have any of the usual holiday obligations, just lots of time for fun! Some of that time was spent in the sewing room with Mom–more on that later–but luckily I didn’t have to waste any of that time on my swimsuit because I managed to finish it well before we left despite having to re-cut the top and start over more than once.
I’ll apologize upfront for the lack of modeled shots, but 1) I only wore it after dark–that’s when we tend to use the hot tub–and I’m too lazy to change in the middle of the day, and 2) I’m a young woman teaching college students and don’t love the idea of modeled swimsuit photos on the blog right now.
This swimsuit might skew more towards studio dance costume than sultry bathing suit, but it has the coverage I’m looking for, which was my primary goal in whipping together my own suit.
I used McCall’s 5400 for the halter style top, and it fit me without alterations. The only change I made was to cannibalize an old swimsuit for some bra cups, which I slipped between the outer fabric and lining and tacked in place when the top was completely finished.
When I introduced this project, I hoped that the sequined contrast fabric would be worth the inevitable gummed up needle. It wasn’t. Rather than gumming things up, this fabric shredded my thread, at times making it impossible to stitch more than a few inches at a time. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to finish the project at all, but at some point my sewing machine decided to tolerate the fabric again, and I was able to finish the top soon thereafter.
These boyshort bottoms are based on McCall’s 3566, an out of print pattern. I used the main pattern pieces, but I added some length for an approximately 2″ inseam and added a full lining rather than the small crotch piece included in the pattern. I also added a waistband, but that was an unplanned modification. My mom had suggested basting the pieces together to check fit before stitching with a zigzag or stretch stitch (neither is fun to unpick), and when I did, the rise was much too low in back. Rather than lowering the waist further by folding in the elastic the pattern called for, I added a very comfortable waistband that does not have any elastic. I will definitely repeat this modification in any future boyshort bottoms.
This is perhaps the sportiest garment I’ve ever sewn, so I’m entering it in the Sporty Summer Sewathon over on Did You Make That? With my plans to exercise beyond dancing now that my work life is so sedentary, perhaps there will be more sporty makes in the future. I can certainly see myself making more swimsuits…just so long as I stick with traditional swimsuit fabrics.