So I like it …

and it takes A LOT for me to like the style, colour and fit of a swimsuit.  With a few changes, this one was good right out of the envelope.  It’s a one piece, which I wanted, and it has flattering gathers at the front to hide all evils.  I removed the gathers at the back though – I’ll explain that later.  The colour … well it’s a wild purple print!  Purple is “my colour” as I have discussed before. The sizing was a bit big, I used shorter than recommended strips of elastic, and I sewed the side seams in with a 1 inch seam allowance, and not a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

So let’s get into some detail about this pattern …

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I used McCall’s M6569.  I purchased this pattern a while ago because it had so many options.  I chose to alter the style of view C a bit – it’s the navy blue one on the envelope – one piece, gathers in the front and the back – but I chose not to use the side ties and I added straps around the neck.  I also cut out the bikini bottoms in a black 4 way stretch Tricot, just in case the purple print turned out to be too much.  I could always switch out the black bottoms for the purple print bottom.  Turns out I didn’t use the black bottoms – I love the purple print!

Now … let’s talk about sewing Spandex.  I used a new ballpoint/stretch sewing machine needle.  I practiced with all my fabrics first, checking the tension and length and width of my zig zag stitch, and stretching my fabric slightly as I sewed.  Stretching a bit as you sew gives you a seam that doesn’t break but stretches with your fabric as you move.  I tried to keep my pins in the seam allowances too, as sometimes they get caught and leave holes in your fabric.  Also, I didn’t use cotton thread,  only polyester.  I did use some stabilizer in the one pattern piece, the band around the cups, to reduce the stretch in that area.

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Inside and outside of the front pieces done.

Sewing the lining to the back at the back crotch seam so that the inside looks seamless.

Next morning, with every intention of finishing my swimsuit, I was met by Sophie at my machine.  (Her saying No, you’re not.  Me saying Yes, I am.)

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I had to physically move Sophie to another sunny location.  

The pattern instructions told me how long to cut the elastic but I found that length to be too loose so I shortened every elastic strip by about 1 1/2 inches.  I sewed them on with my usual zig zag stitch, slightly pulling the elastic to fit the fabric.

I’ve heard other sewists complain that their vintage sewing machines can’t sew knits.  I learned how to sew on a (now vintage) Singer 347 Stylist.  It wasn’t fancy but I do remember sewing my favourite pink pants and top on it – out of a slightly stretchy polyester.  It took some practice, but it worked – just like with this Singer 421G.

I think I have already mentioned that I took most of the gathers out of the back of my swimsuit.  I didn’t want any extra fabric “back there”.  As I didn’t realize that I didn’t like all those gathers until the back piece was all completed, I had to find an easy way to remove them without starting all over again.  The swimsuit back, with the gathers picked out was still a comfortable length, covering my back.  But the lining then ended up too short, so I added fabric by cutting across the waistline and adding in a strip of fabric.  There are visible seams there now but they are on the inside so no one will see them.

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I did end up with a bit of a gap at the front bodice neckline that was fixed with a pinch of the fabric and a bit of hand sewing.

Dolly got the pleasure of modelling my swimsuit for photos, after I tried it on to ensure that it fit and looked good on me!  Too bad she doesn’t get to model it in Mexico – haha – I will be!

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On the left is the back of the swimsuit, on the right the front.  You can see there are less gathers on the left/in the back.  My changes worked out well.

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Another side shot …

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… and the back .

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Now this McCall’s pattern also has pieces to make a cover up.  Basically two rectangles sewn together.  Unfortunately the only purple in my fabric stash is this lace.  It’s nice, but I’m not sure it is right for a swimsuit cover up.

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So answer me this – Should I buy some other fabric to make my cover up?  Maybe a light cotton? a light terry towel? Something that dries quickly?  What do you think?

Happy Sewing!

33 thoughts on “So I like it …

  1. Will your coverup be getting wet? If so, then don’t use the lace. Use something cotton based. If your coverup is more for form than function, then use the lace! Nothing wrong with a bit of poolside glamour.

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  2. I think a coverup is a great idea. I’d make it from light towelling or other fabric that will dry easily but which won’t cling when covering your wet swimsuit. I love the colour and think it will make a fine addition to your holiday wardrobe.

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  3. Love the cossie, and definitely lace!! Make something practical if you want to throw something on straight after you get out of the pool, but when your sauntering along the beach or around the pool the lace will be perfect! How about just dampening the lace a bit to see how it feels to make sure it’s gonna be comfy if it happens to get a bit damp? You neeeeed a glamorous coverup to go with the cossie 😍

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  4. Rose says:

    Well, let’s see. As we lounge next to the pool, taking a dip from time to time because it is hot, you may need a terry cloth one to dry you off so you can work on your blog, but when we decide we need to get some food you may just want to slip a pair of shorts over your bathing suit and slip the lace one on so we can have lunch. Now, me, well guess I am going to have to find something other than the 10k t-shift I wore on my last holiday.

    Bathing suit looks beautiful.

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  5. Your bathing suit looks great. I love Sophie’s expression. Did you feel guilty moving her? I think you shoukd use the purple lace for the cover up and have a matching sun hat. Do you think the late Princess Diana ever questioned when and if she should wear lace? My only question is would the lace be itchy in the heat?

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  6. A nice terry fabric would be fabulous for the cover up 🙂 Love love this.. I tried swimsuit three times.. It wasn’t the best .. you are encouraging me to try again 🙂 will see.. summer is not that far away

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Question for research: Why are cats drawn to sewing machines? My former cat came so close to having her tail and paws sewn into my projects many times. Is it the purr of the motor? The bedding possibilities of the fabric? The fascination of the needle action? The lure of danger (cats are daredevils, after all) ? Or do they just think they need to be ready to help us?

    The swimsuit turned out so nice! That is one thing I have never tried making. Is that pattern still available? There are so many nice fabrics for swimwear available now. Maybe I should think about giving it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cats? Well I have had a few in my life so far and they all seem different. I know mine are crazy for the “chase”. They have to investigate everything and if it moves even better!!! I can’t even hand sew without Simon watching the needle and thread go back and forth. They make me very nervous when they are near the sewing table!

      This pattern is still available on the McCall’s website even though I bought it a couple of years ago. They have a few different ones on there. I bought it because it was the only one with so many different views. Thanks for the compliment and let us know if you make one so we can see too!

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  8. Wow! This swimsuit is impressive! I haven’t attempted a swimsuit yet, and I really admire your work on this one — the gathering, elasticating, lining… Truly a labor of love!

    And I’m throwing in my vote with those who said two coverups — glamorous lace for when you want to be, well, glamorous, and a practical one for when that doesn’t matter so much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are a brave woman! Swimsuits are intimidating to me. Not just wearing them, but making them! I think the dark purple lace cover up is a great idea, if it holds up to the task, as others have said. But I’d also consider a contrasting fabric. You could pick up the pinker tones in the swim suit fabric in the cover up and make a dramatic outfit!

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    • I agree, they are intimidating to sew and wear. I thought I could handle the sewing because I cut a one piece into a two piece a while ago. It turned out okay. Now I am trying to figure out how to get what I need made in less than two weeks! (No RTW pledge!) We shall see what I end up with!

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