So one day I thought that I should try making my own swimsuit. I can’t swim (seriously!), but I do enjoy playing in water and having some good time at the beach. All I have is a set of bikini I bought several years ago and maybe that is more than enough.
But making swimsuit was something that I had never tried and I love to learn new things. Alison is a vintage style bathing suit from Burdastyle, I love how it is one piece but still accentuate all the necessary curves without being too revealing. It is also free, perfect for first project.
A lot of Burdastyle members has warned that Alison is lacking of helpful instructions. There are only 6 steps in the instructions. The pattern is in 3 sizes but they are all in the same black lines, making cutting the pattern a bit difficult because you tend to forget which lines to follow. There is also no marking lines or points in the pattern. I browsed through a lot of other Alison projects to learn before actually sewing it.
I went to my favorite local fabric store near my house that sell dead stocks fabrics in cheap prices, hoping to find some jersey for my muslin. Instead I found this green swimwear fabric that is less than 10 USD for 2.5 m! I only need 1 yard for the bathing suit, so there would be lots of spare fabrics if I make some mistakes.
I mainly use stretch stitch for sewing this bathing suit. You can see it in this picture, stitch no. 6 that looks like lightning. I had expected to find difficulties sewing swimwear fabric, but my Janome had absolutely no trouble.
The breast insert end up too big for my taste, making voluminous gathers on my chest. So I unpicked it (unpicking stretch stitches from swimwear fabric is not really fun!), and cut 5 cm off the length. I made the neck strap longer so it can be tied. My fabric is quite thick and don’t need lining. I also didn’t use bra cups since I don’t like it.
The instruction didn’t mention anything about finishing the legs, so I use elastics. Several member’s projects show additional leg band, which is also a great idea. Since I didn’t have swimsuit elastic, I only use ordinary elastic for the leg. It was attached using zigzag stitch first, then turned in and sewed down again with 3 step zigzag stitch, a method that I learned from sewing lingerie.
The end result is something! I think it looks quite good (my husband said it looks really good!). I was planning to buy some real swimwear fabric after this muslin, but I think I might cancel the plan. This ‘muslin’ is good enough and I don’t need that many swimsuits. Maybe I would buy some swimwear lining for the crotch (I use ordinary jersey from old T-shirt) and swimwear elastic and fix them later.
If you’re planning to make this beautiful bathing suit, I recommend to check out the two links at the end of this post on step-by-step tutorial for sewing Alison by Burdastyle members. I found the links after checking almost all the Alisons in Burdastyle during my ‘research’.
Anyway, I still trying to find out what I’m going to do with 1.5 m leftover of this fabric. My husband and Sidra absolutely refused the idea of matching green swimming trunks!
Pattern is Alison from Burdastyle (Free PDF pattern)