Tuesday 2 October 2012

Making a splash

Warning - VERY pic heavy post ahead!!!

So here's the rundown on the bathers (swimmers, togs, swimsuits, whatever you like to call them!)...

I managed to finish two fluorescent pink with white dots racer backs, one red with gold dots tank-style one piece, two pair of bikini bottoms in blue stripes and blue with dots, one dotty skirt and a matching tank top.
Tank top is the Brooklyn from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love
The patterns I used were both Kwik Sew - numbers 3605 and 3785
Don't be put off the envelope images - they look pretty dated, but imagine them made up in something you like!

I'm thinking I'll stitch an updated version of this embroidery...
Kwik Sew give you great instructions for adding length through the body so there are no more wedgies  or small girls pulling at bathers to be seen!!

There are two points at which to add body length - the chest and the crotch.

For Miss L - I made the medium and then added 3cm in the length at the chest and 2cm at the crotch.

These suits got plenty of action during the last week!
These fit her beautifully, they have enough length that she is able to move comfortably and not worry about her bathers pulling.

Miss A's medium sized bathers have 4cm at the chest and 3cm through the crotch. As I've mentioned before the girls are long and very lean.
(No wonder I can never get store-bought swimwear that fits properly!)

Does anyone look good in goggles???
All suits had lining in the front and for some I used it in the back too.  The lining fabric is slightly thinner than the main fabric and 'skin-coloured' so not very attractive to look at, but functional!

This is the Kwik Sew 3785 view A. 
These bathers have a seam down the back and that probably would have put me off this pattern but I had read about it on Cindy's blog and so knew that her kids found them to be comfortable, and there was no comment at all from my girls about it.
In fact it made me more aware of the construction of other suits and I saw a number with this back seam during the week.

The skirt stayed on for most of the week!
The two-piece pattern has a number of top options, but I prefer a tank-style top so went with the Brooklyn from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love.

But the biggest hit was the swimming skirt - I have orders for two more of these!! (and it was super-easy to make).

Ready to hit the water!
If making this again I will lengthen the top first as it could be a little longer.
I did a simple rolled hem on the bottom of the skirt and top so they were quick and easy to make.

These Kwik Sew patterns were a breeze to sew, I really enjoyed making them.
They were straight forward and simple to use with great instructions and easy clear pattern pieces.

Apart from the body length adjustments for fit all I changed was the elastic measurements.
I found the elastic in the legs to be a little loose when they were made so I took out 1-2cm and re-stitched them.

Someone is pleased with their new bathers...
I will say I prefer the rubber elastic to sew into bathers rather than the plastic elastic, which I find slippery and not as firm.

This is not sitting properly!! But it was great in action.
These were a huge hit with all the girls - and I am delighted they now have bathers that fit them well that have been really inexpensive to make.
As mentioned previously, all the fabric was remnants and so each pair cost only about $5 to make including the elastic.

I'm looking forward to making more up and having time to experiment with a few details and finishes such as a few ruffles here and there and also putting a 'hole' in the back as per Katy of No Big Dill's tutorial.

Do you sew swimwear?
If you have any hints or tips to share then let me know - or if you have any questions feel free to fire away.


Jenny from Ohjoh said...

Wow - VERY impressed with your amazing bathers! They're beautiful!
I love that they're not "skimpy". I've been looking for some for my long & lean 8 yr old and some are toooooo adult!!
I'm a little scared of stretch fabric so I think this may be beyond my skills but they're fabulous.

Cindy said...

The new bathers look great! I'm glad that they have been such a hit with your girls.:) I love how inexpensive it is to sew swimsuits and it really doesn't take much time. My 2 older girls are hard to fit into RTW swimsuits also so being able to whip a new suit out in an afternoon has definitely been a blessing!

ARTwendy ... said...

adore the swimwear models ... you are amazing!! can hardly wait to see the embroidery update ... people still comment to me you know ...!!

Jane said...

Fantastic - you'll never have to fork out for expensive, poorly-fitting ready made girls' bathers again! Most inspiring. I really think I will have to try sewing bathers for me this summer.

Kylie said...

They look great. I would love to sew swimwear - Have pattern and fabric sitting here but have not got around to doing it yet:)

Jen said...

Lovely swimmers. I'm feeling very inspired to try my hand at a pair of two this summer :o)

Cass said...

These look fantastic Karen, well done. Don't think I'm game enough to make swimmers.

Leonie said...

Luverly! Beautiful shots of the girls too.

Bron said...

They are gorgeous...i have memories of my mum making our bathers back in the early eighties. Great little models. x

kole said...

Great work! Swimwear must be hard to make!

Ellieboo said...

What a great job you have done - the girls look great in their new bathers......or to use the correct terminology in their cossies :)

Unknown said...

You are so amazing! I wish I was half as productive as you. I will add to my never ending list, swimsuit with matching skirt :)