Tuesday 21 February 2023

Annual swimwear sewathon - part 2

At Christmas time I wore an older, non-me-made pair of swimmers to the pool and the leg elastic made that crackling pinging sound that elastic makes when it has lost the will to live.

Time for some new me-made swimmers then! I hadn't quite hit the jackpot with my previous efforts. The bottoms of any two piece I'd tried were weirdly oversized and the one-pieces just weren't quite right either. Oddly, for all the Jalie swimsuits I'd made the kids I'd not yet tried one for me. Not being sure which to try, I made three different patterns.

First up is Jalie 3134. I've made this one quite a few times for A and always really liked the shape of it.

The full glare, squint into the sun photo isn't the best, but my attempts at action shots weren't much better...

Or bathroom selfies, but at least this shows the pattern lines better...

Love how these ones stay put regardless of the activity. Good leg hole that doesn't result in a wedgie, nor feel overly clunky and low. I really like the panels that allow for colour blocking and probably need more contrast than my camouflage black/grey and black. I fully lined both the front and the lower back (back lining was additional to the pattern instructions) and it's got a good amount of the firm, squish factor.
The piping effect is kinda fun and done with a thin strip of fabric that's stretched in order to cause it to roll and then zig zag stitched over the top of.
There are no closures on this one, so it's easy to make, if not slightly harder to get in and out of. Will definitely make again.

The second pair were certainly pretty in a flat lay:

These are Jalie 3350, view A. Again, I've made this pattern quite a few times for A and always liked the look of it. It's less "sporty" than the kind of swimwear pattern I gravitate towards.

I made the same straight size that I'd measured at, but in this pattern I think I need a smaller size above than below. The bust section feels slightly loose and unsupported. Sure I could put swim bra cups in there but I suspect that might add padding and weight, and I'm still not going to get anywhere near cleavage-ville unless the straps are hoicked up super tight.

The leg cut on this one is lower than I like. It's at the height that most swimwear has been for the last ten years or so, but I have an eighties idea of where a leg hole should sit that can't be budged.

I think this is the only photo of me wearing them. Again, I lined the back lower half (not in the pattern). the fabric is a lovely matte lycra and it matched quite well with a bit of Carvico Vita solid that was in the stash. I should get more photos if only to show off my pattern matching cutting!

Definitely wearable, and not a bad pair of swimmers. However, I'm not sure I'd make this one again as I 'd want to redraft the leg, and make sizing adjustments to the top half that might be more trouble than it's worth. I guess cute swimmers might not be for me.

Finally, I found myself in Rathdowne Fabrics and decided a large scale floral print lycra would need to come home with me to make one last pair...

These ones are certainly my favourites.

The pattern is Jalie 0969 which is only available as a PDF and that I'd made in both views for A previously.

These were a really easy sew, and I'd purchased the fabric in the morning and made the swimsuit by dinnertime. This time I just followed the pattern instructions and only used a bit of lining in the gusset. No front or back full lining. I suspect I'll wear them until they wear out and I hope someone is kind enough to let me know before the back fabric gets too see through!

When I was at Rathdowne Fabrics they had these hats for $2 each. Apparently they'd been accidentally shipped as part of a haberdashery order, odd right?! Anyway I thought it looked good with the fabric and it was really well made and adjustable. Perfect river hat.

This is definitely my favourite pattern for me at the moment, with 3134 in a very close second place. I fully intend to check every leg cut against this pattern in future.


  1. Hi, (on SPR which I'm addicted to I guess) I've just noticed the reviews of your awesome bathing suits and want you to know that I appreciate very much reading and seeing your reviews on them. How wonderful that you've made them and are sharing! For years, I've been wanting to sew my own bathing suits too, so any tips I glean might help me forward.

    1. Sew all the bathing suits, you can do it! And it’s cheap as compared to store bought. I sew all of my kids’ suits for that very reason, and because they have very specific tastes.

    2. Love your suits, thank you for sharing. Do you find the ones that fit the best supportive in the bust enough?


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