I cut a large on top and followed the instructions to alter for a D cup. Last time, I altered for a DD, and it was too big. I cut an XL on the bottom. I ended up taking the sides in 1/2 inch total because some of my basting (serger stitches) showed when I put the suit on. I shortened the crotch length another inch.
I fully lined this suit. In the front, I added a shelf bra and placed the shelf bra between the suit and lining. It works great for swimming. I don’t know if it would work for a bathing suit. I sewed the back center seam before serging the back lining to the swimsuit fabric.
The suit is tight now, which is great for swimming. It’s still too low cut, and I feel like I might pop out when I do butterfly. I might make more of this suit as a bathing suit, but I’m going to try a different pattern for a swimming suit.
I made the plain tank swimsuit.
Hip size from 32.25 inches to 47 inches.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Very much so. Note the ease in the pictures. This ease was present in my suit.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were typical Kwik Sew instructions. I have a serger, so I used it with regular serger thread as recommended in the book. But if you don’t have a serger, the book gives you sewing machine instructions as well. The alteration directions worked really well for me. There are also discussions about fabrics and elastic, and it offers lots of suggestions on how to customize your pattern.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
LIKED: I think the instructions on how to increase the cup size and add a shelf bra are pretty good. I’m a E, sometimes F, cup. I’m a swimmer, and I dislike bra cups in swimsuits, probably because they never fit, but also because they interupt the line of the suit. I get enough drag overy my bust; I want is smooshed as flat as possible on my chest. The instructions don’t do that. They give you a nice shelf bra, but with a little alteration, I’ll get my streamlined shape. The shelf bra is supportive enough that I am comforatable out of water in it.
DISLIKED: The alterations require gathering, instead of a dart, for full busts. It’s a lot of gathering for my cup size. I think a dart would be a less lumpy option. The princess seam suit is probably a better option for full busted women. However, I thought the simple tank would be better to learn to handle the fabric on.
LIKED: The instructions for getting the crotch length were good, too. I have a different problem than most people (I think) in that I’m short in the crotch. This is a huge problem for a swimmer because the suit will bag and fill with air and water when you flipturn.
DISLIKED: The amount of ease. I’m a swimmer. I don’t want positive ease in my swimsuit. The suit looks fine, and it’s comfortable to wear, but that isn’t why I made it. It bags in the butt when I do butterfly. This isn’t a big problem because I can take the hips in, and if I wanted a bathing suit to wear while chasing my kids on the beach, this would be a plus because the suit is comfortable.
Clearance swimsuit fabric from Joann’s. I used that cotton swimsuit elastic in 3/8 inches for the leg, arm, and neck openings. I used some regular elastic from my stash for the bra. I couldn’t find the swimsuit fabric in 3/4 inches in time. I’m sure the chlorine in the swimming pool is going to destroy that elastic, but I used the suit all summer for the lake and a neighbor’s pool with no degredation in elastic performance.
I used regular serger thread for the seams. I didn’t find that I needed wooly nylon to give me added stretch.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I fully lined the front. I made a shelfbra as described above. I took 4 inches out of the crotch length. I had to shorten the straps, too.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I have another one cut out. I need to order 3/4 inch swimsuit elastic before I make it.
I think this is a good general purpose suit. It’s comfortable and easy to make. It has good butt coverage and an excellent bust containment system.
This is a pattern for a BATHING suit not a swimsuit. There’s too much ease in it for swimming. However, all that ease makes it a very comfortable suit for wearing to the beach. The coverage is excellent.