I’ll turn on a dime for a trip to the beach!

Maybe I just have sewing ADD….I certainly have the unfinished projects to support that diagnosis, but I choose to think I am just going where my excitement dwells today.  Last weekend I convinced DH that I needed a trip to the beach (which he does not enjoy) that is near fabulous golf courses which he does enjoy very much.  By Tuesday we had made reservations at a golf resort on the gulf in a community with a private beach.  So…since I will be spending 4 lovely days enjoying both the beach and the pools (this place has 3 thank you and one is right across from the little guest house we have rented.)

Yes, if you must ask, I do still have one leg in a cast part time.  But I am mostly a beach lounger and sand can be banished from an air cast with the help of a blow dryer and a vacuum cleaner.  So, I need swim suits…lots of suits.  LOL

Today I made the Jalie 2006 Tankini.  Normally, I sew Kwik Sew suits but I wanted to try this one since Jalie has such great patterns.  I was not disappointed.  Their patterns fit incredibly well.  I did make a few minor modifications in the interest of my age and my figure. 

suit2Here’s the suit top  and here are the bottoms.suitbottom   As much as I would love to show you what the suit looks like on, I would need a psych exam if I posted pictures of myself on the Internet in a swim suit.  Trust me, this is a much less distracting view.  🙂

I cut the entire suit from my normal size.  I happen to be the same top and bottom.  I did modify the top by making it about 2 inches longer.  I don’t need the peek-a-boo look going on with my tummy.   I also curved the back leg of the panty down about 1/2″ extra at the outer edge of the curve.  I like plenty of ‘bun coverage’. 

I need a bra in my swim suits.  While this suit does have a nice shelf bra I am afraid that is not sufficient for this chest.  And besides, I need a bit of modesty in the event of a cool breeze.  So…I added molded swim cups straight from Anne at the Needle Nook.  Don’t ask me what size they are…I just call up Anne and tell her I need more.  She knows what size I need and kindly spares me the details.  They arrive in just a few days.  I installed the cups, and a firm 3/4″ elastic band below them which sews into the sideseams.  Also, in the interest of a smoother fit, I lined just the top portion of the back of the suit as well.  This is a standard stretch swim suit lining with lycra.  I just left the bottom edge of the back lining unfinished.  It seemed smoother that way. 

I  fully lined the bottoms.  Just makes for a firmer fit and less jiggles.  I anchor the lining in the crotch seam, sew the side seams independently and then add the elastic.  This leaves all seams in between the suit and the lining on the bottoms.



My only other addition was a little band of twill tape between the bra cups.  I find that at times when my suit gets wet the cups seem to want to migrate toward the underarm area.  I am hoping this bit of 3.8″ twill tape firmly anchored to the cups and lining only will prevent that tendency.  This theory has not yet been “water tested”.


This pattern has a cute skirt too.  I have plenty of leftover fabric since I am so short.  I plan to whip up the skirt too before I rethread the serger. 

Source of fabric:  Rose City Textiles – has been in stash 4 or 5 years.

Techniques used…3 thread overlock with woolly nylon in the lower looper on all seams.

   Elastic serged to edges and turned then sewn down with 3-step zig-zag.  Yes…my Evolve will do a cover stitch and normally I use it on suits.  But I quickly realized that there was a lot of bulk where those little straps connected to the top of the suit.  While the technique for installing the straps worked beautifully, I did not trust the coverstitch not to ball up and look unsightly in a very visible place.  So…I just used the 3-step and it turned out lovely.  This is what Jalie recommends anyway.  Interestingly, they do not show serger techniques in their instructions.  I used the stretch blind hem on the hem.  I like it, I could have used the coverstitch there, but why…this was so easy and I did not have to rethread the serger.

If you are not accustomed to sewing your swimsuits let me encourage you to consider making one.  They are so easy.  So quick.  So inexpensive.  And they actually cover you where you want to be covered!

UPDATE:  Tracing cute skirt pattern – 10 minutes, Sewing Cute skirt pattern: 15 minutes.  Tried it on, fits like a charm!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MrsSewandSew
    Aug 08, 2008 @ 16:49:40

    Great Job, Loretta!
    Where did you learn how to install a bra in your swimsuit? I really need to learn that too.

    Underwires would probably be better, but a set of molded cups and good elastic below the bustling would probably be a big improvement over a shelf bra.

    in Missouri


  2. MrsSewandSew
    Aug 08, 2008 @ 16:50:37

    Oops! Make that bustline, not bustling, lol. That’s what I get for reading email at work.


  3. patpetinga
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 06:21:27

    So pleased to discover Fitting Tip graduated to a new form. I’ve been playing with the idea of making a swimsuit for the last couple years, but not too sure on materials and technique. Your description will surely be of help, thanks.
    Pat Petinga
    Ventnor, NJ


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