I can’t stop making swimsuits

by Jeanne on May 7, 2011 · 7 comments

in Vintage Sewing

 And this pattern from the late 50′s/early 60′s is a real gem.

It’s a fast and easy to sew.
Making it up in lycra is definitely worth a shot too.
Could also be made as a full length all-in-one for hot weather off the beach. It’s such a good shape and fit I may even make a little linen dress from it as well. 
It really cheered me up after the disasters I had with this pattern:

I made calico toiles in of views 2, 3 &4. They’re all cut on the bias. Well thats fine. But all three have to be the most unflattering little bra tops I’ve ever tried on!  The horizontal seam in no.2 dents the breast shape in a horrible way. View 3 made my bust look flatter than pancakes. I may have another go with no.4, it was the least awful but I’ll try cutting it on the straight grain instead of the bias as marked.  So glad I paid very little for that set of patterns. 
There’s more pics and info about the red swimsuit above and a post about the Dorothy Lamour style suit I’ve been working on at @SewVeraVenus

This post was written by...

– who has written 15 posts on WeSewRetro.com.

Professional costumier & pattern designer and it's also what I do for fun... usually 1930s & 1940s style.

Jeanne's posts / Jeanne's website

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen R. May 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

These are SO cute! I prefer something modern, but I can't deny how fab these are!


Karen R. May 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I meant to say *modest* :)


Eleen Fashions May 8, 2011 at 12:09 am

Way cute. I need to make a vintage style suit!


JennySlash May 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Adorable suits!


Esther May 9, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Love the 2pc, makes me want to try sewing spandex


Anonymous May 15, 2011 at 11:11 am

Anybody knows how to properly sew a swimsuit?
I have made a few at home but I never get that professional finishing that shop bought bikinis have. The edges always look a bit "wrinkly", I suppose it's the effect of the stretchy fabric, over stretching under the presser foot. I do stretch the elastic a bit when I'm sewing it to the fabric and use a stretch type needle to prevent that but it's not enough.
Do I need a special presser foot?
Do I need a special sewing machine like an over-locker?

High street swimsuits seem to be sewn with a thread that when you undo it becomes like some kind of really thin woolly stretchable thread made of thinner threads..
Anyone that can help?


VeraVenus May 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm

I think much factory made swimwear is made using coverstitch machines.
There are home versions too.

Otherwise not easy to get as professional a finish. Many do use a serger at home for stretch fabrics. You can get good results from a domestic machine that has a few different stretch stitches too.

Experiment with the different stretch stitches your machine has. The regular zig-zag doesn't necessarily give the best looking results in my experience, it's ok looking on some fabrics but not others.

When attaching elastic I sew twice- 1st,placing the elastic on the wrong side of the fabric right on the edge I sew with a fairly narrow but open zigzag very close to the edge, stretching both the elastic and the fabric. 2nd I turn the elastic and fabric again so the elastic is hidden, and use one of the variety of other stretch stitches to sew over it a second time. On the 1st go I work from the wrong side so I can see what the elastic is doing. On the second round I work from the right side so I can see how the finish looks as I sew.


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