1950s | Swimwear / Sunwear | Vintage Sewing

Bombshells and Seashells

By on November 1, 2014

bombshell swimsuit

I made me a swimsuit! And thanks to the wonderful pattern design by Closet Case Files I couldn’t be happier. Not technically a vintage pattern but it comes with a definite nod to the 50s! I love how it covers most of my body… and holds it all in!

I found it a bit fiddly to make, in places. And I can’t claim any experience working with spandex so I feel a bit of a fail on the inside where it looks a bit scruffy. I sewed the whole thing using a zig zag stitch and so the side seams for instance could really do with a bit of an overlock, especially where the rouched edges create more bulk.

bombshell swimsuit

I encased cups into the halter pieces and sewed them in position by hand with tiny hand stitches.

It really isn’t a bad fit for a first try but next time I would certainly make the elastic in the legholes a bit tighter and perhaps increase the body length a little bit.

More info and pics over on the blog

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1950s | Skirts | Swimwear / Sunwear | Vintage Sewing

An addiction….

By on August 14, 2014

I’ve become addicted to making Bra top and skirt sets (I am meaning to venture into adding shorts and beach jackets to the mix soon).  I love how quickly I can make them and having the versatility of separates!  I just wanted to share my latest creation with you all.

The top is based on Simplicity 1426 Version B.  I made a couple changes- like adding ties in the back and making the straps criss-cross in the front.  The skirt is just a basic circle skirt.  I made it with a leopard peach-skin rayon fabric I had, and I used twill for the lining and waistband to give it a little more body and stability.  I probably won’t be doing that again- sewing with silky fabrics irritates me to no end! I used a double fold bias tape as the hem on the skirt because I get lazy at times.  In the end, this turned out to be my favorite outfit so far!




How about you?  Do any of you have a type of clothing you can’t get enough of making?



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1950s | Rompers / Playsuits | Swimwear / Sunwear | Vintage Sewing

Stripey delight!

By on July 29, 2014

Hello all!

I am super excited to show you all my latest make. It is a beach outfit made up by the Mrs. Depew 50s sun top, and shorts using the Wearing History Sailor Girl pattern. The fabric is just regular cotton fabric from the remnant bin. It is great when things just work out 😉

To read more about the construction, my inspiration and of course; more pictures, you are all invited to visit my blog . Click the picture, or this link!

Thanks for looking, and happy sewing!

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1940s | Swimwear / Sunwear | Vintage Sewing


By on July 14, 2014

Because it is summer somewhere….

A friend had an amazing piece of fabric and wanted a vintage bathing suit made from it. The border print fabric had 9 individually blocked and decorated ballerinas and the pattern that she really liked was Simplicity 2441 (sorry about the photo quality of the fabric… )

Being woefully short of fabric to actually make the bathing suit, I started to experiment with placement of the ballerinas on the fabric with my computer first (because I am pretty sure I will never see fabric like this again!)


We finally came up with a design that involved my completely discarding the plain blue fabric (because there wasn’t enough, and I couldn’t find a perfect match) and patchworking the border print fabric to the 8 panels of the bathing suit skirt. Apart from being a bit busy on the inside of the bathing suit, it ended up being not too noticeable from the outside. And I still have a leftover ballerina!

And the best part of all is that she got to wear it earlier this year on the last day of summer here in Australia at Red Beach –  so you could say it was sea-worthy.


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Swimwear / Sunwear

Pin-Up Girls, Retro Swim Attire!!

By on March 22, 2014


First time poster- long time lurker- but I finally have something that I felt I needed to share!


This swimsuit was made from the Pin-Up Girls 2901 ‘Denise Swimsuit’ pattern, which is one of Beverly Johnson’s patterns. I have actually been lucky enough to take her master swimwear course!! It’s a 2 week course, all about making swimwear, and I just finished my first week of the course!

This is the second swimsuit I’ve made- and after my first, more plain suit, I knew I wanted to go with a vintage vibe for my second (who doesn’t secretly want to be a 50’s bombshell on the beach?).

So out came the flower print and in came the ruching!! This is a princess seamed suit- and I thought it would be perfect for that really retro look- so I added this ruched modesty panel to the center front.

A modesty panel is a piece that comes over the front and is supposed to hide the crotch area- it can go much lower almost like a skirt in the front. As you can see I’m not overly modest and mine stops at the top of the leg, haha, I added it more for the ruching.

What I love so much about this suit- beyond the fabric and the overall bombshell goddess feel- is that it’s really figure flattering, between the princess seams and the ruching over the tum- I’m laughing- well let’s just say that I’m confident enough wearing this that I can post a picture of myself on the internet in a swimsuit (eeek)!

But the really cool part about this swimsuit is the interior construction- this one has a ‘floating bra’ inside that is made with swim foam and regular channeling and underwire. If you don’t know much about Beverly Johnson aka ‘The Fairy Bra Mother’, her real forte is making custom bras and lingerie- so she has really incorporated that into her super supportive and flattering swimwear.

This really helps to give a much shapelier , 50’s hourglass look in a swimsuit!

After this course is over I can’t wait to go home and make swimsuits for all my super busty friends who refuse to go swimming with me because they can’t find swimsuits supportive enough to fit them!

I feel like I can take on any wave in this without any worries of a peek-a-boob incident- this suit isn’t going anywhere!

If you want to know more about this suit, swimsuit construction and this course, I am posting everyday of my course over on my blog!

Also I’m putting all my finished swimsuits up on PatternReview  if you want to know more about the Pin-Up Girl’s patterns!

Why can’t it be summer right now?

xo erin

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Modern Patterns | Swimwear / Sunwear

A Bombshell Swimsuit… in January

By on January 11, 2014

So, I finally finished my bombshell swimsuit, just in time for the middle of winter! I know, the timing seems ridiculous, but I actually wear a bathing suit way more in the winter than in the summer, since we have a hot tub and I really don’t care much for swimming. It was my first time sewing a bathing suit and although it’s far from perfect, I absolutely love it!

I made View A in this adorable watermelon-print fabric from The Fabric Fairy, which I ordered online (the irony is that I don’t actually like eating watermelon…). I won’t say much about the pattern because it’s all been said already! It’s fantastic – so flattering and retro-looking.

That being said, I did have some problems with the fit, but they were my fault rather than the pattern’s. I managed to improvise a “quick fix” that probably ended up taking more time than ripping it out and starting over, but the fit is good now. The inside is a bit of a mess, which would usually bug me, but not this time because, um, I MADE A SWIMSUIT.

For more photos and construction details, see my blog post. Thanks for reading!

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1950s | Rompers / Playsuits | Swimwear / Sunwear | Vintage Sewing

Vogue 5913

By on December 22, 2013

My first post on this blog after admiring everyone’s work for the past year! I started sewing a year ago and everyone has really inspired me to reproduce vintage pieces. While most of you are probably experiencing a cold Christmas, I live in the Southern hemisphere and it is hot down under!

NoraFinds Vogue 5913

I got this lovely Vogue 5913 swimsuit pattern and thought it would make a really cute playsuit. The pattern is unprinted but the instruction is straight forward. I excluded the swim brief patterns for this playsuit, but actually doubled up on the shorts because I used a pretty thin cotton. So the shorts are lined by the same material and I just think it makes it a bit more sturdy. There was no need for me to adjust the material as the pattern was for swimwear so no bullet bra to be worn and hence no adjustment around the bust. The lengths of the bodice and the shorts are perfect too – lucky me!

NoraFinds Vogue 5913

I think the shorts could be a little longer for everyday playsuit but since this is intended for the beach I thought it was okay to be a little cheeky. For reference I’m only 5’5″ 🙂 I have also recently made this again without the overskirt – still cute!

I also blog vintage (non-sewing stuff) here so do pop by if you fancy! Hope you like my first post – thanks!

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