Trying out for the Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties….

November 5, 2014

1926I love all the images of bathing beauties from the 1920’s – so I thought I might have a go at sewing one with a pattern from 1926.

I haven’t had much experience in sewing with knit or stretch fabric, but I thought I could manage with this piece of really heavy ink-navy t-shirt cotton – it really didn’t have much stretch at all thankfully (just rolled a lot at the edges until they were over-locked).  The contrast fabric was a lighter knit fabric with a faux-animal skin print.

The skirt is really twirly – it makes a full circle when laid out:


Not sure how it will go when fully wet, the fabric already makes the bathing suit quite heavy…but then, I daresay most of the Sennet Beauties didn’t really go for a swim either. Even the bloomers are pretty substantial!





  1. it looks fantastic. did you do the pattern yourself and are the squares within the silver bands appliqued on? (my alternate reason for asking is i have to make a dance costume for my niece and this looks so classy). really looks amazing

    1. No – it is a real pattern from 1926. The squares are made like reverse applique. The contrast fabric was really thin, so I decided to line it with the other fabric and cut out the squares. Today I am going to tackle the circles around the neckline – the same reverse applique way.

  2. From the little I know, those suits were made of wool and they were very heavy when wet. So besides having an authentic design, you also can have an authentic wearing experience. Lovely!

  3. I love it! Sometimes when you are on the beach it is cool and this would be the perfect beach dress. Vintage purists might not like it, but I would trade the bloomers for swimsuit bottoms. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.

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