Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My First Foray Into Swimsuit Sewing.

Have you ever sewn a swimsuit? I had not, and had no plans to make them.They are fairly reasonably priced to buy and always seemed like more trouble than it is worth to make. In a recent fabric acquisition, I discovered 3-yards of swimsuit fabric in a retro motif than it just my style. Not wanting this fabric to go unsed, I decided to make a suit.

Despite my hesitation to make a suit, I have several patterns in my stash. For my first attempt, I chose McCall's3566.
I chose to make view D top with G bottom and the H cover-up.  A few necessary tools of this project  included: my serger, a must for working with this fabric and suggested by the pattern; a loop turner to flip the drawstring on the coverup and top and stretch needles to sew the fabric smoothly.

The instructions were easy to follow and the suit came together without a hitch. There were a few frustrations with keeping all of the elastic guides and drawstring pattern pieces straight, but beyond that, it went well. Here is my custom dress form
wearing the ensemble. (Sorry about the crotch pole, I tightened it too much when I fit some pants the last time I used it. I did not want to wait on hubby to get home to unscrew it for me.)




Based on my measurements I cut the size 12 (bust 34) for the entire suit and the A/B cup. I may have overestimated my assets, but I think this runs big. I could have gotten away with a 10. I really like the cover-up. I appreciate that it can be worn hitched up on one side or worn as a skirt.

Working with specialty fabrics takes more time than working with regular fabrics. Given the time spent on this, usual cost of fabric, and the cost of a similar RTW swimsuit, I will buy in the future. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the pattern. Given the choice between spending my time or money in the future, I will rather spend an hour at TJ Maxx than make another one.

I am happy to have crossed a swimsuit off my sewing bucket list. Now off to see what to tackle next...

Happy Sewing,


  1. Great suit - love the fabric! I have that very pattern, and hated it the first time I tried it - I made the boy short and it was HUGE. I stuck with it, though, and actually have made a couple of different tops and bottoms for way cheaper than what I can find in stores. If you ever want to try again, Kwik Sew has better instructions and fit, IMHO. But yours is a fabulous!

    1. Thanks, but this was fun,but more trouble than it is worth :) My last suit was a deal from a retail chain. If I need another, I will likely buy. Glad you found combinations that worked for you.