Just in time for a record breaking heat wave, I made my first pair of bathers. I'm so glad I gave it a go...I went through a few phases sewing this, from easy to hard to giving them away and then suddenly (with a little help from precisely placed elastic) it just seemed to fit...and look nice enough to wear.
I used a free pattern from BurdaStyle called Alison. I only had to make a few adjustments which were…
-I put elastic through neckline/back band which feels alot more secure and I put elastic under the bust line which doesn’t give me anymore support but stops the top riding up.
-I decided to put the breast pads in because it meant I could lay the the lycra smoothly over them and only gather the top half which looks good with the material I chose.
-I didn’t need the second back tie. I’m glad about that, I like the full back showing.
-The ‘boy look’ leg cut didn’t sit low enough for me, so I cut the leg line a touch higher for a normal bather cut and put elastic along the edge with the overlocker, turned it over and finished it off with a zig zag stich.
I didn’t really follow the instructions, I found them a bit confusing, and because I used my overlocker I just zipped up all the seams on that in the normal order and it came together itself. I bought a meter of material and had so much of it that I used it as lining too. So the front and back is fully lined which feels nice and supportive on.
And here are a few tips I learnt from my mum about putting in elastic around the leg. If anyone should know - she should! She spent years and years sewing countless dance costumes...thanks, I appreciate all that now!
So #1 - use the longest stitch on your overlocker.
#2 - Only stretch the elastic slightly as you make your away around the front and crotch.
#3 - Stretch the elastic alot more as you sew along the back as this is where you want the swimwear to fit tight!
#4 - Turn the elastic (and lycra) over and use a zig zag stitch to finish it off. Make sure you stitch on the very outside of the elastic (raw edge side). This will stop the elastic from rolling.
Goodluck and happy sewing !