Making my FIRST EVER swimmers!
Updated: Apr 18
I don't know why but I had always put making a swim suit (swimmers, kozzie, togs) into the too hard basket and never had the motivation to learn, but boy has that changed.
It all started when my good friend and Sew to Grow Marketing Manager, Bec, started her sewing journey. I'm sure some of you will have read on our blog series, The Handmade Tale, that Bec is new to sewing. But the reason she got into it at all was to be able to make her own swimmers. So on her birthday I surprised her with the #meganneilsonpatterns #cottlesloe pattern, as well as some funky #seafolly swim fabric. Obviously I got myself some fabric at the same time. So together we started tracing and cutting!! Bec being so inexperienced was a bit blaise about how tricky using swim fabric can be, whereas me with hundreds of makes behind me had heard the rumors of just how bad it can be, and I was nervous!
I soon got into the groove, had my designer head on and it wasn't long until I started hacking the pattern. I turned the front into a cross over and also added a wide band to the bottoms. It was one of the quickest makes I've ever made. When I put them on I was super surprised at just how well it had all come together. I did decide to add more support by using some of my sports bra cups and sewing them into a lining.
I absolutely love rockin' it down at the beach in my new two-piece and it won't be long until I have more me made swimmers - I may have already had a second delivery of fabric!!
And talking about the fabric, I have had SO many questions about it over on the socials. So I thought I should share that I got it from a great online store I found over in Western Australia, Homecraft Textiles. You can find them here.
Finally, I just want to share a few tips I learnt from my first swim wear make:
Stick to the original pattern for your first make. I went a size too big in the bottoms and got a little excited about making a cross over. Both these decisions mean that this is a lying-by-the-pool only swim suit. I may have flashed a few people in the waves as I was learning to surf!!
Practice your ability to zigzag elastic into a circle that is bigger than the circle of elastic. This takes patience and a bit of skill to hold the fabric and elastic at the same time and evenly feed it through the machine. If you are new to swim wear, I would say this was the trickiest part.
Use a rotary cutter and mat to cut out your pieces. The fabric is too squirmy to try and cut with scissors in my opinion.
Finally, just give them a go. Having a pair of swimmers that are exactly what I want, and that fit my smaller bust compared to my large hips is life changing! Swim fabric isn't very dear and doesn't require much yardage to make. You never know until you try, and you may just get hooked like I have.