Beginner Sewist - Bec's Journey into Sewing
Updated: Apr 18
I am so, so pleased to finally announce that the bikini has been completed!!! I'd say you girls don't know how happy I am about this, but actually I suspect you do :-)
It all started back in November when Lindsey gifted me the #meganneilsonpatterns #cottlesloe pattern and some gorgeous #seafolly swim fabric for my birthday. Being a complete beginner, with only one other make under my sewing belt I didn't realise quite how tricky making swimmers can be, but I sure jumped right in (pun intended) to find out!
I started by cutting out a view D bikini top and view C bottoms. As a girl with a larger bust I need the extra support for the top, but when it comes to the bottoms I'm not keen on them being too high. I was also thinking about the waves that I knew I would be trying these out in - and no one wants to see more than they bargain for during a surf lesson! This part of the make was a breeze. The fabric is obviously pretty slippery so I was thankful to have my rotary cutter and mat to use, I'm sure it could be done with scissors, but I don't think I have enough skill or patience for that right now.
Then came the sewing...well, 4 months on I'm glad it is done :-)
I began with the bottoms and actually didn't find these too tricky. I was completing them under the watchful eye of Lindsey so that definitely helped/added to the pressure!! Having never used elastic before I found this took a bit of practise, especially ensuring I was pulling it enough whilst passing it through the machine and getting it to line up with the edge nicely too. But after completing one leg hole with Lindsey I went home to complete these, and that I did. I can safely say they have been surf tested on numerous occasions this summer.
Next step adding the neck elastic. Wow, did I do this badly!!! In places it was barely sewn into place, other places I'd missed it altogether, in a very few places it was sewn beautifully. Whilst doing it I went with the mantra that 'it'll be alright', but as soon as I pulled it out from under the machine I could just see it was all kinds of wrong!! Unfortunately that mistake was a costly one. I think it took me about 2hrs to unpick the elastic!!
Take 2 for the elastic round the neckline, this time I did it under the watchful eye of Lindsey once again, and took a bit more time and care and it worked!!! At this point I pulled the top on and I was pretty happy but there was a definite couple of issues with completing the arm elastic and finishing those seams - side boobage (oh no, what am I going to do?!?). Losing ANY material was not acceptable, so in the end I decided to have a raw edge, top stitch it and forgo the elastic. This obviously doesn't look perfect but at least it is still wearable.
At this stage it should have been 100% complete however the straps were just too loose. So my final hack of this hack was to create a tube of fabric that I then tied VERY tightly around both straps in the center of my back to create a cross over.
Phew! It was finally done!!! I have come away super happy with this make. No it is not perfect, not by a long way, but I am super proud of myself for not giving up on it, getting it finishes, in a wearable state AND I learnt so, so much on this project.
And guess what...I've already started my second bikini top :-)