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Beginner Sewist - Bec's Journey into Sewing

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

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 :-)


Hey y'all!

Welcome to Sew To Grow!
Our mission is to help you build a perfectly fitted handmade wardrobe, so when someone asks where you got your fabulous frock you can confidently say 'I made it!'. To help you on your sewing journey, here you'll find a range of tutorials about sewing techniques, garment fitting, notions and tools, fabric and more!

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