Before this project swimsuit sewing was something that sounded terrifying to me. However, after seeing so many lovely handmade swimsuits on Instagram I was inspired to make my own. I was lucky that I chose a pattern with very comprehensive written and video instructions that helped me with the construction process.
The swimsuit I chose to make was the Vernazza Two Piece pattern by Friday Pattern Company. This is the second pattern of their’s I’d made after testing the Adrienne Blouse last year. After having read her instructions for the top, which even in the testing stage were detailed and clear, I felt confident that her style would be helpful to me as a first time swimwear sewist. That however is not to say that I found this an easy project. I have limited experience with stretch sewing, am still relatively new to my serger, have never made any underwear, sewn with lycra, lined anything or inserted elastic.
I bought this glorious leafy swimwear fabric from Tessuti. I spent a long time finding places in Melbourne that carry swimwear fabrics. I wanted to make sure it would be a good quality so that it would last after I put all the effort in to make it. I’ve only worn this swimsuit a couple of times however so far its survived and retained it’s elasticity. I also bought the foam cups and elastic from Tessuti.
I reversed the order of the instructions and made the bottoms first. They seemed slightly simpler and lower risk to me. In hindsight though, both the bottom and top had challenging elements. I didn’t make any alterations to the bottom’s pattern and chose the high waisted version. Luckily for me the sizing was true to the final product and they fit well! I had a few practices inserting elastic before trying to insert it into the leg holes however I still ended up redoing this. The first time I did it too tight and on the wrong side of the fabric. The video provided accompanying the instructions was super helpful and after sitting down and watching it carefully the elastic insertion made a lot more sense.
Before starting the top I did make a toile using a thin jersey with a similar stretch to my swimwear fabric. I figured that this would be the most difficult part of the swim suit to fit. I also made a few alterations to the pattern. I deepened the back scoop and thinned the straps. I also chose to include foam cups between the lining and outer fabric. These are hand stitched to the lining.
I’m really happy with how this swimsuit turned out. It is definitely not perfect, the fabric in some places stretches in strange ways, however the dark colours and busy print do a lot to disguise this. I think it’s mostly me who would notice.
I always love wearing what I make out for the first time and seeing how they work in ‘real life’ ,wearing a swimsuit I made myself was extra exciting. I think it definitely shows a progression in my skills and is something I didn’t think I’d be able to make wearable on my first attempt. There was 100% a part of me that was so scared it would fall apart but I was more proud of me that this was something I’d made. However, It’s been perfect so far!
I’m already looking at other patterns, styles and fabrics in prep for making another swimsuit next summer!
Pattern- Vernazza Two Piece– Friday Pattern Company
Fabric & Notions- All from Tessuti