Saturday, 14 January 2012

In the nick of time: Kwik Sew 3416 done

It's probably way too late for Christmas related puns, but I did manage to finish sewing my maternity swimsuit on Christmas night just before we left the next morning for our holiday.  And I'm so glad I did - I like how they turned out so much that I only wore the ones I made and not the tankini I had purchased 'just in case'.  And they didn't fall apart either - they withstood swimming at the water theme park, the beach and the hotel resort pool with nary a popped stitch (phew!).

This is probably the bravest photo I've posted on my blog so far, but hey this is what I look like at 27 weeks pregnant - lumps, bumps, bruises, pale, freckly skin and one sizeable baby bump:



To recap I used Kwik Sew 3416, view A although I made two shoulder straps instead of a halter strap. 


I modified it to make a maternity swimsuit by increasing the length of the front body piece and gathering at the sides so it created a ruched effect across the belly. I also added a bit of extra width across the front as well, but just cut the bodice and the crotch/bottom section to match my current measurements.  Here's the inside of the gathered section:


The other change I made was to fully line the swimsuit instead of just lining the bodice and crotch section as per the pattern.  I did however follow the pattern exactly for the rest of the sewing since this is my first swimsuit attempt, with mixed results.  It looks good on the outside - I twin stitched the edges so it looks pretty much RTW from the outside:


but it is a huge mess on the inside though! The straps get sewn on last so the raw ends of the straps are visible, and the overlocked edge with the elastic stitched on by zig zag looks quite messy.

Worst of all though is the way the bra cups are sewn in.  The pattern says to snip a cross at the bust point of the lining fabric, stretch the lining fabric over the curve of the bra cup and zig zag stitch around the edges of the bra cup.  Then you have to cut away the lining fabric close to the stitching line so that the bra cup is exposed, like this:


Not only does this look a little bizarre and most unlike RTW, but the raw edge and the zig zag stitching is a little *ahem* itchy against that sensitive area of skin (sorry if that is too much info!).  If I were to make this again I would make put another layer of lining fabric in that covered up the bra cups to avoid this.  I would also possibly insert an underwire into the bodice as well to give a bit more shape and definition - you can see from that side on shot above that I am not overly endowed in the chestal region, but what I do have has sagged after pregnancy and 13 months of breastfeeding so I could use a little 'lift and seperate' action happening!!

So for about $20 I have made myself a pretty decent pair of maternity swimmers.  Whilst I do think swimsuits are extremely expensive (the last non maternity suite I purchased was $165), I do take my hat off to the sewists - these are extremely fiddly and rather time consuming to sew comparative to the size of the garment!

23 comments:

  1. It looks great. I'm sure we are always our own worst critics! So do you by the way.

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  2. Great job, the suit looks really good on you!

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  3. Fabulous suit! One day I'll make a bathing suit--they scare me so! Hope your holiday was fun!!!

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  4. There was a time when expecting mommies hid behind volumous layers of fabric and basically quit living their lives while waiting for the baby. I'm glad to see this change and know that women continue doing what they like. Nice job on the swimsuit! Best wishes.

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  5. I am so impressed. I've never attempted a swimsuit before and don't think I would have the guts to take a regular pattern and try and modify it for maternity wear. You rock! And, you did a fab job and look great.

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  6. Great work. I'm not brave enough to do that, I mean sewing a swimsuit.

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  7. You would reverse the lining so the stiches are against the wrong side of the fashion fabric and the smooth side would be next to you.

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  8. That's pretty awesome and it looks good! Swimsuits are intimidating and it nice to see one that looks store-bought!

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  9. Brave girl. You look fantastic, and we all have lumps and bumps - not that you have any to be worried about. I love to see 'real' people in photos rather than models who are shaped nothing like us (or me at any rate). Your cossie looks great as well. Who wants to pay so much for so little!!! You have inspired me to give it another go. Love the fabric.

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  10. Great bathers! Nothing brave about it as you look wonderful. I don't think you'll ever buy bathers again.

    I hope you enjoyed your holiday although I know what you mean about it just being parenting in a different location. [sigh] I always found holidays hard when the kids were little.

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  11. You look fantastic in your swimmers (& everything else too). Swimwear is one area that a sewer can really save big bucks. As you've discovered. Plus you can have a cozzie that doesn't ride up in the wrong places & expose bits you don't want exposed! Good job!!

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  12. First you look wonderful and so does the suit. I do love a well made garment so I feel ya when you aren't happy about the inside....but on the other hand the world still sees a cute suit. Thanks for this post.

    Rachel
    Designrefinebemine.blogspot.com

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  13. How much do I love the fabric for saying 'nookie beach'. LOL! It turned out awesome. I've always heard KS has impeccable directions, so the finishing instructions surprise me. You look terrific too!

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  14. You look perfect, and the swimsuit looks perfect on you. Just think of this one as the muslin for the next one, which you'll make for after the baby. And it'll fit just as perfectly then as this one does now. Best wishes!

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  15. It must have been a while since I did a sweep of my favourite blogs...um, congratulations! I shall have to pop back more often now :-D

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  16. Well done on the bathers and good on you for posting a picture, you look healthy and happy.

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  17. These look great. And you look great too.
    I have made my son some togs but even though I have two different lycras and a new KS pattern but 3 separate hospital admissions (for son and Mother) put brakes in my holiday sewing plans. Hope you enjoyed our hot weather!

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  18. Does the fabric really say "nookie beach"? What a hoot! The swimsuit looks fantastic, quality work.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog! I'm currently angsting over what size to cut for NL6067. Well, I'll go in and make the first cut in the next 15 min or so!

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  19. Great job on your maternity swimmer! I keep seeing people make bathing suits but they scare me!

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  20. Great work on the swimwear. Looks like Sydney is finally having some summer.

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  21. These swimmers look fantastic - and I'm sure when you look back on these photos in years to come you'll realise you look great in them too!

    So far I have only been brave enough to sew swimmers for my daughter but when my current togs wear out I don't think I will be able to justify the RTW price...

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  22. Fantastic! For all the fiddlyness you have ended up with some very nice bathers. That is a nice style pattern - and love the fabric.

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  23. Hi Kristy, your swimsuit looks gorgeous! And it fits you well too. Someone mentioned above that we are our own worst critics and it's absolutely true. My stitch picker is my bestfriend when I'm at the sewing machine attempting to perfect a straight line. But you've done an amazing job and it's basically a very functional,wearable muslin which can help you make your next one. Good job!

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