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!