Even though Memorial Day symbolizes the start of Summer for many, this past Thursday (6.21) marked the official first day of summer. What better excuse than the first day of summer to make a swimsuit? Truthfully I wanted to sew a swimsuit for my May post since it fell on Memorial weekend but I was distracted with the beautiful chambray that I used for a jumpsuit.
Since sewing just a swimsuit seemed a little "meh", I decided to add a cover-up for a whole "day at the pool or beach" vibe. This bright, floral chiffon screamed summer so I grabbed it. Sewing with chiffon can be frustrating so I chose Simplicity 8657 to limit the amount of seams. The only tip I have for sewing with chiffon is to use a rotary cutter and be patient. This print is still in stock, but some other prints that would work well is this similar spring green floral, this more abstract navy floral or this fun rainbow stripe.
This caftan pattern is definitely a simple sew but as a part of Simplicity's pattern hacking line it offers several modifications. I wanted more of a lightweight duster than a true caftan to show off the swimsuit so I made the following modifications:
- Created an open front by not sewing the front center seam
- Raised the V-back to a scoop back and finished with single fold bias tape
- Raised the side slits
When I can't make up my mind about which fabric to use or which pattern to sew I often take a poll on my Intsagram story, so if you'd like to give your 2 cents next time follow me there (TipStitched). So I asked Instagram to choose Vogue 9192 or Simplicity 1116 (OOP) and S1116 took the early lead. In the end the Vogue pattern won 57% to 43% but I'd already started by then. Ooops.
This bright cover-up called for standout color swimsuit. This chartreuse swimwear knit is just that. This fabric is a good weight which is great for coverage but was a bit thick at the gathered sides (where I was sewing three layers of swim knit and a layer of mesh), but my machine handled it just fine (I did go slowly). The gathers at waist paired with wrap front of S1116 is a very flattering silhouette.
I love Mimi's patterns for Simplicity because she provides sew along video for each one. So if you've thought or dreamed about sewing a swimsuit, but have been a little intimidated, this is a great pattern for a first attempt as she walks you through each step. I did watch the video before I began sewing so I barely looked at the printed instructions.
Here are some types for sewing swimwear:
- Use a stretch (not knit/ballpoint) needle
- Use a long, narrow zigzag stitch or a serger for constrution
- Use a wider, shorter zigzag stitch to attach the elastic to hems and for any openings
- Stretch the leg elastic more in the back of the leg opening (to cup your bottom) and less in the front
Enjoy your summer!