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Made By A Fabricista: Maternity swimsuit hack.


Hello! Welcome to my most special post to date! I have been keeping a secret lately, but it is finally time to reveal it: I am expecting! We will be welcoming a little one in the Fall! Since I had planned to spend a few days at the beach with my family, a maternity swimsuit was a perfect choice for this June post. The process was longer and more complex than I anticipated, but it turned out fine! 



Pattern: finding a maternity swimsuit pattern is practically impossible, but I did find a few tips and tricks on blogs to alter a regular pattern and adapt it to a growing belly. I chose the Jalie 3350 and mixed view A’s open back with view B’s twist front. It is not that hard to make it into a maternity swimsuit: you must add a few inches to the front part of the swimsuit (I added 3”) and then gather the fabric on the sides until it matches the back. When I made this swimsuit, I wasn’t “showing” as much as I wished yet. But the bump practically popped up overnight, just a few days before my trip. Perfect timing! 



Fabric: The Fabric Mart website has many choices, with new daily additions! This striped panel caught my attention. When ordering the material, I had a hard time imagining how I would place the pattern because I couldn’t gauge the size of the lines, but I knew I could make it work. And even if horizontal lines can be challenging, I thought they would work well for the twisted front. The colors, as usual, looked even brighter in person. I was happy about that! I ordered some hot pink lycra for the lining but ended up using a lighter swimwear lining from my stash. Although the original pattern didn’t call for it, I did line the back of the swimsuit. It felt more secure this way.


Sizing: I am usually fine with the size V from Jalie patterns. But naturally, my body has changed in the last few months. This time I had to mix, match and grade three different sizes for the bust, the waist, and the length, and add the extra fabric on the waist, as I mentioned earlier. I also needed way more elastic than the pattern’s measures at the leg opening and the back of the swimsuit. But the effort to get a good fit paid off! I wore this swimsuit at the beach multiple times, and it has good coverage and holds on well! 

Stitches: I had made a couple of swimsuits before, but for some reason, sewing elastics this time was trickier than ever. I am getting used to a new machine, so I tried to be patient. The zigzag kept skipping stitches, especially when there were many layers (lining, outside fabric, and elastic, all folded). I tried every trick in the book: changing the needles, changing the stitch length and tension, rethreading, everything! Finally, I gave up the zigzag and used the triple straight stretch stitch on the bust and the finishes. Looking closely, you can still see some botched zigzags here and there, but unstitching felt too disheartening. In Spanish, we say: “Lo perfecto es enemigo de lo bueno” (Perfect is the enemy of good).

Wearing a handmade swimsuit always gives a morale boost! I feel the effort was worth it but, to be honest, I won’t be sewing another swimsuit anytime soon! The good thing is that this one will last long enough. I still have room for the belly to grow, and I think it will look fine even after birth. 

I must say my sewing has slowed down in the last few months, mostly because I have been distracted, resting, daydreaming, and a little bit lazy. However, my list of things to sew for the baby keeps growing, so I better get to work! Any ideas, tips, patterns, or recommendations? Thank you! Last but not least: thanks to my sister for this photoshoot!

INES  @bynunis

Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following category, ACTIVEWEAR/SWIMWEAR.
You can also shop our collection of Jalie patterns HERE.

Comments

  1. You look awesome in that suit! Congratulations on your upcoming baby!

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    Replies
    1. Such a kind comment! Thank you!!!

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  2. I LOVE that swimsuit, maternity or not! You did an AWESOME job!

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  3. Great job....the suit is tasteful and flattering! Can't wait to see your baby projects. Best wishes!

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  4. Really lovely suit and looks so comfy. Wonderful fit!

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  5. Love the way you used 2 views of the pattern to get such a beautiful suit that looks great on you. Congratulations on the new addition to your family. Sewing for baby can be a lot of fun.

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  6. Your swim suit is lovely! You did a fantastic job with the modifications. As one of the previous posters said, it is very tasteful & flattering! Congratulations on your your little one! 🎉

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  7. Beautiful swimsuit! Love the fabric too. Did you use a stretch needle? It works WAY better than a ballpoint on swimsuit fabric.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip! To be honest, I though stretch needles were the same as ball point needles, and got some when I was almost done with the swimsuit. Will definitely keep learning and trying!!!

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