Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Refashion: Old Loose Swimsuit to New Strappy Swimsuit

I was cleaning my wardrobe and found this Pre-Kids swimsuit from more than 10 years ago. I thought that I had donated it to a charity shop already. I tried on the swimsuit but the low back of the swimsuit made the straps fall off my shoulders all too easily.

I liked the colour of the suit and I thought I could salvage it somehow by refashioning it. I have some black swimsuit fabric scraps. I thought that I could add some straps to the low back to make the suit more secure. Lucky for me, there is currently a trend of 'strappy swimwear':

I cut and sewed 2 long straps from the black swimsuit fabric scraps. I tried on the suit and positioned the straps to the places that worked for my body. I sewed the straps down onto the black trim of the swimsuit. Within 30 minutes, I had a swimsuit that didn't fall off my shoulders!

Another quick and easy and useful Refashion!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Another Swimsuit muslin - Kwik Sew 2797

I guess I'm in a mood to make swimsuits! I made yet another one this weekend based on Kwik Sew 2797 View B. I had long wanted to have a zip front, colour blocked swimsuit like this:

I thought that the zip-front makes it practical to put the suit on and off. And I thought that Colour blocking will help to artificially give my 'blocky' upper body more curves. But of course this designer suit cost almost US$400! I figured that I could probably make something similar with my remnant fabrics and a stash pattern.

Kwik Sew 2898 is meant to be a leotard but I made quite a number of design changes to make it into a zip-front swimsuit. I used remnant black and white swimsuit fabric that has 20% lycra content.  I cut a size S based on my experience with previous Kwik Sew swimsuit patterns (they run at least 1 size larger). I drafted separate front side panels and back side panels. I shortened the crotch by 2cm (something that I always have to do with swim bottoms or underpants). Last but not least, I chalked out the area on the fabric for the white zipper that I thrifted at my local thrift store.

I topstitched the colourblocking seams to reinforce them. Everything went okay except when it comes to the front zipper. I hadn't found a lot of info regarding how to install a front zipper to a very stretchy swimwear fabric. Some said that I needed to use a stablizer while others said not. I examined a RTW swimsuit with a front zipper and found no stablizer. I reinforced the area where the zipper was to be installed with stitching and then basted down the zipper before sewing 3 rows of narrow zig-zag stitching to attach the zipper. I used black thread so that the messy stitching would not show easily. But I would definitely not point out to others how messy those stitches were. I used swimsuit elastics for the neckline, armholes and legholes at 1:1 ratio. The stitches inside were also really messy. It is a muslin after all!

I used a regular swimwear lining for the entire back and in the front chest area. For the tummy area I used a nude swimwear fashion fabric that has 20% lycra to gently hold back my mommy tummy.

I do like the look of the colourblocking and the front zip. However, there is excess fabric at the back due to my sway back. You can see that weird fold on my back in the photo. So I will have to eliminate about 2cm from the centre back length at the waist, minimizing to nothing on the sides. The neckline is also a bit low for my liking so I'll have to redraft a higher neckline. Also, the white part of the swimsuit is actually quite transparent. If I make this again I will probably use a coloured fabric for the sides.

I'll try to swim with this next week and see if the zipper will hold up! I hope the zipper stitching doesn't come apart while I'm in the pool!

My review for this pattern is at