Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bathing suits finished! Sewing details.

I'm back from Mexico and having fun playing with all my pictures.  Before I get to the good stuff, I have to go over all the nitty gritty details of the last days of sewing my bathing suits.

The halter tops were fairly easy.  I didn't really use the instructions; I just used the pattern pieces and did my own thing.  I had read some reviews that said a few people had omitted the dart and used gathers instead.  I tried this on the white lining and attempted to pin the bra cup to it.  Once I had it pinned to myself (well, my bra, that would really hurt!), I noticed a big baggy spot where the dart should be.  So, I decided to sew the dart.  The shaping is really quite nice.  The trick is not to get a pucker at the end of the dart.  Here is how I did it.  I just followed the edge for a while so I didn't have an abrupt angle.  All my darts look smooth.
The bra cups were much easier to pin in place with the new darts.  I positioned the seam on the dart, about 3/8" from the bottom, and tried to center the cup as best I could.  I pinned it in place about every inch or so.  I zigzagged around all the edges.  The cup is positioned inside the lining, so that when you see the inside of the bathing suit, all you see are zigzag stitches on the white lining.  I had a picture, but it got erased somehow.  Use your imagination.
I layered the lining and the blue fabric together and serged elastic onto the sides, pulling slightly near the armholes.  I also serged elastic onto both long edges of my bands.
I pinned the halter pieces to the band, and sewed with a stretch stitch just beside the clear elastic, at about 3/8".  I turned the seam toward the band and coverstitched it.  It worked like a charm.
I tried it on and decided where I wanted my hooks to go, and sewed them in and trimmed the excess.  
The band is perfect, but the halters are a bit tight.  Bathing suits are not meant to be full support bras.  I could have let it down at least an inch or two.  They were quite tight, and mid-way through my holiday, one of my halter hooks broke, and I ended up sewing the straps together.  Thank goodness for the little sewing kits they give you at the hotel!  I was just pulling it over my head anyways.  Keep that in mind when you're sewing halters.  Sometimes you don't need hooks or ties.  Both halters ended up breaking and getting sewn back together.  Thankfully, the ones on the bands survived, but I will probably try and find metal hooks and replace them.

Anyways, back to sewing.  I was quite efficient and made my 3 tank tops and all my bathing suits before switching to cover stitch.  I spent several hours coverstitching everything.  It was fun.  I didn't use any pins, I just carefully turned my elastic under and sewed.  Everything turned out great.  I used wooly nylon in the chain looper.
I am very impressed with how professional my bathing suits look.  This has been really fun!  Of course, I could have made it easy on myself by making one halter top and one bottom, but I wanted more.  2 tops and 6 bottoms later, this is what I ended up with.  I wore everything except one pair of flame bottoms.  It was nice to have multiple bottoms, although it probably wasn't necessary.  Oh well.  Best to have clean underwear in case of an emergency, right?  

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