Thursday, August 4, 2011

Racerback Bathing Suit - Kwik Sew 2962

For those of you who have been with me for a while, you may remember that I made a whole pile of 2-piece bathing suits for Mexico in April.  Once I discovered how easy it was to make swimwear, I've been itching to make a new suit to wear to aquafitness at the pool.  My old faithful Speedo finally kicked the bucket, and I've been wearing my flame tankini for the past couple months.  2-piece bathing suits are not very comfortable to wear to the pool.  I wanted something secure and able to withstand crazy exercise.  I've had this pattern in my stash since the spring, and I finally got around to making it!  Yay me!

It also happens that my parents went on holidays for 2 weeks, which means I don't have to go to work!  That's why I've suddenly stumbled on a whole pile of free time.
 One of the reasons I've always loved racer backs is because I had the misfortune of wearing a U-back bathing suit when I was a kid, and I hated the feeling that it might fall off at any moment.  Since then, I've loved the secure feeling that a racer back gives you.  So, naturally, I chose view B.  View A is simply a waste of paper, in my opinion.  :P

I was hoping to make this suit fully lined, so I cut the lining and used it to test the fit.  I measured my torso length, just to be sure, and from what the pattern said, I would be okay with the regular length.  I cut a straight Medium, grading out to a Large at the bust.  
 The bust was too big, so I took it back in to a Medium.  The racerback sits a bit low, but from these first 2 shots, it doesn't look that bad, right?
 Until you get to the side.  Remember that the edges still have to be turned under 3/8" for the elastic.  Yeah.  Not digging this.  By the way, do you like my safety pins?  I figured this would be a quick way to check the fit.  Works for me!
 So, I decided to lengthen the torso above the waist by 1 1/2", and I cut the whole suit in Medium.  I also decided to use the lower cut leg openings, and I added an extra inch to the bum curve.

Since my white lining was too short, I couldn't use it.  Instead, I cut a shelf bra and lined gusset as per the pattern.  My swimwear fabric was uber cheap, and I figured this would still be a wearable muslin, so I'm okay with not having a full lining right now.

This picture shows the armhole gaping.  This is easily remedied by pulling the elastic in that area.  Cinched it up perfectly.  I also decided to hike up the shelf bra at the center front, since I like things nice and tight.  Also, since I added 1 1/2" to the torso length, I took my shoulder seams in by about the same length.
 Here is the inside view of the finished suit.
 Isn't it cute?  I really love this fabric.  Fabricland had no new swimwear fabric since sometime last year, and this one was 70% off, and it was one of only 6 prints to choose from.  I've had my eye on it for some time, and I'm so glad I picked it.  I love diagonal stripes, and I'm pleasantly surprised by the colour combo!
 Here is the back.  I forgot to mention that the other adjustment I made was to make the racer back wider at the center back, and I curved it up so it wouldn't cut down so low.  I was also afraid my shoulder straps would stretch out, so I stretched my elastic across the shoulders.  Ha ha.  This is such a learning experience.  Again, not necessary!  It only needed to be stretched at the armhole.  No wonder this is a wearable muslin.  And by wearable, I mean barely.  I can barely get it on, it's so tight!
 I do hope it stretches when it gets wet so I can get the darn thing off.  Cuz I'm definitely going to wear it.  I love it!
 See how nice and high it is under the armhole now?  And I really cinched the elastic around the back of the bum.  This suit is purely functional, and there is no way this baby is going to slip on me!
 I should also probably add a bit of width to the side seams on the back.  It's really tight across my back, which adds to the tightness problem.  I love the width of the racer back, but I could probably stand to cut the lower part of the curves down again.  I didn't realize this poor suit would be so hard to get on!  But, once it's on, it's so awesome!  I can't wait to wear it to the pool tomorrow morning!
I estimated that this suit would take me about 2-3 hours to make.  I spent a bit of time on the lining fitting and pattern alterations, but on Tuesday morning, I cut out and sewed my suit almost all in one sitting!  I love that you do the whole thing on the serger and don't have to make umpteen trips to the ironing board.  I finished my coverstitching later.  In total, I spent 2 hours and 20 minutes on this suit.  It felt way faster than that!

So, with a few minor tweaks, suit #2 should be great!  In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy wearing this one.  Cross your fingers that I don't rip it!  Yikes!

Update: I wore it to the pool this morning.  It's great!  I can tell that it's really tight around my armholes and shoulder straps, so I'll probably let out my shoulder seams by 1" and go easy on the elastic stretching.  And my other adjustments should be good, as well.  I'm happy to report that the elastic around my bum curves did its job and I didn't even have to adjust myself when I got out of the pool!  And, I managed to peel myself out of the wet suit, and it wasn't any harder than putting it on.  Mission accomplished!


  1. Nicely fitting suit! That fabric is very fun. I've made a number of kids' suits, but still having delved into suit making for myself.

  2. Beautiful! What a great fit and I agree, the fabric is really nice! I have yet to make a swimsuit for myself...not sure why. May be that I need to lose some weight first, so I'll feel comfortable in one!!! Yours is definitely a very stylish contender!! Nice work!!