Sunday, February 5, 2012

Neon Red & Black Bathing Suit - Jalie 3134

I started following the Jalie blog shortly before they unveiled their 10 new patterns this fall.  I'm so glad I did!  As soon as I saw this bathing suit pattern, I knew I had to have it!
 I picked it up from Davey Fabrics on one of my regular trips there.  I waited until my swimsuit I made in August became unbearable to wear any longer, and this weekend, I finally made a new one!
My mom had 2 metres of black swimsuit spandex in her stash, and she gave it to me.  I dreamed up a colour-blocking combo using a bright colour as the accents and back straps, and black as the main colour. If there's one thing I've learned from my last suit, light colours are not good when wet.  Especially when there's no lining underneath.  There's a reason everyone wears black suits to the pool.  But of course, I have to add a crazy splash of colour.  This is neon red.  Besides orange, this is one of my all-time favourite colours.  It is incredibly hard to photograph accurately.  This is the best shot I could get.  Just imagine that this is crazy neon bright, to the point of being hard on the eyes.  That's my kind of colour!
I cut out a straight size X, based on my bust size of 39.  I figured since my Jalie hoodie fit me so well right out of the envelope, this suit would be just as good.  Bingo!  Even though the measurements correspond with someone with hips 2" bigger than mine, this size is perfect!  It even seems to be more roomy on top, and snugger at the hips.  It's exactly what I wanted!
I found this hideous Hawaiian print on sale for 30% off, and decided to use it for my full lining.  It's very beefy.  I pinned it to my bra and then pinned the soft cups in place.
I also sewed a length of 1" elastic under the bust for extra snugness.  What I love about this pattern is that the back band is elasticized right to the side seams, and that's right where I sewed my shelf bra elastic.  So there's extra stability at the back so the elastic doesn't pull to the front.
I also decided to try the piping design.  I cut some multi-coloured spandex so that it would be striped.  It doesn't curl under like it's supposed to because I cut it in the opposite direction.  And there's no pattern for the piping.  You have to do it freehand.  I'm not sure I like it as much as I thought I would.  I really like the accent colour-blocking just the way it is.  I might not do the piping again.
And here I have the whole suit lined and assembled, and elastic serged to all the edges.
I accidentally put the lining in inside out.  I wanted the white layer to be on the inside, and the hawaiian layer to be visible.  When it gets wet, you'll see the print coming through the red layers.  Oh well.  You live and learn.  
I finished coverstitching and attached the straps, and after 5 hours and 45 minutes, voila!  We have ourselves a new swimsuit!  This suit is definitely more work than my last simple design, but it is so worth it.  An hour of that time was tracing the pattern, so I won't have to worry about that next time.  
The instructions have you measure all your elastic ahead of time.  Since I made a few swimsuits last year, I learned that for the most part, you sew the elastic without stretching anything, except for the back of the bum curve.  That's what I did for this suit.  It's almost perfect.  The only other place I would stretch a bit is  the waist curve on the back.  At the sides, it bags out a little bit, so that part could be tighter.  Other than that, it's perfect!
I absolutely LOVE this colourblocking!  It joins up from the back band to the side and swoops down to the front.  Cool!
Here you can see what I mean about the little bit of bagginess at the waist.  And here you can see my body shape pretty well.  I'm a rectangle with wide shoulders, and this suit is custom made for me!  I just love it!
I thought the high cut legs would bother me, but I actually like them!  I'll have to adjust myself when I get out of the pool, but that's about it.  I've also lost over 10 pounds since I made my last suit in August.  I can hardly believe the transformation myself!  I have only 4.6 pounds to go until I reach my goal.  And my last 10 pounds is coming off quite nicely, so I should be at my goal by the time I make suit #2!  I don't think you'll be able to see much of a difference from this.  I've lost 4 pounds in the last 2 weeks, and I think I look exactly the same.
Here is a fun shot I took especially for my mom.  This is reminiscent of when I was a gangly 12-year-old that was all arms and legs.  "HI MOM!!!"
Notice I painted my fingernails to match?  I glow like crazy in the sunlight.  :D
I can't say enough good things about this swimsuit!  I absolutely LOVE it!!!  I can't wait to wear it to the pool!  
I also have prints picked out for 3 more suits!  They will all be black with an accent print.  One will be the coloured stripe from the piping, the flames from my tankini, and a tropical blue and green print that my mom gave me.  Heck, if I'm swimming twice a week, I need all the suits I can get!


  1. Super job! Great fit and great fabric picks!

  2. Your suit turned out great! I see what you mean about the piping -- it seems extraneous yet fun!

    1. Thanks! Now that I see the pictures, I kinda like the piping. If only there was a way to guarantee that I'll sew it on straight! For my new suit I'm going to make with the tropical blue and green print, I have some lime green that I'm planning to make the piping with.

  3. Looks great! It came out so professional looking and fits you perfectly!

  4. Awesome! I love it. Fantastic job. I just started to learn swimming, and am looking for a good pattern. Sounds like you've found one!

  5. Love your swimsuit. I like the addition of the bra cups and elastic , which previous posters on PR did not add. I think the addition really adds to the flattering lines of the suit.
    You look fabulous. Whatever you are doing for weight loss is definitely working.
    Fabulous suit!

    1. Thanks! I'm doing Weight Watchers and working out 7 times a week. I know it doesn't look like it, but I'm an overeater who constantly battles to not gain weight. This time I'm getting to my goal weight, then I'm going to become a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member and keep it off!

  6. Fabulous suit - great fit and the color blocking is really nice. I like your idea to use the lovely Hawaiian fabric for lining.

  7. Kristin your fashions are totally awesome.

  8. Your suits look so great. I'm working on one right now and I appreciate the details you included on elastic and bra cups. I looked at your pictures and thought how slimming the black with color-blocking was vs the all-over diagonal stripes, then I read that you lost weight - ha! You look I just need to find a pear who looks amazing and get THAT pattern.

  9. I love your suits!!! I think I will have to try this pattern. I was wondering what type of bra cups you used. I see many different types on various websites but don't know which are best. This addition really gives your suits a fantastic fit!!

  10. Your suits are wonderful. Great idea about putting in elastic under the bust as well as cups. I'm making one of these up for myself right now and will do the same!