I’m finally done with my bombshell swimsuit. I simply adore the retro influenced style and started it just after Heather of Closet Case Files released the pattern, but my hip injury kept me away from the sewing machine for so long that I’ve just now finished it up. Although summer is waning elsewhere, nice weather is just about to start here in San Francisco. Just about the only time I’m ever found in a swimsuit is when sitting in a hot-tub, (I don’t like swimming and I’m too pale to tan), but this adorable suit might change that!
I followed Heather’s excellent sew-along. This being the first swimsuit I’ve made, I pretty much followed her instructions to the letter. I did grade between sizes, going up one size for the bottom, since I’m a pear. Tasia of Sewaholic posted a nice post about how to do the same, so I won’t reiterate.
I used the stretch zig-zag on my sewing machine for all of the stitching. I really like how the stitch handled the seams (very sturdy but still stretchy), even if it’s not the prettiest finish, but the few places where the edges are finished by a piece of elastic (e.g. the cups and the bottom front of the suit), it stabilized the fabric/elastic a little too much so it’s permanently a little stretched out. I’ll experiment with something different next time.
I did opt to add a cup to the inside of the swimsuit top. The first set of cups I bought looked awful since they had a seam across the center that was very, very visible inside the swimsuit. I went back to buy a different pair, but the nicer cups were $20, which seemed too expensive. So, I went to the thrift shop next door and bought a swim top in a nice shape with nice cups for $4, cut it apart, and used those cups to great success.
I barely tacked the cups into the bust between the fabric and lining but they stay in place pretty well. Unfortunately, the outline of the cups is quite visible from the front of the suit, given the light color and shine of my fashion fabric and the fairly thin lining. Next time I’ll add another layer of lining for sure.
When I first put on the finished swimsuit, I was pretty upset. It brought out all sorts of body image issues (especially the thought of posting photos of it on the internet), a feeling that many women have shared. I felt like a cross between Miss Piggy in The Great Muppet Caper (something about being a lot of shiny pink that’s not the best color for my skin and the swimsuit bringing out all sorts of curves in my body, including places whose ideals are not to be curvy) and Wesley Snipes in Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (I have strong shoulders and felt that they looked humongous in this style of swimsuit top). However, stepping back, remembering the other beautiful women in beautiful bombshells of all shapes and proportions has brought my head back into a better space. I truly believe that all women are beautiful and all shapes hold beauty, but it’s a belief that I can easily apply to everyone but myself.
Wearing my hair down helps to soften the shoulder issue. Next time, I’ll avoid a fabric the same color as my skin tone. I just couldn’t help myself. It’s so adorably pink!