Cottesloe Swimsuit // Sewing For Women

Hi friends!!

I'm so excited to be back with another Megan Nielsen make! The team has released 2 new patterns, absolutely perfect for summer sewing today. Psst, look for another post tomorrow! :)

I am absolutely thrilled to have had the push I needed to make my very first me-made swimsuit!! I have made quite a few for my kiddos in the past, but never took the plunge into making my own until now. I'm happy to report, it was no harder to make one for me than it was for them! *You can see some that I've made for my kids, HERE*

The Cottesloe swim pattern includes 4 views, 2 one-piece options, and 2 mix and match bikini options!

It is the PERFECT base pattern to create all sorts of looks! And of course I hacked it to make it all my own. ;)

To start with, I chose View D, which is a high-waisted bikini set with waistbands. I decided to lengthen the top, obviously, and chose to add some detail for a bit of interest. To add the ruffle, I extended the seam allowance of the bikini top waist seam 3/8" to accomodate folding under the elastic. The ruffle is simply a 1 inch strip of fabric, twice as wide as the front of the bikini top.

The bottom of the bikini is a strip of fabric, with the top edge matching the curve of the swim pattern, and extended down 2 inches from the side seams, then a straight line across at the bottom. The bikini back is lengthened in the same way, but all in one piece.

I also fully lined the suit, and actually double lined the front with the bottom corners of the second layer folded up and left open so that I could insert swim cups. To help keep the cups in place I stitched down the center of the two lining pieces before attaching them to the main fabric.

To assemble, I sandwiched the ruffle between the top and bottom pieces with right sides together. I sewed this seam with a straight stretch stitch on my machine. Next, I added a strip of elastic to the bottom edge of the front bikini top, I cut the elastic to be about an inch shorter than the width of the top. Then I serged the seam to finish it, folded the elastic under toward the top and topstitched.

After I had the entire top assembled, but no elastic attached around the arms and neck, I tried it on. There was a not so small amount of panic, because the top was way too small!!

I have gone over and over in my head why this might be, because I sewed the correct size. I think one reason is that my fabric is not overly stretchy. It does stretch to the recommended 50%, but it's pretty stressed to get there. I have other fabrics in my stash that definitely have more stretch than the one I chose.

I didn't even think to check this before I started sewing!! Rookie fail! And also, my lining fabric seems to be the same way. So factor in 3 layers of fabric that are fairly compression type fabrics, well it was pretty small.

I will however, be choosing a size or two up, especially in the width, with my next version of this pattern, because I think it does tend to run snug. I say this because I ended up putting side panel pieces in save the suit, and the panels added an additional 3 inches to the width! Hallelujah it was saved! Haha.

Huge props to my friend Teri for this idea, because I was so bummed that I couldn't even think how to try to save it, lol.

Let's talk about the bottoms now, shall we!?

I sewed the bottoms first, and I'm happy I did, because they were a 100% perfect fit at the beginning! I used a mesh lining for the bottoms, rather than the solid swim lining that I used for the top and they just feel more relaxed. Lining makes a difference, friends!

I did slightly scoop out the back legs, based on a rtw pair of bottoms that I have and love the fit of. I also chose not to add the waist band, and instead just added 1/4" elastic to the top in the exact same method as around the legs.

In the end, I'm so happy with how MY first swim suit turned out! I'm currently on vacation and enjoying every bit of the time I get to spend putting it to work! :)

You can find the Cottesloe swimsuit pattern HERE!

*Disclosure: A copy of the pattern was provided to me at no-charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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