Finished (and tried and tested!): Bombshell Swimsuit

16 Jul

Finally, some photos of my finished Bombshell!

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

I LOVE this swimsuit, and I love this pattern!

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

Ouch, sunburnt legs!

I really enjoyed sewing this, and the pattern and instructions were really easy to follow. Given that this is only the second item of clothing I’ve sewn, and I’ve never sewn with stretch fabric before, I was really please at how quickly and easily it came together. I also really love the shape and the cut of the swimsuit, and the extra coverage it provides, particularly as the places that I seem to catch the sun most on holiday are all around the edges of my bikini bottoms – this covered all those bits up nicely. And I just think it looks great!

My measurements put me spot on the size 10 of the pattern. I made a toile of the lining to check fit, and also see if I needed to shorten the body at all. I decided to shorten it by about half an inch, just at one of the shorten/lengthen lines. I didn’t bother shortening the outer layers at all as I figured I’d just end up with slightly more gathering instead!

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

I got everything I needed for the swimsuit in Fabricland in Reading. I think the fabric cost me about £4.99/m, lining £5.99, and swimsuit elastic for a mere 8p/m! I think that, in all, the swimsuit probably cost me about £20 to make. And given the I couldn’t get. Decent bikini for that price when I was looking, I’d say that’s a bit of a bargain!

The bikini cups – man those things caused me problems! I bought some when I bought my fabric – it was a little hard to tell in the shop what size I needed, but got some that looked about right. But the shape of them was just…weird. They were way too shaped and pointy, and there was basically no way that they were going to fit me. I had a look in all the other local shops I could, but couldn’t find any more anywhere (they all had multiples types of shoulder pads, but no bra pads!). So I decided to try and get a bikini top from a charity shop and dissect that. That wasn’t easy either – most charity shops only seem to sell bikinis if they are new and haven’t been worn, which means there are very few available! Finally managed to get myself one for £3, which I proceeded to chop up.

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Seriously, what on earth is the shape of those cups all about?!

These ones were much better. Had almost as many issues pinning them in place (carefully!), and I then couldn’t get my fabric to ‘smoosh’ flat so that it moved with the cup. I eventually gave up/got it as good as I could, and sewed them in. They look fine, but I discovered when I wore it that I’ve actually sewn them in a bit low. I also think I could do with a bit more support in there. Unfortunately, one end of the gathering thread snapped, after I’d finished the edge and put the elastic in. I didn’t have the time (or the inclination) to take the elastic out again so that I could re-do the gathering, so I tied it off and hid it with the bust tab, and just hoped it held up! I think I’m going to completely re-do the bust when I get time. Looking at the photos, I realise that it looks fine, but I just wasn’t overly happy with how it felt when I was wearing it.

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

I decided to encase the crotch seam on the swimsuit, which Heather Lou gave some instructions during the sewalong on how to do if you wanted to. I wasn’t bothered about how it would look inside, but I knew it would probably annoy me when I was wearing it. I couldn’t quite figure out the instructions initially, but I got my head round it in the end. It looked something like this when it was sandwiched together before I sewed the crotch seam.

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit construction

Front piece – lining side up, back piece – outside side up, front crotch – right side down.

The only slight change I made from the pattern instructions was to add a bit more stretch into the elastic at various points. I originally did one of the leg holes with the 70% suggested (after a section with no stretch), but when I tried it on, but buttocks just did not feel ‘cupped with love’ as promised! So for the other leg, I took an extra 4cm of the elastic once I’d marked 70%, and that felt much better, so I ripped the first one out and re-did that the same. I also realised that I’d topsitched the first one when I shouldnt’ have, as it’s done all in one go later, so I corrected that as well. I did add stretch to the elastic around the top – about 80%, as suggested, although it did stretch slightly more as I was sewing it. I kind of wish I’d put a bit more in, especially under the arms, as it felt a little loose. Having said that, I didn’t notice so much when I was actually wearing it on holiday, so perhaps it was just me being overly pedantic when I was making it!

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

The straps on my swimsuit have also stretched a bit as I’ve worn it, but I think that’s due to my fabric. Unusually (I think), my swimsuit fabric is actually thinner than my lining fabric. I might re-do the straps with lining as well, to make them a bit more resilient.

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

This was going to be a dive, but I bailed at the last minute and it turned into a slightly painful shin and boob-flop.

True to the name of the boat, we did see some dolphins on the trip, swimming along the bows. Unfortunately, my camera chose that moment to completely mist up on the inside of the lens, so all of my photos of them are just a big blur :(

I really put the swimsuit through its paces on holiday – swimming in the pool, the sea, jumping off boats, snorkelling, floating round in a giant rubber ring…and I’m pleased to say it held up really well! And Marcus did a wonderful job of capturing all the escapades on camera. Incidentally, I love having a waterproof camera!

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

The suit is an absolutely perfect fit, although it’s not one to put on in a hurry/when your skin is already damp/you have slightly burnt patches around the bum area – I did find myself having to wriggle into it rather, I don’t think my seams have much stretch in them, and the gathering makes it a bit hard to pull on from the outside! Fits like a glove once it’s on though!

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

I may look slightly like a drowned rat, but the swimsuit is still holding up! And yes there were water slides on the boat we went on.

I am also really pleased with my overlocker, which I used to do most of the seams on the swimsuit – it works beautifully, and I can see myself getting a lot of use out of it. When doing the centre and side seams on the back pieces, you end up with one overlocked seam on top of another one. When I did the centre one, I realised I hadn’t lined it up close enough when doing the second one, and as a result, some of the first one was visible in the seam on the outside. I fixed this by just going over the seam again, a bit closer. It happened a bit on the side seams as well, but I didn’t bother going over again – I didn’t want the seams to get too chunky, but they’re also pretty much hidden by the gathering on the outside.

As well as the swim suit, I used the overlocker to do a rolled hem on the edge of the chiffon I’d bought to make into a sarong. It was really easy to set up to do the rolled hem – about 4 hours before we needed to leave, I sat down to try and figure out how to work it, less than half an hour later it was all finished! I used a drop of seam sealant on the corners to stop the edges coming undone. This held up well, and provided me with a little protection from the Greek sun!

Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit

And now unfortunately I am back home, and back at work, and despite the fact that it is (unusually) hot and sunny here at the moment, our office is so highly air conditioned that I sit there with goosebumps! Oh to be back on the beach again! Luckily I have another excuse to wear my swimsuit this weekend, and if the sun decides to hang around for a while (fingers crossed!), it will see a good few outings more this summer.

As an aside, I even managed to have matching toe nails and swimsuit this holiday! Quite by chance actually, my sister, who is a beauty therapist, did these gel nails for me a few weeks before we went away, before I’d even bought my fabric! A month on, and they’re still looking great! If any of you happen to live down in the Christchurch/Lymington/Bournemouth area, and want any waxing, manicures, pedicures etc doing, do look her up at Pure Mobile Beauty Therapy – she’s just handed in her notice for her part time job to do this full time, and I’m a little bit proud of her :)

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And if you need any more convincing that you want to sew a Bombshell, you can see all the other beautiful Bombshells which have been created over on the Flickr group.

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16 Responses to “Finished (and tried and tested!): Bombshell Swimsuit”

  1. tania@sewitanyway July 16, 2013 at 23:13 #

    This is fab, Kelly! And the Bombshell seems to be so flattering on everyone that has blogged it so far…! I might just have to add it to my wish list ;)

    • Kelly July 17, 2013 at 23:44 #

      Do it! You know you want to :)

  2. ClaireE July 17, 2013 at 12:47 #

    Gorgeous! I’m really starting to like this design. It looks like you had fun!

    • Kelly July 17, 2013 at 23:46 #

      Thanks! It is a really lovely pattern. I’d probably not have thought of going for something that style (until I saw so many lovely versions) but I really like the way it looks. Holiday was great fun, just always a shame when you have to come home!

  3. Heather Lou July 18, 2013 at 01:33 #

    It looks gorgeous on you and I am still flabbergasted that it’s only your second item of clothing. AWE-MAZE-ING!

    • Kelly July 18, 2013 at 21:47 #

      Thanks Heather Lou! I really love how it’s turned out :)

  4. Kim July 21, 2013 at 20:36 #

    Wow! Your suit looks perfect, and I love all your action photos. Great job!

    • Kelly July 21, 2013 at 23:09 #

      Thanks Kim! Well, I had to put it through its paces ;)

  5. Gjeometry July 21, 2013 at 22:37 #

    Gorgeous, it looks just terrific on you! And, the swimming shots are proof that it works in the water!! Great job I can’t believe this is only the second item of clothing you’ve sewn!! Kitty is also duly impressed. :)

    • Kelly July 21, 2013 at 23:13 #

      Thanks Catja! Yes, even my belly flop into the ocean didn’t dislodge it! I’m really pleased with how well it held up. And delighted with Kitty’s appreciation – I feel like you should have a little logo for Kitty’s seal of approval!

      • Gjeometry July 22, 2013 at 00:27 #

        OMG that is a fantastic idea! ‘Stamped Kitty Approved’. Wheels are in motion for a graphic…

        • Kelly July 22, 2013 at 08:26 #

          I look forward to seeing it!

  6. Karen Schulz August 13, 2013 at 03:42 #

    That is amazing, I would never have the courage to sew swimming togs. I don’t sew stretch well. Should take a class. You look stunning in the togs. Well done.

    • Kelly August 15, 2013 at 08:00 #

      Thanks Karen! You should give it a go, it’s really not that scary, and this was such a clear and easy pattern to follow. Although it was helped by the fact that I had a new overlocker, which made things easier (and me more confident that my stitching would hold up!). Yeah, take a class, or just pick something you like and give it a go- what’s the worst that could happen? :)

  7. Heather Feather August 28, 2013 at 21:46 #

    It’s a gorgeous swimsuit! I love that pattern, and it looks so good on you!
    I always have trouble with the weird swim cups from the sewing store! They have the weirdest shape. I’ve started using old bras, and the work great even if they are slower to dry.

    • Kelly August 30, 2013 at 13:51 #

      Thanks Heather! I’ve got an old bra which is a bit past it, I think I’m gong to try putting that in in place of the cups I’ve got in there at the moment.

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