Tag Archives: overlocker

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.


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 :)


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.


Bombshell progress, and other news!

30 Jun

I spent most of this week desperate to have some sewing time, and finally had some time yesterday. I spent most of the day working on my Bombshell Swimsuit, and it’s so nearly finished! In a moment of being very organised, I printed out the instructions, as well as all of Heather Lou’s blog posts from the sewalong, and put them all in a folder so that I would easily flick through it as I worked, rather than dropping loose sheets of paper everywhere!


I got up to the end of part 5 of the sewalong – the costume is basically all constructed, I just need to sew all the elastic in, and do the straps. And it is looking gooooood! I can’t wait to get it finished and be able to wear it! I’ll write a post on it with more details (and pictures!) once it’s finished, but here’s how it’s looking so far.

IMG_0119 IMG_0120

One of the things that made my bombshell creation is much easier, was the fact that I have a new toy :) I am now the proud owner of a beautiful overlocker!


I’d always liked the idea of having an overlocker, but they were way too expensive to even consider. But last week at my sewing class, our teacher mentioned that Lidl were going to have a Singer one on offer this week, for £150. It’s still a lot, but when you consider that this same model sells everywhere else for at least £240, it was definitely a good deal! I spent a while umming and ahhing, but once I decided to make the bombshell, it kind of sealed the deal. I went to Lidl on the way to work on Monday and got my new toy, and I’m glad I went early – by all accounts, most stores in the country had sold out by about lunchtime.

I spent a little while this week trying to understand it and get it working – I need to spend a lot longer getting to know it properly, but I really just wanted to get it working to the extent that I could use it for the swimsuit. And boy did it make things easier! Plus, check out those seams!


Ok, one is a little messy, because I didn’t line it up properly first time around, and had to go over it again, but they still look great!

I have a thank you in order this week as well – the lovely Fiona of Diary of a Chainstitcher nominated me for a Liebster Blogging award.


In  nutshell, the Liebster blogging award is given by bloggers to other bloggers, with under 200 followers, to help promote new bloggers, and spread appreciation and recognition in the blogging world.  So thank you very much Fiona for nominating me – it’s so nice to know that people are actually reading (and enjoying!) my blog!

I now need to answer Fiona’s 11 questions for me, give you 11 random facts about myself, nominate some other bloggers, and devise my questions for them to answer.

Right, here goes!

1. What is your favourite film of all time and why?

Hmmm, I used to always say The Shawshank Redemption, but I’ve seen so many films in the last couple of years that I genuinely don’t know any more!

2. What kind of holidays do you like? Beach, city break, raving in Ibiza?!

I think I am yet to find a holiday I didn’t like! I spent all my childhood years camping every summer and my teenage years lying on a beach in Greece (and reading 10 books in a fortnight!), both of which I loved. But in the last couple of years, my holidays have been much more active – skiing, climbing, city breaks and a combination of everything, including mountain biking and canoeing, in the Czech Republic. I’ve loved those holidays as well, although have generally come home feeling more exhausted than when I went! I’m going on my first beach holiday in years next week, and Marcus’ first ever (he doesn’t really understand the concept!) and am looking forward to just relaxing a bit!

3. I spend a lot of time commuting, if you had a spare hour on the train what would you do?

I would be reading! I hate the fact that I now have to commute by car – I always find a train journey is guilt free reading time!

4. What is the best sewing book you have read?

I don’t really own any sewing books, but I have one, which my parents gave me for Christmas – its a Readers’ Digest complete guide to sewing, and is the first Christmas present my dad gave my mum, about 35 years ago. In her words, she hoped that I’d get more use out of it than she did (she never really sewed). It’s got loads of great information in and is a brilliant reference book.


5. Knits or wovens?

I’ve only really sewn with (and planned things to sew) with wovens so far, but I’ve realised that most of the dresses I wear are knits, so I’m definitely going to have to venture into them soon!

6. What is your favourite blog?

There are a lot of great blogs that have really inspired me, but if I had to pick one, it would be Lladybird, for three reasons: her two versions of Simplicity 1803 were one of the key factors in me picking that pattern for my first dress; I saw her bombshell swimsuit and thought ‘I have GOT to make me one of those!’; I find her style of writing brilliant, and hilarious.

7. What other crafts do you do and which is your favourite?

I’m really into baking, both cakes and breads, which I’ve been experimenting with a lot more recently. Although that’s taking a bit of a backseat at the moment, and my previous baking time is now sewing time. I also took up knitting a while ago, although I feel that is a bit more of a winter hobby! Photography is the other thing, although my decent camera is broken at the moment, I really must get that fixed! Right now, sewing is definitely my favourite!

8. What is your karaoke song?

I’ve only done karaoke once in my life, and that was at my sister’s birthday party when I was abut 14, and was with a group of friends! Maybe I’ll give it a go one day! I do like a good singalong in the car though – Billy Joel and Amy Macdonald feature highly!.

9. Sweet or savoury?

I definitely have a sweet tooth, but am not eating sugar at the moment, so…

10. What is your favourite accessory?

I have 2 wide elastic belts which I bought from the vintage section of TopShop years ago which just finish off outfits nicely, particularly sweater dresses. They’re probably some of the only non-mainstream accessories that I have, and I love them!


It’s not an amazingly clear photo, but I love the buckle on this one!

11. If I gave you £50 to spend on fabrics, patterns or craft supplies what would you make from it?

I’d probably buy a few Indie patterns to try out, using your Indie patterns post for inspiration! And there would have to be another trip to Walthamstow to pick up some knit fabrics, so that I could give those a go!

11 random facts:

    1. I make a mean mojito
    2. I once spent 4 weeks living on a Navy ship
    3. I met my boyfriend while dressed as Marble Arch
    4. I once swam in Loch Ness at 6am; cold is an understatement!
    5. I love crime fiction, and like having crime TV shows on in the background when I sew
    6. I practice Capoeira (a Brazilian martial art)
    7. There are at least 8 musical instruments in our flat
    8. None of them get played enough
    9. I think the soundtrack to Cats sounds better in German than English
    10. The first thing I ever sewed was a patchwork quilt, for a teacher who was going on maternity leave, when I was 10
    11. When I’m not sewing (and the weather is nice), I like to spend my free time doing this


The bloggers that I’m going to nominate for the award (based on less than 200 followers on bloglovin’) are:

  1. Marion of Stitch ‘n’ knit – Marion was one of the people who first inspired me to start sewing and is very talented at all sorts of crafty things.
  2. Claire of I want to be a turtle – a fellow Oxford sewist whose blog I’ve recently discovered.
  3. Jen and Elena of Tea for Two – they’ve got some really inspiring blog posts and a few things I want to try!
  4. The amazing adventures of Taracat – I’m so jealous of her new sewing space!
  5. Sewinggoddess – some great outfits (and costumes!) on her blog

And my questions for them all are as follows:

  1. Who or what inspired you to start sewing?
  2. What’s your favourite non-sewn thing you’ve made?
  3. What’s your favourite thing to do with a free weekend?
  4. What’s the next sewing project you’ve got planned?
  5. If someone you know was about to start sewing, what would be your best piece of advice for them?
  6. And what pattern would you recommend  for them to start them off?
  7. Cheese or chocolate?
  8. What are 5 of your favourite sewing blogs?
  9. Where do you prefer to get sewing tips from – blogs, books, magazines, tutorials?
  10. Where’s your favourite place for fabric shopping online?
  11. And in real life?

And a big thank you to all of you who have been reading and commenting on my blog – I love hearing your thoughts!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter


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