Tag Archives: swimsuit

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.


My bombshell is ready to go, and a lesson in measuring

23 Jun

As I mentioned in my last post, my next project to make is the bombshell swimsuit, hopefully in time for my holiday, which is 2 weeks today! So I took a trip to Fabricland in Reading yesterday to pick up some suitable swimsuit fabric. I was originally aiming for something along the lines of polka dots – I didn’t want anything with more than just a simple pattern. They did have some red polka dots, although the dots were smaller than I ideally wanted.  But I also found this lovely rose print spotty red one, and decided that was the one! IMG_0116I managed to get everything I needed for the swimsuit – lining fabric and swimsuit elastic, which I actually managed to get in the 1/4 inch rubber variety that Hethar Lou suggests. I also bought this lovely colourful chiffon fabric, with I’m going to make into a sarong for the holiday.


All ready to be made into something spectacular (I hope!)

I also learnt a lesson yesterday about measuring. When I looked at the size chart for the bombshell pattern, I saw that my measurements put me exactly halfway between the 10 and the 12. I saw advice that Heather Lou had given someone else on her blog, to go for the bigger of the two sizes, if this is the case. So I spent Friday evening carefully tracing out each of my pattern pieces in a size 12. In order to make sure nothing moved, I taped each of the printed, stuck together pattern pieces to our dining table (really now it’s just my sewing table), and taped greaseproof paper on top. IMG_0114Yesterday, I then decided to check my measurements again. I knew I’d lost an inch off my waist since I first took my measurements at my sewing class, which I had taken into account, but I found out yesterday that I’ve also lost an inch off my bust and my hips since those measurements were taken.  This puts me spot on the size 10 pattern measurements. That would also explain why my dress that I’ve just finished is slightly looser on the top half than I’d like. Why I didn’t think to remeasure myself before I traced all the pattern pieces I don’t know.  The 30 seconds it would have taken would have saved me from now having to spend this morning doing all my sticking down again, and retracing bits of all my pattern pieces. Grrr. But on the plus side, at least I hadn’t yet cut out the pattern pieces, let alone the fabric. And it’s taught me a lesson! I knew I’d lost some weight (due to my diet at the moment of not eating any sugar; I’m really not a dieter, and this is largely for health reasons, but losing a bit of weight is an added bonus. Also, it’s really not been as hard as I was expecting, given I have a massive sweet tooth.) and so it was just daft not to remeasure myself! After I’ve retraced the pattern, I hope that I can actually get on to cutting out my fabric today. And I’ll have something to work on at my sewing class on Tuesday now!

In other news, the lovely Fiona of Diary of a Chainstitcher has nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award! Thank you Fiona, it’s so nice to know that people are actually reading (and enjoying!) my blog. So there’ll be a post on that coming shortly, just as soon as I’ve come up with answers to her questions!

For now, my bombshell awaits! Happy sewing!

Post project blues, and my sewing to-do list

21 Jun

So, I finished my first dress, which was incredibly exciting, but now I’m suffering from a bit of post-project blues [edit: I started writing this post on Wednesday, when this was very much the case, but now I have decided on a new exciting project, the blues have abated :)]. It tends to happen – I get really caught up in the process of something, whether it be making something, or researching something to buy, and throw myself into completely, but then once the project is completed, or I’ve actually received the thing I bought, the excitement wears of. I guess it’s the thrill of the chase.

And I’m feeling a bit like that now I’ve finished my dress. I went along to my sewing course On Tuesday (wearing the dress of course!) with a couple of things to work on. One of them was the Simplicity 2415 disaster top. I worked on that a bit, but I really think the fabric is a bit too stiff for the style of the top, and it wasn’t really working out. I’d also taken along a pattern which I’d cut out, with the plan of cutting out the fabric for it at class – there are big tables there which makes it so much easier than trying to do it on our little table at home. But I got my pattern out to cut it and realised I’d picked up the wrong envelope! I’d taken along the pattern for the dress I’d just made, not the one I wanted to start making :( booo!

That kind of threw me a little bit, and I didn’t have anything else to get on with – for the first time, I found myself wishing for the end of the class, rather than being alarmed that it was going so quickly.

So I thought I’d do something that I’d been meaning to do for a while, and compile a list of projects that I want to complete – to give me something to go to when I’ve finished one project and need something new to get started on, and also so I remember which fabrics I was going to use for each pattern. I’m sure I’ll add to this list (in fact, I know I will), I already have some other ideas that I want to put into action, but I decided to only try and list items for which I have both the pattern and the fabric already lined up.

So, in no particular order…

Simplicity 3673 (view C), inspired by Molly’s green one, in the teal fabric I bought at Walthamstow Market

simplicity 3673 IMG_0019

Simplicity 1913 (free with last month’s Sew magazine), with this flower print fabric from my freecycle stash. I’m thinking of a more casual version, similar to the one they had on the cover.

simplicity 1913 IMG_0111

Simplicity 2444, inspired by Fiona’s lovely version, probably with this floral print from my Walthamstow haul. I’m really glad I came across hers because based on the pattern envelope, I probably wouldn’t have given the pattern a second glance.

simplicity 2444 IMG_0017

But I think I have found my winning next project…

I saw a couple of versions of this (such as Lauren’s and Katie’s), and completely fell in love.

The Bombshell swimsuit, by Heather Lou at Closet Case Files. Now, I have never had any desire to sew a swimsuit (I feel slightly odd saying that when I’ve always called it a swimming costume, but they sound like completely different things and let’s face it, swimsuit just sounds classier! Americanisms are slowly creeping into my language…)before, I’ve only ever sewn one item of clothing, and I rarely go swimming. But then yesterday, I booked a beach holiday! First beach holiday in a good few years (and Marcus’ first ever, he doesn’t really understand the concept) and I decided that if I was ever going to sew this swimsuit, now is the time! I have 15 days before I go on holiday, I have no swimsuit fabric (trip to Fabricland in Reading in order on Saturday I think!), and I have no idea whether it is even vaguely achievable for me, but I like a challenge, particularly a challenge with a deadline! It also helps that Heather Lou is doing a brilliant Sewalong for the Bombshell, and I may end up being a week behind, but, reading through her posts so far, the instructions are so clear that it’s really encouraged me to give it a go! I spent last night cutting and piecing together all the pattern sheets (harder than it should be I’m sure!), tomorrow I will go on a swimsuit fabric hunt (I’m thinking maybe some large red polka dot), and then we shall see what happens!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter


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