Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sewing Swimwear

For some reason, I got it in my head that I wanted to make a bathing suit. The idea took over and I searched for a pattern that would be suitable for this aging body. Aha! Butterick 5795 popped up and, although the photos were not that helpful, the line diagrams showed a "swimdress" that I could see myself wearing. 

                                        Image result for butterick 5795

The pattern has a lot of options: a crossover swimsuit, a tank top in two lengths with a swimsuit bottom, a skirt to wear over the bottom if desired, and a cover-up dress that looks quite good too.

I found this print at our local fabric store, the fabric is heavy duty nylon/lycra and it was pricey, especially when I discovered that I had cut the bottoms on the wrong grain and had to purchase more. In actual fact, I then found out that it was only the lining that I had cut wrong and the lining restricted the stretch of the print; once I cut lining with the correct stretch, everything was fine. 


I made the shorter version of the swim dress, the bottoms are pinned to the dress form because I couldn't get them up over the bottom of the stand without losing the feet (of the dress form that is). 

Rather than use the directions for the lining, I cut the front double and zigzagged purchased bra cups in the correct position. Then I simply sewed the lining to the edges of the front and treated them as one layer. That is why you can see the side seam pulling to the front; it is the elastic sewn underneath the bra cups that pulls in the lining which is attached at the side seam. It doesn't do this when I am wearing it.

This is the back view; it has a slight flare to it. The longer version would be more flared. When I tried this on, I actually thought it would make a very nice princess line dress in a knit with some body. I may actually try one later on, but I would raise the neckline and finish it with binding or a facing.  I think I would add sleeves to it as well. 

All in all, I am quite pleased with this swimsuit. Of course, one never really knows until you actually swim in it, because there can be surprises with swimwear. The swimdress may float up and be totally annoying; I should know in two weeks time when we have moved to Ontario and I take my first dip in Lake Kamaniskeg (I can hardly wait).

I have sewn two dresses this summer plus a top, but haven't posted any of that. We are intensely busy with selling this house, packing up and getting ready to leave this province. Thirty-one years is a long time and we are going back to our original province, now that Nick has retired. 

I plan on sewing one more blouse, then the sewing room will be packed up and the machines packed and ready for the big move. 


  1. Love your suit and the pattern! and you are so right about surprises with swimwear, so good luck! I hope you enjoy your new home and starting another chapter! take care from Iowa

  2. Lovely swim suit. Have fun swimming in it. Packing up a sewing room! I have enough problems just tidying up mine.