The Sewing Place

Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!

Francesca

Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« on: June 01, 2018, 09:56:04 AM »
Trying again.

I just made up Simplicity 8344 View E in a black cotton jersey. I love how it went together and the general look but it came up really huge across my shoulders. I had to remove 12 inches of elastic from the top to get it snug. As a result it's quite gathered, but still looks OK. I also found it far too long in the length and ended up just cutting it off at the waist. I aim to coverstitch the hem at the weekend and will have a nice cropped bardot top instead of the bodysuit... but anyway onto the costume.

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I really want to make it as a swimming costume. I am pleased enough with the fit on the TakeThePlunge swimsuit bottom half, so have cut that out again. I then traced off the top of the bardot top a size smaller than last time (and the smallest size on the packet I have) just to the high waist. My plan is to make the top part in my coloured fabric and I have cut the bottoms in black.

However I now need to add the waistband (which will be black also) and I've noticed that there is a 1.5 inch disparity of the waist width of the top, which is much larger, than the bottoms. The bottoms fit me well and I've never in my life graded a pattern to be BIGGER at the top! I always have to grade it from small to bigger at the hip.

So now I'm not sure what to do. Considering I took so much elastic out of the cotton top, maybe just going down a size isn't enough. However the fabric is much more spandex-y and tighter. But then the waist disparity!

Do you think I should cut the top as zero ease for a spandex-y swimming costume?

b15erk

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2018, 10:05:32 AM »
Fran, don't panic!  I've just lengthened the bodice on the Tea dress by loads, about 3" I think - patterns and people shapes don't often match!

I would always cut longer than you need, and if you need extra, you can add to the waistband width - maybe cut it wider to start with, and trim it down rather than have to cut out a wider one later.

You are learning so much, and your cossie will be lovely!

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

Bodgeitandscarper

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2018, 10:17:50 AM »
I've never made a swimsuit, so don't really no what I'm talking about, but my bought swimsuits are much smaller than my body, that's negative ease isn't it? 
Just measured one, and the underbust measurement is 6" smaller on the swimsuit than I am.  Dunno if that helps you?

Francesca

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2018, 10:26:13 AM »
Fran, don't panic!  I've just lengthened the bodice on the Tea dress by loads, about 3" I think - patterns and people shapes don't often match!

I would always cut longer than you need, and if you need extra, you can add to the waistband width - maybe cut it wider to start with, and trim it down rather than have to cut out a wider one later.

You are learning so much, and your cossie will be lovely!

Jessie

It's not the length I am concerned about it is the width.

The top edge of the bottoms is an inch and a half less wide than the waist line on the pattern piece for the top. So the top part is actually 6" larger in circumference around the waist than the bottoms.

I'm just not sure whether I should make the waistband smooth between those two sizes, or if I should remove that width from the top. I'm guessing remove from the top as it was too big when I made it.

b15erk

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2018, 10:30:19 AM »
Just keep trying on and tweaking - repeat as necessary!  You will get it right.  I'm not good at picturing problems, but I will cheer on from the sidelines!

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

Francesca

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2018, 10:32:33 AM »
My issue is that once cut the pattern doesn't lend itself to adjustments due to how the sleeves are added. Basically once it's cut it's cut. So do I take the risk of cutting it too small or too big...

I'm leaning towards too small, at least then it'll suck me in! Rather than too big and hanging off my shoulders.

BrendaP

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2018, 10:39:04 AM »
I think that a lot of it is down to the different fabrics as well as trying to hack two different patterns together.  Ordinary jersey has nowhere near as much as proper swimsuit fabric which has 15-20% spandex.  Also you need 20%+ negative ease in a swimsuit.

http://www.patternsforpirates.com/swim-basics/
and
https://www.seamwork.com/issues/2015/08/swimwear-basics
have info about suitable fabrics and negative ease.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Francesca

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2018, 10:48:59 AM »
Thanks for the links, that has allayed my fears that hacking the top smaller would make it far too tight...

I think I will place the front and back pieces on the fold but over the edge of the fold to remove the excess inches until it fits the same width as the bottoms waistband. That will be removing 6" out of the whole thing. I think when I measured it it was exactly my waist size as-is so that would give me 6" negative ease on the waistband, which I think is about 15% negative ease.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 10:53:06 AM by Francesca »

eclectic

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2018, 11:17:52 AM »
sounds like your going the right route ... @Francesca , I just went to look at the pattern online and when looking at the model on the left (with the ruffle) it looks really loose on her around her torso ... so looks like it may be a 'loose' fit more suited for the bodysuit not really for swimwear, which everyone mentioned needs to be negative ease ... nothing worse than everything floating in the water  :S

eclectic

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 11:34:22 AM »
just another thought .. you say spandexy fabric for the top part .. your waist is smaller than your hips and now you are reducing it so make sure your fabric will stretch enough to go over the hips for when you are pulling it up

Francesca

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2018, 11:48:37 AM »
I think it should be OK as with 15% negative ease I should still be able to shimmy into it :) I've got into spanx successfully before  :P

Sewingforfun

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2018, 08:02:34 AM »
Do you think I should cut the top as zero ease for a spandex-y swimming costume?

Short answer - no! You should cut it with negative ease!! Spandex/lycra needs to be smaller than the body to get a good fit if it is being pulled across the body.  About 10% less than body measurement is a good place to start, but there is no rule it can’t be more negative ease if it’s still comfortable. And it varies from fabric to fabric as well, with some heavier lycras needing less and softer ones more. Doubling up with a lining will reduce the stretch, too.

Four way stretch is just that - four way, so it will stretch up and down not just sideways. Depending on whether its being pulled down, you may also need to  reduce the length by 10% to get a good fit. If it’s not being pulled in all directions, you need less negative ease as it may snap back...! 

I’m also of the view that Lycra garments should fit without the elastic, and that the elastic is just there for neatness.

I think you need to toile this in a cheap lycra that is a similar weight and stretch to your fasion fabric.  Cotton jersey will not be a good comparator for swimwear fabric.  I’d measure yourself and the pattern in several places and aim to get the pattern down to -10% smaller than the body, then cut it with decent seam allowances.

Pop over to dance wear, lots of people with useful lycra advice there! Good luck!
Trying to remember sewing is for fun! Used to be  CarolC.

mammafairy

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2018, 17:05:19 PM »
Just to mention- there is a free 'sew along' for swimwear, with Burda  at the moment, even if you do not need the patterns you may get some helpful advice on it. Worth a look?

Marniesews

Re: Another swimwear attempt... advice needed!
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2018, 17:06:01 PM »
Much of the swimwear fabric I see is nylon lycra either 80/20 or 82/18. It has far more retension stretch which is what you really need for swimwear but there's a lot of cheap fabric about (anything labelled as swim fabric is always dearer) that you can use for muslins. We frequently have to do a muslin (or 2) for new styles & bust challenges so expect that.

Using corsetry mesh really helps with bust support & good support straps craftily designed to be pretty are your friend.

It's just a leotard for a different purpose so I'd agree the dance section is definitely the place to go.
Aka Jacky F in a former life...