Sewing Vintage Swim Wear by Tracy McElfresh

I have to warn you making swim wear is addictive. It’s the only clothing that you can sew that will truly save money because it doesn’t take much fabric to make a swim suit. It does, however, take a lot of thread and you should consider swim elastic which really can also be cotton elastic.

Today’s post is all about sewing tips for sewing swim wear. The actual sewing of swim wear is quite simple but the sizing can be a tricky endeavor.

I chose Kwik Sew Pattern #153. I believe it is an early 1960s pattern. My fist problem was that I am a 10 in my bust and a 12 in my bottom. It’s really hard to figure out down-sizing and the math when you are working with such stretchy fabric. Heck, it’s just hard when you have the correct size. I knew what I was getting myself into and just went with it anyways.

I resized the suit by rubber banding two ink pens and tracing around the pattern on tissue paper.

Now here is where all the thread comes in. Each piece gets sewn to another tricot (lining) piece, that’s then called underling.

Tips for underling~ pin the pieces on a flat table almost every inch, use a walking foot if you have one and if you use a basting stitch you may hear some popping on your first fitting. No worries, you will be sewing all the pieces together 2 more times. No pop opens or peek-a-boos here! I used red lining left over from last years suit.

Another great tip is to try it on and mark the front and back if they look the same before you put the elastic in. I forgot to do this and got really mixed up.  I also had the age old problem of the back side of the bottoms being way lower than the front center bottoms and had to rip not just one row of stitches but two to get the elastic out.

After I made my suit I really didn’t like how it looked. Don’t judge something you made until it’s on someone. It looks hot on for sure!

This suit cost me $7.46 total!

The professional photo was taken by Bruce Soifer and modeling is the beautiful Philomina Majesta Afua Darko.

Behind the scenes~

Look for my Mermaid Tail class has been listed at Rosewood along with the basics and pattern reading and layout! Call 937-296-0294 to preregister.

 

New!! Rosewood’s Makers Mart is looking for venders. If you have arts and crafts supplies you would like to sell call Rosewood to sign up.

Thank you for reading!

Dream it. Sew it!

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Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh

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