Wednesday, June 19, 2019

My First Cottesloe Swimsuit


Not only did I make myself a swimsuit from Megan Nielsen's new Cottesloe pattern, I also happened to conquer my fear of knits and make my very first swimsuit! I've had a swimsuit on my make list for over a year now and even got all the fabric and notions to get going. I thought I knew which pattern I'd make too, but of course, nothing happened after that and this project fell to the wayside. Enter the perfect combination: the release of this pattern + finding this beautiful fabric.


Swim fabric c/o the Fabric Fairy

It really was perfect timing as this was also my first opportunity to work with the Fabric Fairy. I've looked through their site plenty of times and have mentally logged it as the perfect place for knits, especially activewear and swim, but had not yet made a purchase. I fell in love the second I saw this large scale floral print and knew I had to have it. In exchange for supplies, this make finally came to be and I couldn't be happier with the final result. The fabric was really easy to sew with and completely opaque even when I tried to stretch it out a ton. The print never looked tired and I had fun finding the perfect pattern placement to showcase all the gorgeous flowers and colors. I would definitely make a purchase from Fabric Fairy for future makes and am already dreaming up what else I can make.


The Cottesloe pattern may be the first and only swimsuit pattern I ever purchase for myself. The endless options add so much flexibility and I already have so many different versions in my head. I decided to make Version A with the low back and initially opted to make it without the ties (more on that below). The instructions are pretty thorough for someone not as comfortable with knits and I was giddy after completing each step. I would highly recommend this pattern to first-time swimsuit makers!


Details: 
  • I graded out to my hips which are always a few sizes larger than my bust/hip.
  • I added swim cups (also from the Fabric Fairy) to the shelf bra. I know this is an option for Version A only, but I plan to always add swim cups for personal preference. 
  • I used a serger (for the seams) and a zigzag stitch (topstitching and everything else). If you don't have a serger, this would totally work with only a sewing machine and the instructions reflect that.


I researched everywhere before I started this make, because I wanted to learn more about how to make the one piece low back version with no ties. It wasn't until I actually started reading the instructions that I realized I'd been lusting after Version A since the ties are optional. I'd been thinking it was a hacked Version B, but that was not the case. I made it at first without the ties and tried it on only to find that I didn't love the lack of support. Even though I'd adjusted the neckline elastic pretty tightly to stop the straps from falling off, I still felt like I would flash someone at any moment. I'm sure I need to adjust the pattern a bit to fit my body, but I decided to fix that problem by adding the ties after all. The ties weren't something I initially wanted, but I actually really love the detail it adds to this swimsuit.


Tips for those new to swimwear like me:
  • Practice if you can! Prior to this, I made 3 leotards for my daughter which helped me become more comfortable with super strechy fabric.
  • Fabric quality makes a difference! This floral fabric is heftier than some others in my stash which made it very easy to work with. Thicker = less slippery.
  • Use the right tools. A walking foot and stretch needle will make the process easier.
  • Pay attention to where you sew the elastic. The instructions spell this out very clearly which I found invalueable, but it's worth repeating since this was them problem I had with my first leotards. Sew the elastic to the wrong side in the CENTER first. Flip over and sew on side closest to the FOLDED EDGE.


Honestly, this project was significantly simpler than I originally thought it'd be. It was completed within a day's worth of sewing and I received compliments the second I stepped out wearing it. I'm not sure if it's the print or the pattern, but the combo of the two definitely make this swimsuit unique and unlike anything I've ever seen before. I can't wait to make more versions of this pattern!
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1 comment:

  1. It's gorgeous! Congratulations on your first (probably of many) swimsuit triumph!

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