I know. I know. I was supposed to work on finishing up my Eve Dress and my Outfit Along outfit, but oooooh! Shiny things. I am a magpie.
I've actually been hording my swimsuit fabric for approximately four or five summers now with the intention of making a suit. I've also been amassing swimsuit patterns like nobody's business. I don't really know what's been holding me back. I did make a swimsuit years ago without so much as batting an eye. It was a Kwik Sew pattern. I remember buying the pattern and fabric and then sewing it up. No fear, no hesitation, just doing it.
I've come to the conclusion that my hesitation was based on a fear of sorts, and that fear was founded on the basis of nothing. I blame the internet. While it has great resources that are very useful, it also contributes to hesitation and worry with the deluge of warnings, "Don't do this, don't do that, swimsuits are scary..." on and on. Before the dawn of the internet, we saw a pattern we liked, we bought the fabric and we sewed it up.
Anyway, I digress. Let me start again. So I made a swimsuit. Helping get me to the starting point on my suit was listening to the Love to Sew Podcast about sewing swimwear which served as a good pep talk and that the Curvy Sewing Collective's Challenge for the #curvyyearofsewing for July and August is, of course, swimwear and bodysuits and I do love a challenge. I was frustrated with the RTW suits I owned already and I loathe swimsuit shopping with all my being. It was definitely time to make my own. My first choice was the Mama Roxy from Made for Mermaids and it's everything I could want in a swimsuit. Good coverage and cute and modern but at the same time feels just a bit retro with the wide straps.
First off, let's talk about fit. This suit? It fits. Better than any RTW suit I've owned in the span of forever. It wasn't without some effort mind you. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I altered the swim bottoms to get a good fit. Taking a bit in on the side seams, putting the elastic in. Nope. Take the elastic out. Take a bit more in. Put the elastic back in. Put the elastic in the waist. Nope. Take the elastic out. Shave a bit off the back that was coming up far higher than any high waisted short should ever come. Put the elastic back in. Crap. Still not enough. Take the elastic out. Take out more height. Put the elastic back in. Rinse and repeat. A lot of my time spent could have been avoided had I not been so concerned about not over fitting the first time around, but I chose to do it in baby steps, so my seam ripper and I ended up with a lot of time together. They're still not perfect, but you know what? They are darn well close. I can make some little adjustments on the next pair and they'll be even better for me.
Next lets talk about the practical applications of this suit. I spent a good hour in the pool with Baby Boy testing it out. Playing, swimming laps, doing a bit of a work out (the boys are slave drivers! Baby Boy was my "coach", Little Man sat on the deck, note pad in hand and was my "ref" keeping track of my form and performance in the pool). The suit held up just fine through it's paces. No shifting about. No straps slipping off my shoulders. No bottoms falling off when I jumped. (Don't laugh. That happened with a RTW pair about two weeks ago. Jumped in the pool and the bottoms didn't come with me. Thank the good Lord it was in the privacy of my own back yard!!!)
Lastly, let's talk about body positivity for just a moment. It took a huge leap of faith to put pictures up online of myself in a swimsuit. You may have seen them already - I posted on Instagram and a couple of sewing groups I'm in on Facebook. I had some serious reservations about doing so, remembering that "Cake with Cashmerette" all came about after she posted something about swimwear on her Instagram account. I know there is nastiness out there and I'm not sure I could be so open minded about something like that as Jenny is. At times I've not got the thickest of skin when it comes to hurtful comments. But then I thought about it some more and thought I'm damn proud of my swimsuit. I feel like a million bucks wearing it, and darn it all, if you don't like it scroll past. Maybe it helps someone else out there to feel good about themselves no matter what size they're wearing. Maybe we don't need to just post bathing suit selfies if we're a size six. The whole reason I was finally inspired to start making my suit was that all over my Facebook and Instagram feed photos of ladies looking fabulous in their hand made suits were popping up every where. Slim ladies, curvy ladies, young ladies, older ladies. What resonated most was they all looked great and they all looked happy and confident in their suits. After posting I couldn't believe the comments and love my photos got. It was to the point of overwhelming! Just shy of 1000 people took time to either click a button or comment, each one of them positive and supportive. So a huge thank you to all those out there who helped boost my confidence and make me feel great!!
I'll hopefully be back next week with a finished Outfit Along project to tell you about. No promises - I've just finally assemble the pattern pieces for my Lander Shorts and I've still got quite a bit of knitting left to do on my Waters Tee - but I'm going to do my best to get it done! Right now though, I'm going to go put on my awesome new swimsuit and jump in the pool!