Until recently, I had put sewing swimwear in the too hard category. Right up there with sewing bras or shoes. Turns out they are actually surprisingly simple and one of the most rewarding things to sew. The whole way through this whole project I kept saying to myself “I’m making a bikini. I’m actually sewing togs here. Togs! I’m. Making. Togs!”
I was offered a Soma Swimsuit pattern by Katie at Papercut Patterns (seriously guys, Katie is awesome!), but when she also offered me a browse of her fabric stash, I couldn’t even feign polite reservation … It was heaven!
After a little pep talk to myself (I was daunted by the whole idea of sewing this!), I opted to make the bustier version. I love it! It’s a little puckered in the middle of the top because I did a last minute hack to give my girlies a boost. The pucker disappears when I’m wearing it, but because I’m too shy to post photos of me in a bikini, you’ll have to take my word for it.
The Technical Stuff This is a great pattern and Katie explains techniques well. I made the XS version, based on my previous makes with Papercut Patterns and it was spot on. If I were to be picky, the cups are a smidge spacious for my little curves, so next time I might attempt blending an XXS cup size with the XS top. I also cut padded inserts from an old bikini and hand sewed them in for a little oomph and also to stop visible high beams when cold.
I was worried that the lack of clasp at the back would lead to an awkward ‘halfway-out-and-I’m-horribly-stuck-oh-my-gosh-I’m-panicking-and-can’t-breathe’ moment in the bathroom after. But to my relief, they stretch enough that I don’t have to face that situation. And did you know that swimwear fabric was in the dance wear section at the fabric store? Good to know. I would’ve hunted forever.
All in all it’s a great pattern and not as intense as you might expect. Please don’t let yourself be intimidated by this make. It’s surprisingly rewarding for a small amount of effort and doesn’t it sound impressive to say you made your own togs? The simplicity of it will be our little secret though 😉