Thursday, July 7, 2011

To Quote Precious Ramotswe, "I'm a traditionally sized person"

I hope that will change, but for now I am definitely "traditionally sized" (in Botswana anyway).   

You will have noticed that it is impossible to find a two piece bathing suit for almost any size person that is in the least bit modest.  I wear a one-piece bathing suit when I swim, but sometimes when I'm in my own back yard and want some sun, I would really like to have a two-piece.  One never knows when the neighbor kid will climb his tree and gaze over the fence (it has happened, and I was in the hot tub, sans suit!), or the meter readers will come...

I had a bathing suit from the days when I was not traditionally sized at all, and I really liked it, so I decided to copy it.  Here it is.  I loved the sewn-in bra and the little-boy shorts.  (I found they were difficult to copy!)


Inside of the top -- store-bought suit.

And the inside of my new one

I had some lingerie fabric I had hauled around for 39 years after making myself comfortable maternity panties...  I used some of it for the lining of the kids suits, and also for this one. 

I had some bra cups from probably 30 years ago that I had never used.  I had to cut the elastic away from the bottom and remove the stretch insert which held the two of them together.  You can see it might be a bit tricky to insert them, but I followed what they had done exactly.  (Thank God for sergers!)

Detail where the cup is sewn into the lining at the top

And across the bottom of the insert

I cut my outside and inside tops exactly the same, but somehow after I was finished there was a bunch of excess fabric on the outside that just bunched up.  Now I know why lots of bathing suit tops have gathers in the center front.  It was an easy solution, so I hand stitched a row of gathers (they do not show up in the picture below).  If I hadn't been so tired (and lazy), when I finished, I would have made a proper tied bow--it would have looked much better.  As it was, I just used a bit of the leftover strap that was already sewn together and made a little bow.  It's fine for the purpose...

I found this lycra fabric, which is intended for bathing suits, but it is not as thick, and is much more stretchy than the fabric I used for the kids' suits.  (It feels more like dance costume fabric to me.)  It's fine, but I honestly do not know how well it would hold up in normal bathing suit-type useage.  The red trim and straps are made from the same polyester fabric that I decorated my granddaughter's bathing suit top with.   For hers, please see:


I really should have taken a picture showing the insides of the bottoms because I was in new territory again as I copied the store bought front.  I sewed the lining and the outside fabric center seams for both back and front ALL AT ONE TIME!   It makes a very smooth seam.  (The store bought pair was only lined in the front, but I decided to do back and front the same way.  This fabric needs the lining everywhere.)

I really TRIED to make the same little-boy shorts with slight elastic at the leg.  I kept taking them up and up, but this is the best I was able to achieve for my "traditional shape"!  You can see they are a bit more gathered around the bottom than the original ones were.  They do, at least, cover the things I wanted to cover.  If I ever make something like this again, I will make the legs at least 1-inch longer.


Ta-dah!   one "sun suit"

(Just don't expect to see me model it on a runway anytime soon!  :-)

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