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: http://nanabs-sewing-
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! :-)