Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Episode 5 - Dive into Swimsuits

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Swimsuit history

Swimsuit History website
Websites to check out to help in picking a swimsuit style.
News Morning show video
Free Beauty Tips- Swimsuit style suggestions for your body type
Sew News article - 2002

Also, the latest Threads Magazine (June/July 2007) has an article about swimsuit sewing, it is on the cover

Interview with Anne St. Clair of Needle Nook Fabric it is all about swimsuit sewing. All the following information was provided by Anne for the Sew Forth Now podcast listeners.

Measurement chart
Kwik Sew Sizes

Add to the chart these measurements
Crotch Length: XS-25", SM-27",M-29',L-31", XL-33.5"

Fabric Stretch

Most swimwear or activewear patterns are designed with 75%-100% stretch for around the body and 35%-50% stretch for the length of the body. The amount of stretch varies in each piece of fabric, so it is very important to check each piece before cutting out your garment. To check the amount of stretch, fold 3”-4” away from the cut or selvage edge take 4” on this fold and GENTLY stretch along a ruler to determine the amount of stretch the fabric has. 5.5” = 35%; 6”- 50%; 7”=75% and 8” = 100%. Be sure to measure your fabric in both directions. If your fabric has LESS STRETCH than what the pattern is designed for, it will be necessary to make some adjustments.

If you fabric has MORE STRETCH sizing adjustments are not usually necessary.

Elastic Measurements

ELASTICS—It is important to use an elastic that is designed for swimwear. 3/8” is the most common width. It is BASICALLY put on in a 1:1 ratio except for the back leg of the garment. The formula that I use for a basic one piece suit is: ARMHOLES—less 1”, NECKLINE—less 2”, LEGS -
Front less 1” and Back less 3”. You should always measure your pattern pieces and not your garment. Be sure to deduct any seam allowances from your measurement and then deduct the appropriate amount for each area. The elastics are designed to keep your suit in place and not to pull the fabrics to the body to make it fit you.

Pattern is chosen by BUST size adjusting all other needed areas. The 3 bust measurements not only determine the swimsuit size, but your bra size as well. Bra Size is Rib Cage + 4” = Bra Band Size, Fullest Bust less Chest = Cup size (1” = letter) Waist, Hip and Back Shoulder are determined by the chart for size.

Back Waist and Crotch Depth are compared to Girth to determine if you need to adjust the
Length of your garment. If you are shorter than the pattern, you only deduct 1/2
of the adjustment amount.

MEASUREMENTS NEEDED: All should be taken SNUG, but not pressing in on body tissue.


At Underarm CHEST______________________________________________________
At Fullest part BUST________________________________________________________
Just uner Bust line RIB CAGE____________________________________________________

At natural side to
Side bend WAIST_______________________________________________________
At Hip Bone HIGH HIP_____________________________________________________
At Fullest Part LOW HIP_____________________________________________________

From bone at base
Of neck to waist BACK WAIST__________________________________________________
Sitting on FLAT
surface from waist
to surface CROTCH DEPTH__________________________________________________
From cervical bone at front neckline
thru the crotch to the base of the neck
Across the high shoulder from
side to side BACK SHOULDER__________________________________________________

1. Prepare Bandeau or Bra Cup Insert, also front lining if using power net for tummy control
2. Pin suit and lining together at side seams and shoulder seams as below and stitch.
Laying pieces on table top: LINING BACK—right side up
BANDEAU or BRA CUP INSERT—wrong side up
LINING FRONT—wrong side up (right side to bandeau wrong side)
FABRIC FRONT-right side up (wrong side to lining front wrong side)
FABRIC BACK—wrong side up (right side to front fabric right side)
3. Pin center back seam with fabric right sides together and lining right sides together (NOTE: one
Side of the back lining will wrap around suit to match right sides together) Stitch.
4. Pin crotch together and stitch. Right sides of fabric together and right sides of lining together.
(NOTE: you will wrap the front lining around the suit to match right sides of lining together)
5. Apply Elastic to wrong side of suit. Turn fabric over elastic to wrong side and stitch over previous

Full Bust Adjustment for Swimsuits, click to enlarge

Peapod - Summer of Life


Stacy said...

Thanks Lori - I'm going to have to print this off for future reference! -stacysews

Mary said...

Great info. Believe it or not, I listened while making a swimsuit.

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hassam said...

great blog

Orlando Wilson said...

I believe that swimsuits should be wear on beach and swimming pools because it is the right clothing. Others won't wear it because they feel shy.