Finally I got a chance to sew swimwear! I have been thinking about doing this for a year or so but always felt a little intimidated. Since getting my Babylock Victory serger for my birthday last year I knew I needed to try it. I absolutely hate most swimwear I see for sale.. it’s so often corny or boring and I usually hate the cut of the bottoms – so tired of high rise waists or high cut legs. I also struggle to find tops I really think are flattering … fit is never great … I don’t know. I have a suit from Mirror Palais which is sort of cute, and I really like this Jacquemus bikini I have, but in general I think it’s a really unpleasant process to find other suits. Of course Rudi Gernreich made amazing (wool!) swimwear, and I am currently really obsessed with Liza Bruce who was a swimwear designer in the 80s and 90s who made really cool racy club looks but for swimwear. So awesome. Here’s Christie Brinkley in 1981 and Vita Sidorkina in 2018 sports illustrated (lol) both in Liza Bruce (the bikini in the 2018 photo is of course vintage which is kind of amazing, good job to whoever sourced that one alongside all the frankies bikinis garbage).
Also related to this project, I have been really into sewing a lot more intuitively.. like coming up with a concept or a little idea and just doing it pretty quick. I typically do a lot of planning, thinking etc and especially with the couture class everything I sew takes like a hundred years and so much careful stitching and finishing. I’ve always been sort of obsessed with the interior of my garments looking perfect which of course is the eternal ideal, but it’s been really fun to take a break from that to just play around and sew stuff up rapidly even when it doesn’t turn out perfect or even wearable.
So this bikini was definitely “intuitive sewing” – I kind of just cobbled materials, ideas, patterns, and existing bikinis together to make this. The pink bandana print is a 4 way stretch spandex I bought on Etsy, the psychedelic print is a power mesh (both from Etsy story CnC Fabrics). The bottom is based off of Butterick 6083 that I’ve had for a little while with the idea of using it as a basic block for swim (I like the mid rise). The top is based off an old Moschino swimsuit I have. I wanted to do a kind of sexy little nearly-sheer half and half top since the bottoms are reversible and I wanted both sides of the fabric to show on the cups, so I played with the idea of lining both cups and then having opposite fabrics show on either side but then I decided to leave them unlined. It’s not really sheer, I love how it looks.
It was honestly so easy. The serger takes some care since the blade cuts into the fabric so if pieces aren’t perfectly aligned it can cut into the piece, ruining it and also sewing it wrong. but the stretch fabrics were no problem – I serged the edges of everything, serged pieces together, and then topstitched everything on my regular machine. Definitely there are some design changes to make. The back of the bikini bottoms ride too high for my taste, and the cups on the top need to meet in the middle rather than having a space in between them. Also, I sewed kind of messily so it’s not like this is up to any sort of standard. That’s intuitive sewing I guess – haha – just practicing working with new ideas and materials. It was so fun.
Photos, enjoy. the concept here was: when you are about to leave your house for the beach and your crush is going to be there, you just put on your first layer of sunscreen for the day and you are getting kind of nervous but you know you look amazing, you’re still deciding if you need to bring a pair of underwear in case you go swimming and you just realized you hate your coverup. I also made my A necklace because I love my boyfriend so much.