Bombshell This

_MG_7866If, like me, you’ve been drooling over the amazing Bombshell swimsuits debuting around the blogosphere right now, you’ll already be familiar with…’ERMYGAWWWWDDD…I made a…(insert profanity of choice) SWIMSUUUITTT!!!!’. This thing really is da bomb. And sewing it was actually ten times more fun and ten times less terrifying than I thought it would be. I mean, the intimidation factor was pretty high here. Swimsuits, lingerie and perfect-fitting jeans make up the tri-fector of those ‘final frontier’ garments I have mentally stowed away for later on, or at least about seven years. So, sewing an actual living breathing swimsuit is big. Sewing an actual swimsuit that fits, flatters, stays up and looks hot is bigger. And I now consider myself the proud mother of three; two boys and a Bombshell.
If you are reading this post, chances are you’re considering sewing yourself a Bombshell swimsuit, in which case you are probably wondering the same things I was before beginning this one. Things like…how will it look on me? Will there be enough support? I’ve never worn this style before, will I feel frumpy? The answers to which are BABE-ILICIOUS, MOST LIKELY and NO. Let’s start with the frump-factor. Or lack there of. This is probably the most coverage I’ve had on a beach since my full length sunsuit donning days (my parents tried). And I pranced about here, in the waves, in the middle of winter looking like a lunatic but feeling like an absolute mermaid-come-Marilyn Bombshell. I even shaved my legs for you guys! Feel special. But in all seriousness, I honestly believe this swimsuit is a friend to all women. Five years ago I wouldn’t have looked twice at a one-piece but a few things have shifted since then, including the location of my belly button (details details) after two massive boys. Along with my attitude to sun protection, save turning into a leather hand-bag or a giant melanoma before fifty. So, to whatever life-changing events have led to feeling amazing in a ruched, semi-modest one-piece, I say cheers.
Fabric: A photographic beach scene printed lycra from Tessuti Fabrics, nylon swimwear lining from The Fabric Store
Notions: Cups and swimwear elastic from Sew Sassy as recommended.
Sizing: I cut a straight size 8 before reading the bit about the pattern being drafted for an average height of 5’6″. Being 5’9″ I freaked a little and then a little more when I saw that Lauren from Lladybird made her beautifully fitting Bombshell in an 8. It’s kind of hard to gauge height via a screen but I get the impression that her frame is on the petite side. And then compounding the fear further, while I was serging the sides of the swimsuit together I noticed the stitching had no lengthways stretch, which meant if it turned out to be a little short in the body, it couldn’t just be stretched over a buttock or something. I thought I’d used the wrong tension setting but maybe it’s more that an over-locking type stitch with stretch is probably the domain of a cover-stitch machine anyway. So I just had to make up my Bombshell, without adjustments and hope for the best. And I’m thanking genetics for the gift of a short torso!
If you can’t already tell, I’m a bit in love with my finished Bombshell. But you know what? I enjoyed the making too…it was relaxing. Did I really just say that? This was my first time following a Sewalong and I will shout my love for them from the mountain tops! I started about a week or two behind the actual Bombshell sewalong but that’s the beauty, you can come and go when you like. And being forced to break a complicated looking, seemingly impossible project down into steps is seriously good for morale! I set myself a section per night, sometimes over two nights and finishing each little part felt like the biggest accomplishment. I kept waiting for the bit where I got stuck on something mind-boggling but each step came and went and I almost forgot I was making a swimsuit. Some things took time, like gathering the fabric evenly for the ruched back and sides but even then it was nice just to plod along. And less than a week later there was a finished Bombshell sitting on my table!


Let’s talk about support. If you happened to stop by while I was touching on the phenomenon of the disappearing post-breast feeding boobs, you’ll know that I don’t have a whole lot left to hold up. But that said, what is left, had better stay where they get put. So now with less to support, I’m thinking about support more than ever and did wonder how the Bombshell would fare. In a bikini top, I’ll usually go for molding, not padding and rely on halter-neck to ‘lift’. Boning and underwire don’t go astray either. So, without boning or underwire or separated cups, I just kind of hoped that a combination of swim-cups, halter neck and an under-bust elastic band would be enough to hold the girls in place at the very least, since a boost-up might be asking a bit much. Even if I did put it off for a few days, adding the swim cups was fine, as was the under bust band (this tutorial by Dixie Diy was great). So, how did the Bombshell hold up? As predicted it did not come with magical boob-boosting powers but still lovingly supports enough to flail around in the surf.


I decided to change the straps because I just prefer thinner, elasticated swimsuit straps. Maybe you’ll agree, maybe not but I feel like when you’re petite up top, a thin strap looks more delicate and a more substantial strap looks better with substantial boobage. It’s possible I’ve spent too much time thinking about straps. I used a bandeau bikini top of mine with detachable straps for a guide and made these detachable with clasps and all, only realizing later that I’m not ever going to be wearing this suit strapless. I could have just sewn them on! Anyway it was a fun exercise figuring out how to make actual detachable elasticated swim-straps and I’ll happily put together a tutorial if you’re interested…

Did I mention the Bombshell is a bit cheeky?! Not scandalously so and probably in Byron Bay no-one would bat and eyelid. But still, you got to give the locals something to talk about…

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  • k a t ywrote:

    You rock it. I love reading your words. They make me want to jump on a plane and come sew with you. And I don’t say that to all the girls.

  • Jacintawrote:

    Looks gorgeous! Gotta make one when baby departs from my belly soon. 🙂

  • Mariewrote:

    You totally rock Heather’s design and you look mighty hot in your bombshell!!! I adore your choice of fabric and the daintier straps you used…I’d love a tutorial for those please ;o) And can I just say how jealous I am of you…Byron Bay…what a beautiful place! I had the pleasure of visiting just after Uni and would jump at the chance to go again!

  • Madalynnewrote:

    This is the hit pattern of the summer. Just like all the other women who made/wore this suit, you look awe-mazing!

  • becstitches.blogspot.com.auwrote:

    Amazing as always, love the fabric. Very cute.
    And Beach this time of year, props lady. Mad props

  • awfully-nice.comwrote:

    This is awesome! I absolutely love the fabric you chose and you look amazing! Love me these bombshells.

  • Heather Louwrote:

    EGADS WOMAN! Motherhood my ass! If I may quote Ace Ventura…. SMOKIN’. I seriously love this so so so so much. It’s gotta be my favourite Bombshell so far. That fabric is just…. fuck. If only Tessutti wasn’t so far away…. I was actually nervous that I hadn’t seen yours yet (“Ooh no, did she not like it? Did she make it too short? WHERE IS SOPHIE’S BOMBSHELL??!”) so I was over the moon to see your beautiful face this morning. And isn’t it still cold as hell up in Oz? Thank you for braving icy waves?

  • House of Pinheirowrote:

    Thats super amazing!

  • Crab and Beewrote:

    Your Bombshell is suuuper lovely! Way to give ’em something to talk about on the beach.

  • Corinnewrote:

    I totally love how you did your straps! I think I might try that with my next one (oh yes, there will be a next one for sure!) The swimsuit looks great & the setting in your photos is gorgeous!

  • oonaballoonawrote:


    yeah, i’m actually speechless.

  • SaraJwrote:

    It looks gorgeous! I love everything about it, the print, the style, the photography and you look great in it.

  • gingermakeswrote:

    AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! This is FABULOUS! You look amazing! The print is so, so, so, so cool! Love this so much!

  • The Hojnackeswrote:

    Love your bombshell! This pattern is so fabulous.

  • Hazelwrote:

    AMAZING! Love that fabric and it looks amazing on you!

  • Kimwrote:

    Anazing Bombshell! The fabric is super cute, I love the fact that it is a beach scene but it still looks super abstract too! Would love a tutorial for detachable straps!

  • Kirstywrote:

    This is such great fabric. You look great in your bombshell and the skinnier straps look great and yes a tute would be great. Next time I make it I think I’ll add the extra elastic for boob support too.

  • Amywrote:

    You look fabulous! I’ve been waiting to see your finished bombshell ever since you first wrote about the pattern. I’ve loved this suit on each and every person I’ve seen it on. And, your fabric choice is divine!

  • lisa g.wrote:

    hands down, best fabric choice ever! you look amazing!

  • Laurawrote:

    This is beautiful! So so good. The fabric is amazing and you look gorgeous in it. Wonderful photos too.

  • poppykettlewrote:

    Just beauuutiful. Love the way that print works with the ruching, and the smaller straps – which I too would like a tutorial on! Being rather large in the boobage department and generally scared of any swimsuit without some kind of engineered support… I’ve kinda kept my distance from the bombshell, regardless of all the furtive glaces I’ve been giving it. So it was really lovely to read about how you tackled that aspect of it in detail! Thanks Sophie – you look absolutely fabulous in it, too!

  • Colettewrote:

    Bombshell indeed! That is smokin’ in every way possible and thanks so much for the fabric shout-out. Amazing.

  • Reana Louisewrote:

    Holy cirque-du-bomb lady! I’m just going to ‘ditto’ what everyone else is saying.

  • Julia Bobbinwrote:

    well punch me in the eye with a shoe, you and your bathers are a knockout!! I just might have to take a little visit up to Byron Bay to see this suit in person!

  • Toni-Maree @ Sew Jereliwrote:

    Sophie, you look incredible! You have most definitely pushed me to the bombshell cliff and if I see one more I may just have to jump… AMAZING! 🙂

  • Katwrote:

    You are freaking amazing! The suit is absolutely stunning. I love the fabric. I’ve got this pattern but am yet to find a fabric I like enough to take the plunge. Hopefully I’ll find one soon. Maybe that way I’ll get it done in time for summer!

  • mokoshawrote:

    love your bombshell.. and love that you made little changes to make it your own

  • zosews.comwrote:

    You and your bombshell are spec-friggen-tacular!! If tessuti had any of that bombshellalicious fabric left it would be in my possession like that *clicks fingers*. LOVE the skinny strap 🙂 I’m 5’9″ too, but looong in the body… so I think this would mean a lengthen job for moi…

  • Ledyswrote:

    Sophie, you look amazing, and your bombshell is da bomb! Love the fabric, the straps, everything about it! And I really appreciate your comments on support. I am nursing so the support factor has been putting me off this awesome suit. I think I just need to take the plunge and go for it 🙂 enjoy yours, you look fabulous!

  • liza janewrote:

    You look amaaaazing! No way you’ve had two boys. I love that you made it in a print. And I agree about the thinner strap. I prefer thinner straps to the the larger ones that usually accompany a halter. I’m nursing now and I have brief moments of panic (usually right after I’ve finished nursing) where I realize what my bust will look like in the future. Of course it’s all worth it, but sheesh. I’ll be thinking about support from now on, too.

  • Amywrote:

    Really amazing lycra print and photos, once again! Love that you made a swimsuit in winter. I don’t know if you basted the ruched sides together before serging, but that could be what kept them from stretching. (Even a zig-zag doesn’t stretch as much as a lot of serging.) I actually went back and removed the basting so it would stretch more lengthwise.

  • Lizzywrote:

    Beautiful! I like a lot the fabric, the thin straps look nice too; I guess I will do wider straps, my boobs are D cup, hehehe, so I need support, I already have the pattern, I bought my fabric, I wanted a fabric with a print but I couldn’t find any, so I bought a neon pink , I’m reading ALL the posts about this pattern in the blogosphere , as you say, I’m afraid of doig it, I did a bikini for my 11 year old daughter because I wanted to practice to sew lycra/spandex, but I’m afraid of soing my bathingsuit, exactly, afraid of sewing the cups, as I told you, I need support.

  • IeneMienewrote:

    Wonderful! You look the bomb!!

  • sanae (sanaeishida.com)wrote:

    You are totally a bombshell in this suit! I love the fabric choice too – Most of the bombshells I’ve seen are in solid colors and this is a cool print. Fits you like a glove 🙂

  • Amandawrote:

    Super. Fierce.
    Love it!

  • sallie oleta barbeewrote:

    So hot! Your bombshell turned out fantastic! I love how universally flattering this suit is! Reminds me I’ve been meaning to make another one…

  • Joyreewrote:

    I love the way this suit looks. It is so decent, yet sexy and flattering.

  • Joyreewrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • KellyLeaSewswrote:

    So, so, so good. It looks amazing, you look amazing, the fabric is amazing! Since it is the end of summer here I am putting this on my list for next summer, but totally looking forward to it. And thanks for braving the cold to model it, the photos are great. Inspirational all around!!

  • Deliawrote:

    I love this! You did an AMAZING job. And you’re a babe. 🙂

  • The Old Fashioned Waywrote:

    A real beaut! I’m making mine NOW even if there is prac no summer left.

  • brocadegoddesswrote:

    Oh, this is so gorgeous! I just finished a Bombshell of my own this week, I don’t look one qurter as good in it as you do, but still love it to pieces!

  • Elena Perlettiwrote:

    i truly love it. Many compliments for the choose of fabric and the execution!

  • Rosiwrote:

    Great togs Sophie and thanks for the heads up on where to buy notions.

  • Zoëwrote:

    Love your swimsuit, the fabric is so pretty! I really want to sew a bombshell and I’m trying to convince my mother that she would look great it in so I can sew one.

  • anu*mikiwrote:


  • Neuswrote:

    OMG!!! It’s perfect and you look incredible!

  • Ericawrote:

    It is beautiful!! I love the ruching. Swimsuits are definitely a final frontier item for me too, someday I’d love to tackle this one…

  • Amberwrote:

    Oooh! Love! <3
    Hmm maybe it is time for me to also tackle the dreaded swimsuit…

  • Carolynwrote:

    Oh, Sophie…can you do no wrong?
    You are a bombshell in this bombshell swimsuit! Fan-tastic!

  • Printingtextil Natashawrote:

    Amazing photos!!

  • Rosalindwrote:

    Woah GREAT job lady!!!!!!!

  • Jessicawrote:

    that is amazing!! You look so great! I have just ordered my fabric from tessuti! Cant wait to join you on the beach this summer (well im victoria anyway!)
    Can I ask where you got your hat? Its great!

  • Micheal Clarkwrote:

    I thought haven’t read such distinctive material anywhere else on-line.
    bubblegum casting

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