If, 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.
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…