The Namesake Swimsuit

DIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.comDIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.comDIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.com DIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.com DIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.comDIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.comDIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.comDIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.comDIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.comDIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.comDIY Bustier Bikini | A D A S P R A G G | www.adaspragg.com

It’s Spring it’s Spring! Out with the old, in with a new hand-made swimsuit. And a new format to sooth our information bombarded brains; instead of flipping back and forth between image and text, you can look at pretty pictures and leave (it’s o.k. I get it) or if you’re interested in the specs or just here for the dulcet tones of my blogging voice, it’s all business as usual below…

It’s no secret I’m fond of swimsuits. I’ve been pinning them mercilessly here for years, for no other reason than that I love swimwear fabric, I love prints and I love what a brand new swimsuit symbolises. A feeling of freedom; holidays at the beach, an early morning bodysurf, letting hair dry salty and tangled, that ferocious hunger that only an ocean swim can bring. A sensory summer love fest! Maybe there’s a repressed surf chick in here somewhere, only now she’s more about eco-tan than real tans and simulated ‘beach scenarios’.

You could understand I nearly flat lined when Heather from Closet Case Files announced that 1. she was creating a bustier swimsuit pattern and 2. would I be okay with being it’s namesake. Ummmm…access to bustier swimsuits at the press of a peddle forever? Let’s be clear here. It would be a honour to be the muse for any pattern; but a bustier bikini. Well, that really is the penultimate. And sure, it marries all the very best things about this sewing blogging community but it’s also an uhhhhhmazing pattern. One that I would recommend to you even if it were called the Jessica or the Savannah. Without further ado, my Sophie Swimsuit experience:

P A T T E R N  Sophie Swimsuit

F A B R I C  Floral Lycra + Stripe Lycra (similar here) Pitt Trading & Tessuti are current hot spots for beautiful swimwear fabric.

S I Z E  Bra 6 / cup 4. Briefs 8

P R O C E S S  The pattern comes with an option of an accompanying video tutorial. I love this idea, being a visual learner, and can’t help but think how cool it would be if every pattern came with a video option. Having produced a small video tutorial this year, and knowing the amount of time energy that goes into it, this would be pretty hard to sustain, but still. I used the video tutorial the entire way and glanced at the printed instructions for backup in only a few sections. As a bonus, it was kinda like me and Heather, hanging out, sewing a ‘kini in my loungeroom!

L O V E D  the fiddliness of the bra cup section. Having to be so meticulous and slow inserting the underwire channels, top-stitching the edges and threading the wire, is as close to sewing zen as I’ll ever get. The way Heather explains the process there’s no room for guessing. The result is 100% professional and you finish knowing you got new skillz!

F I T T I N G  As per the instructions I chose a size 6 for the bikini top, based on my under-bust measurement. Lovely. Here’s my advice: be a good sewist now and don’t play guessing games with Heather’s cup sizing chart, ok. She knows what she’s talking about. Especially don’t try and make connections between her cup sizing 1,2,3,4, and A,B,C,D, etc, like I did. My measurements put me between cup size 4 and 5 and I was all, nah-uh, there’s no way I’m a D/E cup. No, no, no. Just follow the chart. I cut out my size “”3″” cup, completely. Out of fabric, contrast, moulding, lining, everything. Luckily, you construct the moulding first, so you can try it on in the mirror to see if it will go around a boob. The size three covered like, half a boob. I had to go back and re-cut the entire bra in the 4. Even this felt like a major sizing compromise but now I think I could do with trying the size 5 cup. Hoping the 4 might become forgiving towards summer; more salads less roasts etc.

The fit of the bikini bottoms is bang on. Having made several high waist bikinis (here & here) I feel I am in a position to say that this is by far the most comfortable and secure. Assuming, you like a proper high-waisted bikini, that is. I cannot stand it when something claims to be high-waisted, only to sit an inch or two below the navel. Just no. A high-waist should rest on or over a navel, like this one, in my opinion. There it serves many purposes but mainly to act like secret spanx.

M O D S  I widened the centre front and back panels on the bottoms and reduced width of the side panels for more floral less stripe ~ Made slightly thinner bikini straps using the dimensions and process from this tutorial ~ Added boning to the side seams on bikini top. I was introduced to the idea here and really liked the extra stability it provides for not too much fuss to insert.

D E S I G N  N O T E S  You know it’s love (or something else) when you change the colour of the thread in your coverstitch / zigzag to jump from the floral to the stripe section. I also made three straps for the bikini top in total, the one you see here which stretches from one side of the bra hook to the other, plus another two separate straps out of the stripe for a neckband that ties up. A girl has to have options.

N E X T  T I M E  If it wasn’t perfection already, Heather’s gone done released a bonus download for a long-line version of the bikini top. Check out omg this one. I would definitely add boning again on the side seams and possibly along the two vertical below-bust seams, like I notice quite a few RTW versions have. How many swimsuits does one girl need? Guys, I’ve thought long and hard about this and…oh look mustard, floral zimmerman lycra!


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  • Maddie Flaniganwrote:

    Babe, babe, babe.

    • Sophiewrote:

      Stop! (don’t stop) Thanks Maddie x

  • salliewrote:

    Your design sense is, as always, on point! This is so meticulous and fantastic! And you look like a total babe! Thank you for being the muse to bring this swimsuit into our lives – it truly is perfection!

    • Sophiewrote:

      Thanks Sallie! And I loved your Sophie bikini so hard, that fabric was delish…

  • Heatherwrote:

    I’m pretty much in tears. This is so glorious I am reduced to crying. Your eye for print and colour is at its zenith here – such creative genius with this stripe and floral. And girl. it looks BEAUTIFULLY made. Love you and thank you for being the ULTIMATE ULTIMATE ULTIMATE muse! xoxox

    • Sophiewrote:

      Thank YOU for your pattern drafting wizardry and creative genius. You da best! xx

  • Jadewrote:

    get itttt!!!!! beautiful~

    • Sophiewrote:

      Thanks Jade, it’s a great pattern!

  • Jillian - SewUnravelledwrote:

    You are the bikini queen! Loving the combo of fabrics and it simply fuels my interest in making one of these this summer. I’m not sure about the structured bra-like top… I’m not sure it’s the right shape for my tinies, but I’ve seen someone modify it so it might be worth a go. And hell, I’ve got about a million metres of awesome lycra in the stash just begging to be made up. Well played, Sophie!

    • Sophiewrote:

      You have no idea how much I want to see your swim fabric stash! I was stalking it on Insta the other day and noticed MORE pitt trading fabric that they haven’t put online yet and I was like damn, you’ve got access to their shop all the time lol! On the teeny titties topic, I would think that this style would work kind of well no? There’s moulding which is also good but I know first hand what mothering does to boobs, breast feeding or no, and I’m sure you’ve got it covered as to what works for yours…

  • Abigailwrote:

    The colours! The fabrics! Oh my! WIN!!!!!!! This is so beautiful, Sophie. You definitely did your namesake justice here.

    • Sophiewrote:

      Fist pump! Thanks a tonne Abigail x

  • Fionawrote:

    Beautiful! All your projects are so inspiring Sophie!

    • Sophiewrote:

      Awww thanks Fi! I’m loving all your recent makes too…

  • Juliawrote:

    This suit turned out SO WELL! I love the fabrics you chose and the high waisted bottoms. I haven’t tackled a swimsuit yet, but I really like the looks of this one. Thanks for sharing!

    Julia – http://bunnybaubles.com

    • Sophiewrote:

      Oh thanks Julia! And if you’re going to try your hand at a swimsuit, let it be this one. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

  • Gailwrote:

    I really want to try the one piece ahead of summer! Love the floral and stripes combination.

  • Colettewrote:

    A-mazing! I aspire to me made togs this summer, don’t think they’ll be as gorgeous as this!!

  • poppykettlewrote:

    Oh It’s divine – I love the whole mix-stripes-with-floral thing 🙂 Fabulous!!!

  • Mahwahwrote:

    Showed this blog to some ‘sewists’ at my workplace yesterday …wished I had a pic of the synchronised jaw-dropping… you’ve inspired them to tackle THE BIG ONE…yes a swimsuit!

  • Hannahwrote:

    I love this bathing suit! SO cute! I want to make something similar out of:


    Thanks again!!!!

  • Nataliewrote:

    Love the floral and stripes combination. Such a classic look. Well done.

    I’ve never even considered trying a swimsuit before. This is inspiring. 🙂


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