Swimsuit shopping and jeans shopping have two things in common from what I hear from a lot of women I know. You have to try on lots of swimsuits and lots of jeans to find ones that not only fit, but look good.
This past weekend, I hit the jackpot :) ! I made one that I love (forget the countless hours trying them on!):
Right down to the black, slimming side panels,
and ruched neckline piece.
Also with a full-support bra lining to held everything in place just right!
Two years ago I started on my swimsuit endeavor, and last year I finally made my first one that I actually liked which was the same pattern with a blue/brown floral print. Since I've nailed the fit, I decided to work on improving construction on the bra lining, using my serger, and coverstitch machines.
All elastics were inserted via my elastic foot on my Babylock serger. No quartering, no marking, no pins. Just set the screw tension and the foot automatically places and stretches the elastic in place while it is being serged on. What a breeze!
This also presents a question I was asked by a fellow PR member. "What about the front leg opening having a 1:1 ratio of elastic/fabric vs. the back have more elastic tension?" I have read about this being done, but it is not my preference. I like a snug leg opening all the way around. And with the Babylock attaching it, the tension is the same the entire circumference of the leg. This works very well for me. I even do this for my panties. It is not too tight, nor uncomfortable. My guess is it depends on the person and the body. If a person is heavier, a tight front elastic might cut into the flesh uncomfortably; therefore, necessitating that 1:1 ratio on the front. For me, using the elastic foot on my serger produces a great and comfortable fit.
Let's talk topstitching. My coverstitch is da bomb! Used it for all my topstitching but secured the CB seam in the back with my regular machine. That's an area I want to refine the curve in tissue to make for smooth sewing at that spot.
I did a review at PR with loads of pics including step-by-step bra lining instructions/tips. If you would like to read them, you'll have to click on my sidebar and go there or click on this link: My Swimsuit Review . I just haven't had time to transfer all the pics and info to my blog...sorry about that!
If you haven't tried sewing a swimsuit, DO it! Prices for nice suits are outrageous, and making one is easy. The hardest part is doing a couple of test suits to get the fit right. I've done blog posts on that lol--the links to them are in my PR review. Once the fit is good, stitching them up is a breeze and quite cost effective too. And what's really great is picking out the fabric. Pages after pages of nylon/lycra at Spandex World and Spandex House.
So get going! Go to PR, look up swimsuit patterns and reviews, decide on your particular style, and make this YOUR year for the swimsuit that you love!