Spring holidays always mean a sudden need for new swimwear at our place. The municipal pool opens, daughter the second starts squad training, and last year's swimmers all seem too small or have perished. This year, armed with a new coverstitch machine, I have decided to become competent at sewing swimming costumes. I am armed with some experience at rashie vests, some fabulous chloroban UV 50+ resistant swimwear lycra, and some not very good patterns.
I started with OOP Butterick 5551. I scored this pattern a year or two ago in an ebay bundle. I have a size 12-16, requiring scaling down for my daughters, but was very pleased to see that the swimmers have different pattern pieces for either A/B cup and C/D cup. This would be a great help if the swimmers were not cut with a ridiculously huge amount of ease.
Here is daughter the first, in the scaled down to size 10, (the size approximating her measurements) then drastically taken in, swim top, (morphed from one piece swimmers). The dark purple is the approximate shape of the original garment. I have added an underlay for obvious reasons. I am not happy with this swim top, as it does not fit well, and the underlay attachment looks lumpy and not of commercial standard. The swim shorts fit pretty well after scaling down yet another size, and taking in the waist around 10cm, but you can't see them as she is modelling this swim top with her new drawstring beach cover up pants. Negative ease in swimmers seems pretty obvious to me, but not to Butterick. Butterick also don't line their lycra swim shorts. Eewww. Fortunately I have a lot of lining!
After a little muttering, I progressed to the next level of alteration - the pattern now looks around 6 sizes smaller for the larger daughter. I used a less substantial, but fun print lycra from Lincraft (Brisbane city back in January, it doesn't seem to appear very often). I have not made the upper (print) colour block section quite deep enough, but the girls like the effect. The neckline and back neck are raised nearly 10cm. I have used contrast lycra in the bodice inseam. I feel that I have progressed!
As I was on a roll, I made another pair of swim shorts to coordinate with each swim top.
The plan is for rashie vests in another co-ordinating colour blocked style to provide mix and match swimwear. This might seem excessive, but daughter the second has squad or club swimming 4-5 days a week - it is a bit boring to wear the same thing every day, and more swimwear to rotate means that there is some chance I will not have to make more togs before Christmas.