Friday, June 15, 2012

Make a Swimsuit Sew Along: McCall's 3566

Things have been busy around here, and I have some good news!  I got a job a few weeks ago working as a landscape designer.  Although I'm only working a few hours per week from home, I am really enjoying it.  However, I did find some time to finish a few sewing projects.  I got my groove back on to make this second swimsuit for my 'Make a Splash Swimsuit Sew-Along' mini-series.  

I started with McCall's 3566 View A for the swimsuit top.  I lengthened the top to cover my belly and added more coverage to the chest area.  I used Kwik Sew 3153's shoulder straps, and lengthened them a bit so they would be able to criss-cross in the back.  At this point, I'd call it a self-drafted pattern.  I used a great polka-dot print from Spandex World (nylon/spandex) and nude colored lining from Spandex House.

Wow!  Farmer Tan!  Time to go to the lake and fix that.
Here is the pattern envelope:

I was in dire need of some swimsuit cups.  The smallest size Joann's had was an A/B.  Since I am a AA that wasn't going to cut it.  Luckily Goodwill had my back.  I bought this top at half off and stole the cups:

I also took the strap hooks.  The transplant was easy enough:

If you are putting in hooks for a criss-cross back, make sure that the open edges of the hooks are facing away from center back.
For the bottoms (View F), I used a milliskin matte solid black from Spandex World, and the same lining as the swimsuit  for the crotch.  I cut out a size 14 at the waist, tapering down to a 10-12 at the hips.  If I were to do it again, I would have cut out a size smaller so that the edge of the shorts hugs my derriere a little tighter.  You know, for security.  We'll see how they do in the water.  If it's still too loose, I'll take in the side seams.  It's weird that I have more coverage than a bikini bottom but feel more exposed without elastic at the edges.  Hopefully everything stays put.

As you can see, the bottoms are only lined at the crotch. The instructions told me to sew the crotch seam for the bottoms and the lining together, all at once.  If I did that, I'd end up with exposed seams in the crotch, which I'd imagine wouldn't be to comfortable.  Instead, I sewed the crotch pieces together, separate from the black fabric, and layed it on top, with seams touching.  I attached the crotch with a row of stitching at the crotch seam so it wouldn't be noticeable. 

I took a little chunk out of the pink swimsuit top to make a tag.  You'll notice the 'B's written in soap on the back pieces.  It makes it so much easier to keep pattern pieces straight when they are labeled!

The Verdict:  
I would recommend this pattern to others.  I think it's great because it has so many options.  The pattern sizes were pretty true to measurements.  If you've never made a swimsuit, this is a good pattern to start with for two-piece.  I think for next time, I'll add some more embellishments to the top.  I can't wait to try it out at the pool!