August 12, 2015

Beach Body Ready

Dear Mr Troll,

Prepare yourself. Remember that sketch of a swimsuit that offended you so? Well here’s the real thing!

And don’t I look fabulous?

Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit

It’s another Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit – and unlike last time I chose a quality fabric so I can actually wear it! Since I made my last one, Heather extended the size range to 20, so I just used that rather than my previously graded size. As before it went together easily, except for my machine having a temper tantrum when topstitching elastic, which meant almost all of it went in wavy and had to be unpicked (zigzag unpicking! argh!) and re-done with a higher tension on the elastic.

I was planning on using the swim bra that I ripped from my last suit (and originally came from a RTW tankini) but for some reason it just didn’t work this time. Not having support – or some flimsy foam cups – wasn’t going to work for this here busty lady, so I went down a different route: I sewed a bra in. Yes, an entire bra. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it went in a treat! I used an old bra I don’t wear any more, and stitched it into the front neckline first, and then through the back until the straps. It was a little tricky figuring out how to cover the straps without cutting and re-attaching them, and I can’t pretend they’re perfect… I ended up wrapping pieces of fabric around them and serging, and then securing it so that the serging is on the inside of the straps. Anyone have any better ideas? 
Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit

This time round I also thought I’d skip the butt ruching, because really my bum doesn’t need any more ruching. To do that, I just used the lining piece instead and it worked well. The back middle seam is really curved so I couldn’t cut my stripes on the fold, so I had to do some pretty painstaking stripe matching. However Wonder Tape saved the day – you can attach and re-attach to your heart’s desire until you figure it out!

Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit

I love my final suit – I could probably do with a slightly higher cut leg so I may look for a pattern like that next summer, but for now I’m going to flounce around in 1950s glory. And maybe eat some cake. Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit

Did you make a swimsuit this year? Do you have any pattern recommendations which are tummy-friendly but have a higher cut leg? I need to start planning ahead!

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83 thoughts on “Beach Body Ready

  1. I love the fabric you chose! Great job matching the stripes and figuring out the bra!

  2. michelleinsea says:

    You look fabulous! TIA.

  3. Becki says:

    Great job! And yes, you *do* look fabulous!

  4. Denise says:

    You look GORGEOUS. Good job:)

  5. megret1979 says:

    You look amazing!!! Love the stripes. I’ve made 2 unwearable swimsuits this year… unwearable because my lining didn’t have enough stretch so they both ended up short in the body, so I could only wear them hunched over. Sigh. But I am determined to make a successful one, either the Bombshell or Jalie 3350.

    1. Damn that’s annoying! But the more you practice the better you’ll get, so the first wearable one you make will be amazeballs!

    2. Elaine Hockley says:

      I used power net to line my swimsuits! Lots of stretch all ways and good at sucking in the flubbery bits!

  6. Abigail says:

    Yes, you look fantastic. Enjoy some cake! Block out the haters, because this is a great swimsuit:)

  7. Águeda says:

    That swimsuit is awesome, and you are so so so pretty!
    I don’t actually enjoy beach. Here in Brazil is too hot. Always too hot (for me, everyone else loves it). And my skin is as white as yours, so the Sun here burns it too quickly (can’t even be 5min out, honest!).
    But maybe I just do one of those. Maybe I’ll enjoy the beach now. 🙂

    1. I feel you – I rarely sit in the sun for very long, but I’m happy in my swimsuit in the shade 🙂

  8. Alfredo says:

    Yes you do are Fabulous.

  9. Karen says:

    The swimsuit is gorgeous and you look great!!

  10. You are my hero!!! You look fabulous, the suit is amazing and a sewn in bra?!?!?! Brilliant!

  11. JoAnn says:

    very smart, my dear, I always wear my underwire bra with my swimsuit. i use either a black one for one suit or my nude underwire for my other suit. i just designated those bras for that use and be done with it!
    Im not going without a bra, so forget it! Just put a bra on! Smart girl, I say again, and You look marvelous darling 🙂

  12. Jessica says:

    That is a gorgeous suit, beautifully styled, and you look fabulous! I’m inspired!

  13. Caitlin says:

    Looking good, girl! Such a fabulous suit!

  14. Meg Malcolm says:

    You look fantastic. I haven’t made or worn a swimsuit in a number of years- but you are changing my mind! Love it.

  15. gilliancrafts says:

    The suit that launched a thousand articles!!!! (And more than a thousand pieces of cake! 😉 It looks fab. If you sew in a bra next time, you could just cut off the straps and either reattached them or just make straps from your swim fabric over a stabiliser… but your method seems to have worked well!

    1. Ha, thanks! Yes I may try the cutting-reattaching next time, or attempt to make my own actual straps. I haven’t tried bra making yet but I need to get on it..

  16. Ginger says:

    Your new suit looks great!

  17. Angela says:

    What a beautiful swimsuit! I am down to only one RTW swimsuit and want to make one for next year. Your bra insert has me thinking. I need a bra for a different reason (so my bewbs will appear to be bigger than my stomach;) but this could be a solution. Again, you really look great!

    1. I think as long as you use a bra that isn’t going to suck up huge amounts of water (I’m guessing foam bras would do that), then you’re golden!

  18. Mai T says:

    This swimsuit is amazing! I want it. So cool

  19. Jennie says:

    Oh how darling it is, love the stripes and it looks beautiful on you. I’m going to steal building in a bra and covering the strapes. I actually wear a bra under the suit I have now and pin the strapes. Really wonderful thank you

  20. gmariesews says:

    This suit is amazing! I love it! You look fabulous and totally beach body ready! Love it! g

  21. Marina says:

    You look amazing and I do like your post title. Love this swimsuit, the bra idea is very clever, and as someone with aspirations to sew rather than competence in this area, I am full of admiration!

  22. Beth says:

    you look amazing! i love the fabric you’ve chosen, stripes are my absolute favourite!

  23. Sewingsu says:

    Really really gorgeous!

  24. Elisabeth says:

    Yes, you do look fabulous!
    If I can feel half as good as you look when I’ve made myself a Bombshell, then I’ll be happy!

  25. Nidhi says:

    Hi, just read your article on the Guardian & thats how i discovered your blog! Firstly am really thankful for creating a space for such wonderful thoughts that let many other women know that its just fine to be themselves…. I have been worrying over post baby fat for past 4 months and still trying to figure out when i wud be able to look like those yummy mummys in magazines ! Silly thought i know…. But one point u mentioned has given me complete relief… Thats that we now ‘have to’ fit in sizes available as opposed to stuff we used to get stitched exclusively for ourself…. N thats it.. I guess am not at all adept at sewing clothes for myself but surely am gonna stop feeling left out when among the sea of perfect women in malls, trains, magazine covers!!!! You look gorgeous n particularly that black dress with a black rose neck piece is just so fabulous!!! Kudos to you and thanks again for being a wonderful inspiration! Good luck!

    1. Welcome Nidhi! I totally understand what you mean about the pressure to look a certain way – but you just had an amazing baby, so your body is officially amazing! I hope you can find some things to look great in, and maybe if your baby is very well-behaved you can even get some sewing in.

  26. You look adorable 😀 X

  27. Darcie says:

    Bombshell, indeed!!

  28. danvillegirl says:

    Lovely swimsuit and very flattering!!!!

  29. RainDayPerson says:

    Gorgeous, love the bum alteration!

  30. Love love LOVE your swimsuit!! You look like a total bombshell – nice job! 🙂

  31. You look so adorable in that suit! I LOVE IT!

  32. Louisa says:

    I love your suit! I am in awe of your matched stripes! What amazing attention to detail!

    1. Thanks! most of the credit goes to Wonder Tape which truly is wondrous.

  33. Janet says:

    Great idea adding the bra. I have always thought adding a bra would make the most comfortable, flattering suit.

    1. Bras are an absolute necessity for me!

  34. Shelly says:

    Lovely suit that shows off your good legs!

  35. Looks pretty awesome Jen!
    I just posted mine too, inspired in frozen berries! 🙂

    1. I just saw it – fantastic!!! I always love your photos – you look so joyful 🙂

      1. Thanks my darling! 🙂
        You are so inspiring!!

  36. Martha Hughes says:

    I really like this swimsuit pattern except for the length of the leg cut in the front. It just cuts most people off at a very unflattering place over the fullest part of the upper leg. Of course that just MHO. I don’t think I have seen very many people that look truly flattered in that leg cut.

    1. Yes that’s not my favourite bit either (especially as my legs are OK to get out!) but I still love the overall look

  37. Linda says:

    I did the same thing in the Jalie tankini pattern – sewed an old bra in! I cut off the straps and used the ones from the pattern, though. I also cut the back off (it had seen better days) and used power net at the back – it worked really well once on but is a feat of contortion to put on – and to take off when wet!!! I do love the ease of a tankini, though and the bottoms are higher cut – check it out!

    1. I was concerned that spandex straps wouldn’t be strong enough for this mighty bosom, but perhaps if I could source real swimsuit straps that might solve that problem… I’ve never tried powernet though, so I’ll have to give that a try!

  38. Amazing swimsuit! Well done. I really like the style and it looks gorgeous on!

  39. Helen says:

    You look blooming amazing! Take that Mr Troll!

  40. kathypuetz says:

    You look amazing. I really admire you

  41. Lori says:

    You look fabulous! Great job.

  42. V Reed says:

    Go have some cake because you look freakin’ amazing! That suit is spot on perfect. 🙂

  43. Agnes says:

    Jenny, that’s a lovely suit! And leaving off the ruching in the seat definitely gives a smoother, more flattering look. But sewing in the bra is a stroke of genius! I’ve been stalking that pattern since it came out but the lack of real support stopped me. I wear a 38H so a bathing suit without real support is out of the question. Question: did you sew in the entire bra, back and all? I see your suit looks a bit higher in the back that the pattern pics, so I’m just wondering if you extended the bra to the back.

    The real question is why on earth don’t swimsuit makers include suits with support for the bust? We’re women and we have boobs! And I look around me…I’m not some freak of nature! There are plenty of other women buying D cups and above! We don’t all want to wear granny’s bathers from the 20’s! I’m a granny & I don’t want to wear them. I remember my mom’s swimsuits when I was a kid all had that kind of support….I come from a long line of double D’s. Anyway, rant over.

    You look absolutely lovely! Enjoy your suit!

    1. Hi Agnes – I’m a 38HH so we’re basically twins! So I sewed all along the front, and then along the back until it got to the straps. Then the very back part where the hook is is just free-floating. I did raise the back about 2 inches – forgot to mention that in the post! And yes it is a shame that all swimsuits don’t have this… but at least we can sew our own!

  44. Naia says:

    Lovely swimsuit, you look fabulous. I was wondering where you sourced your swim fabric and what fabric characteristics do you feel create “quality”. Your opinion is especially valuable since you have had a negative quality experience.

    1. Hi Naia – I got this swim fabric from Spandex House in NYC – I bought it in person but they also sell online. My previous issue was with the dye running, which unfortunately is hard to tell when you’re just shopping – you don’t know until you work with it! But this is a good medium weight, and totally colorfast. I would recommend not using Girl Charlee both because of the poor quality and customer service, and would instead use Spandex House or one of the swim fabric specialists.

  45. Wow! This looks absolutely fantastic!!!

  46. Love it! Great job!

  47. LaLa Sews says:

    You look fabulous! What a gorgeous suit.

    And you picked a really pretty beach for swanning about glamorously.

  48. Anastacia says:

    Cute, cute, cute!!! Love Navy and White together and the stripes are perfect. Love your idea of using an old bra and also removing the rouching on the back. Brilliant!! Better than anything I’ve seen on the racks this season for us curvy ladies. You ROCK!

  49. Just found your blog and I wanted to say: screw the haters, your swimsuit looks fab!!
    And kudos for that trick of sewing a bra in, great idea!

  50. Marjie says:

    Oh, that troll can go sit on a pin. Your suit looks great on you.

    I have actually sewed shoulder pads into the tops of swimsuits for support, but I’ve not tried an actual bra inside a suit. Good idea. And maybe it would work to just cut the straps off, and make your own straps using healthy elastic inside tubes of the swimsuit fabric?

  51. Susan W says:

    I think I see a tutorial coming up. Between you and Seamstress Erin, there seems to be a lot of bra sewing into bathing suit tops.

    Indie pattern designers: PLEASE consider how to build a good bra in a swimsuit! I know that sewing lingerie is now de rigueur, so it shouldn’t be THAT hard, right?

    Jenny, you are a goddess and my inspiration! I so adore all that you are doing here, at the CSC, and with the article in Coletterie’s magazine. YOU ROCK!

  52. i love this! And I want one for me too! I’ve been debating picking up the suit that Erin put out earlier this summer for next year. I’ve also been eyeing the bikini from Seamwork, but I’m not sure I’m willing to go the distance quite yet.

  53. So, I have to ask… sewing in a bra– how was that in the water? I mean, I have a padded bra and some shaping bras (with no underwire) so obviously you had a lot of options but yeah, I guess I’m wondering how well it would hold up splashing around. Serious kudos on getting rid of the ruching. I totally see how awesome it would be on smaller ladies but I feel like I totally don’t need to add bulk their either. Have you tried the 2-piece suit from the current issue of seamwork magazine? It’s a high waisted bottom and amazing vintage inspired bikini top. I know some plus size ladies won’t do 2 pieces but I just love them (and i’m a size 24!) Love your attitude towards your fabulous bod. XO

    1. I used a non padded simple cotton bra which worked fine – wouldn’t want to do it with padded though! If I make a two piece it will need to be like a bra top – no way the seam work parttetn would provide enough support for me unfortunately!

  54. Julie says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! You, the suit, and the beach 🙂

  55. I love it, and paired with you hat, sunglasses and sandals, you look so beach-ready glamorous! Hooray for cake!

  56. Nicole says:

    You rock! I applaud your courage in putting photos of yourself in a bathing suit on the internet (anybody needs courage for this!), and I thank you because it makes me feel so much more comfortable about myself to see photos of people my own size looking so fabulous.

  57. LaPriel says:

    You do look fabulous. What a flattering swimsuit.

  58. Sarah Jane says:

    What a great swimsuit! Both you and your suit look AMAZING!!!!!

  59. Willowvee says:

    Love you Jenny! You look amazing in every photo and your response to that troll was worthy of Winston Churchill. Feeling the need to lend my solidarity, I tried, but just can’t work out how to post a photo here of my 63 year old self in my swimsuit! XxxGillian

    1. Aw, thanks Gillian! You are total curvy style icon to me 😀

  60. Denise says:

    Fantastic swimsuit, and it looks wonderful on you! Bra making… yes, everyone seems to be doing it. Beverly Johnson’s craftsy class …or… if you can swing it one of her real time week long swimwear workshop/classes up in Canada ( she may hold some of those workshops down here in the states too, look up her schedule) I do know her bra pattern goes up to larger cup sizes.

  61. Kathleen OB says:

    Love it, love it, LOVE IT! And you in it! Thanks for tips and tricks to get the interior bits to work out – using previous pieces *smack to forehead* brilliant ! Maybe I will try making a swimsuit that finally fits.

  62. Carole says:

    You look so lovely and yummy! Bet you’ll turn a few heads on the Beach and receive hundreds of admiring glances. Curves Rule!!!

  63. Kathrine says:

    I personally think you look gorgeous!

Let me know what you think!