Retro Floral and Lace Swimsuit

I know it’s the end of summer, but I finally finished a new swimsuit a couple of weeks ago.

This is the first swimsuit that I have actually felt good wearing in a long time.

The material was a thrift store discovery last year. I brought it home for about $0.25 without knowing what I would use it for.

Then, when I pulled out some of my vintage swimsuit patterns in preparation for the summer, I saw this material and the pattern below next to each other.

As you can see, it was meant to be.

I used this pattern as the basis for the top of the suit, but I altered it a bit.

I found the cups from an old bra in one of my old clothing piles, and thought it would make for a more supportive top if I used the under-wired cups for the swimsuit top. I restructured the top, so that it would work with the cups.

There was a lot of hand-stitching involved to keep the cups in place.

The whole suit is lined with the same material.

The bottoms are much more modern looking, but I wanted something that would be flattering on me. I made them using a self-drafted pattern.

I added lace to the edge of the suit in several places. I loved the look of the lace on the swimsuit in the pattern envelope illustration, and I’ve had a card of lace that was given to me some time ago that was patiently waiting for its opportunity to shine.

The lace is all hand-stitched on. I was on the road for a while recently, and the hand-stitching made time pass much faster.

There are buttons for closure in the back, so I also attempted hand-stitched buttonholes for the first time (because my machine decided that it wanted to eat this material…even with interfacing…no matter what setting I tried. Gah!).

I have to say, hand-stitched buttonholes are a thing of beauty, and I’ll probably be incorporating them more into future projects.

The buttons don’t match because I lost one of the buttons on the road somehow, and I had to make do with another one that I had with me. I’ll replace them with matching buttons when I can.

I’m pleased with this swimsuit. Now that I’ve made a few suits over the past few years, I feel much more confident in my ability to create swimwear. I don’t think I’ll put myself through the torture of swimsuit shopping ever again.

  1. Ashley

    April 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Soooooo cute!!! I have no clue how to incorporate cups into something, but I MUST learn so I can make one of these for myself!

    1. Becca

      April 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks! I hadn’t really done it before this. I just kind of forged ahead and made it work. Ha! 🙂 You should definitely try it out for yourself.

  2. Spring Cleaning Giveaway | Creative Notions

    May 1, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    […] First up, a swimsuit and beach-coat pattern. The top is similar to the one that I used (with some modifications) last summer for my retro swimsuit. […]

  3. Redeyedtreefr0g

    May 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Very cute! But, I would like to see it on you, if that’s possible? Or on a model if you are shy? Is it a special fabric?
    I think I might have to resort to sewing my own undergarments- I can’t seem to find anything that offers true comfort to ride my bike due to seams in bad places and bulky leg hole bindings. Swimsuits seem very similar, and then you could have any style/colors you wanted!

    1. Becca

      May 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Well, this post is actually from last summer. I’ll have to figure out where I packed it for the winter. Hmm… I am definitely shy about wearing things like that and posting it on the internet, but I understand that it can be helpful for others to see it on a person. If and when I get around to it, I can send a picture to you.

      I have sewn some of my undergarments, but I’d like to sew more of them, especially bras. It’s definitely hard to find RTW active wear that fits. I’ve just started working on some for running and kickboxing workouts.

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