Self-drafted swimsuit

Self-drafted swimsuit

This is how I feel having made a swimsuit – a self-drafted one that I am this happy to be photographed in, no less. However, I do seem to have lost all of the process photos I took while drafting and making it, so that will have to wait for another time. Sorry!

Self-drafted swimsuit

Having reviewed the swimwear pattern options out there and not feeling any of them, I decided to go the self-drafted route. This honestly isn’t as scary or reckless as it sounds; in fact I think it makes perfect sense for swimwear as you can feel more free to tailor it exactly to your specs.

Self-drafted swimsuit

I designed this costume to suit my body type, ie to draw attention upwards with the strap detailing and minimise the lower half by keeping it less fussy and higher coverage. It’s honestly the most flattering and comfortable suit I’ve ever owned. I based it off an old Topshop suit that I took apart to use as a basic block, but made tons of amends and four toiles to get to this point.

Self-drafted swimsuit

I will share more about the construction in the future, but basically it’s four pieces – front, back and separate cups. It’s fully lined and all the raw edges are encased in fold-over elastic which also forms the straps. The bust cups have deep open-legged darts to create shape, and the elastic does a nice job of keeping everything firmly in place. I know bust support is an issue for lots of sewists planning swimwear – my bust is kind of average sized but I think this style of darted cup works great for it, giving good shape and support without the need for foam cups or underwires.

Self-drafted swimsuit
Self-drafted swimsuit

The FOE strapping crosses over in the back and joins the underbust line in a continuous loop. I’m really glad this came together exactly as it did in my head and feels very supportive without cutting into the shoulders.

Self-drafted swimsuit

I cut the bottoms quite low with plenty of seat coverage. Again the FOE keeps everything snug and I’m sure it’ll stand up to serious swimming just fine. I know there are concerns about FOE degrading in chlorine and salt water over time so I’m interested to see how it fares. Unfortunately there are no beach trips on my horizon for a few months yet so the acid use test will have to wait a bit.

Self-drafted swimsuit

In terms of supplies: the main fabric is from Funki Fabrics, who kindly sent me the fabric for free to try. I’m really pleased with it – it was very easy to work with, the print is sharp and vibrant, and though I haven’t used it in water yet I hope it holds up well. They have a million choices of prints and plain swim lycras so it’s a great choice for UK sewists looking to get into swimwear. The lining is from Fabricland (eye-searing website trigger alert – find it in the Swim/Dance section, it’s called ‘Lining Skin Thin Jersey’) and FOE from Plush Addict.

I’m so happy with how this suit came out that I’m thinking of digitising the pattern and instructions, would anyone be interested? Either way, when I make the next one I’ll at least be sure to take some photos and share some of things I learned along the way.

49 thoughts on “Self-drafted swimsuit

  1. AvatarMarilla

    Uh, definitely be interested in this pattern! It looks so good on you and I love that FOE. I do not know that much about elastic or jersey, so have never heard of it, but definitely going to try it. LOVE it! X

  2. AvatarUte

    Your swimsuit is absolutely amazing! So flattering and beautiful! I agree, total rockstar. And a pattern would be very welcome! I have a similar bodytype and I would love to make one (and hopefully look as great!)

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Thanks so much. I’d better crack on with the pattern, it would be amazing to see other people wearing it.

  3. AvatarGeorge

    Yep. Amazing. So flattering, groovy features AND support? I’m sold. Definitely interested in a pattern/tutorial!

  4. AvatarGillian

    ***round of applause!!!****
    Wow!!! That looks great AND is totally impressive. Drafting your own? Ballsy, but you are right, it totally makes sense! HIp hip, hurray!

  5. AvatarSam

    Ugh, I love Fabricland but their website is truly the WORST. They do free swatches though, and have come through in an emergency for me, so I’m prepared to look past it though. It’s just such a turnoff!

    Love the swimsuit!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Their phone and delivery service is excellent, and it was the only place I could find this thin kind of lining!

  6. Avatarlisa g.

    super impressed that you drafted this yourself! i love the low back with the crossing straps, and the neckline is gorgeous. the look suits you perfectly! great job!

  7. AvatarCaroline Joynson

    Bloody brilliant! Love the fact that you drafted your own suit and it flatters your body shape really well. Lovely detailing at the bust, graceful lines that (as you mentioned) showcases your top half with comfortable leg / bum coverage too.
    The black strap detailing reminds me of your fab Centauree dress ; )
    You definitely need to book a beach holiday purely just to show this classy-cosie off!

  8. Avatarrubyjean

    Your swimsuit looks terrific and the way you modeled it shows real style…I wish I was younger & could wear something like that!

  9. AvatarSophie

    You are fabulous. That is all. Actually no wait that is not all. I couldn’t love this suit more. It’s flattering, got good lines, great fabric and I’m really really hoping that you are thinking about releasing it as a pattern…..?!

  10. AvatarSara

    I would LOVE if you digitized this! It’s really amazing—you did an incredible job. The fabric’s great too! Also, we have a chain called Fabricland in Canada and for a second I thought maybe I was wrong this whole time and you didn’t actually live in the UK, but turns out there’s more than one Fabricland with a terrible website, hurray!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Thank you. Ha, how funny that there’s TWO of them. The bad website is a bit legendary these days, I almost hope they don’t change it ever.

  11. AvatarScruffy badger

    Oh my word – you drafted your own swimsuit??? Amazing! How incredibly clever and you’ve produced such an awesome cozzie!! Hats off to you lady, this is incredible and how fab to know you’ve created it from scratch

  12. AvatarFiona

    You are so flipping clever Katie! This is a gorgeous swimsuit, I really love how you’ve crossed over the strapping and created some bust support

  13. Pingback: MAKERS IN THE WILD // A Weekly Round-Up - Ada Spragg

  14. AvatarAmy Beeton

    Wow Katie, so impressed as always and you look amazing! It looks like it would be a great suit for actually swimming in, as well as sun lounging drink in hand :)

  15. AvatarNatalie

    Katie, this looks amazing! Well done for creating your perfect swimsuit. It really suits you and I love the fabric. Swimsuits definitely fall into the category of “things I’d never consider sewing” mainly because my shape is so top heavy I need serious reinforcements up there! But I am in awe of your garment. It’s fab.

  16. AvatarLaura

    Love the suit. Really lovely pattern. Would like one just like. Where did you get your fabric, I love the design?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.