I have been wanting to try making a bathing suit for myself since my first bathing suit attempt in 2011, but as my further considerations show, I was not convinced that the design that Ottobre presented for women in the 2/2011 version was right for me. So I waited. When the latest Ottobre Woman came out, I was not looking to make swimsuits, but sun dresses! And yet... when I made my first attempt at The New Chic, #18, the fit was so snug that I thought immediately of swimsuit possibilities. Here are the results:
The bottoms were made from the very patterns I was considering using when I posted in 2011 (from 2/2009):
And though I'm not sure they are ideal, they are at least hidden. I raised the waistband too much initially on both the boyshort and the high-cut bottom, and added a yoga waistband in addition. I also made a sz. 48, but I think I could have sized down. The one that fits best, the boyshort, is the least flattering. But--still very serviceable, and yes, hidden:
Construction was a lot trickier than if the pattern I was using had actually been intended for a bathing suit. I started with a 48, and sized down, and down, and down again, at just about every stage of constructing the swim dress. I'm still not sure that it isn't too loose, but I don't do a lot of laps or anything, so it should be fine.
I added a bra between the layers of the bodice:
You can't see it, but I shortened the back bodice quite a bit so that by having the seam at the bodice back where it needed to be, the front bodice would also be appropriately placed. I also added elastic inside the casing created by the straps.
To create a nicer finish, and to try to make it a little more snug, I added fold-over elastic:
I am quite pleased by the result, and will see how it works tonight, at a swim party for a friend's son.
It is not a maternity suit--just a swim dress tankini, but it could easily work in early pregnancy, and could be modified to be a maternity suit. Hopefully, that won't be confusing to anyone!
The fabric is from Chez Ami.