…is how my daughter used to pronounce bathing suit. Of course, that was half a decade ago, and today we’re at swim lessons take number five. One of these days she’ll figure out this whole swimming thing, I hope. In the meantime, my little string bean has outgrown her previous swimsuit. That problem and an adorable print on the Spot the Bolt table at Hancock’s this week combined for my latest project, OOP Kwik Sew 2605.
This is not the first time I’ve made this pattern, and I’m a big fan of the racerback for an active child. My daughter may be a terrible swimmer, but she enjoys jumping in the water and as part of her swim lessons they have her jumping off the diving blocks, so I want a garment that is going to stay put no matter what she’s doing. The center back seam also gives a little bit of shaping, for what that’s worth.
I underlined the entire suit with swimsuit lining from Jo-Ann, though the pattern didn’t call for it. I dislike the basting together of the outer fabric and the lining, but I think it wears better with two layers and helps with coverage when the fashion fabric has large expanses of lighter colors. The assembly is pretty easy with only three pieces, and then just five circles of elastic. The longest part of this project proved to be the coverstitching of said elastic. I rethreaded the machine for the first time from scratch, and then I got the fun of figuring out the correct tensions for sewing. I started off with the 6mm wide stitching, and it’s still there around the legs, but I realized it was going to look weird around the arms and neckline, so I measured her old RTW suit and used the 3mm stitching, which is where my tensions proved challenging. Three attempts on one armhole before finding the right combination was not my idea of fun. I still have some not great stitching over seam lines as the four layers of fabric plus elastic was just enough to make the machine skip a couple of stitches. Nonetheless, it should work and it’s only thread so I can always repair it later if it starts unraveling.
I’m happy with the final product and I like making swimsuits. A tank style like this takes just a half-yard of fabric, the notions are minimal and I have in the past used a long zigzag for the topstitching and had it work out just fine. Now I just need to get better at using the coverstitch machine.