It all began rather innocently. I bought Closet Case Files Sophie swimsuit, like so many others and set about making my trial swimsuit. Exhibit A can be seen here . This bikini was always intended to be a trial suit. My idea was to make this suit into a tankini. I am not really a fan of the one piece for practicality reasons and I feel both more comfortable on the beach and happier about sun protection in a tankini.
So shortly after finishing my trial bikini I began researching tankinis. It took until the week before Christmas to put my plan into action and assemble the supplies. The trouble was in between times a couple of months had passed and I had completely forgotten about my method of construction and sizing in between times...oops! It seems my notes on construction from my original suit were not quite detailed enough. Let me say that Christmas week is not the ideal time to take on detailed projects that require good memory recall. Especially when ones memory is dodgy at the best of times!
My chosen fabric was a lovely print I bought from Pitt Trading in Sydney. A bit of research has uncovered that Australian brand Zimmermann used this fabric in one of their swimwear designs. The bra foam and under wire channeling came from Elle-Joan's. My lining came from Pitt Trading and elastic from Lincraft.
The problem I had making this suit was exactly the same as making my trial version but the advent of time made me forget. I overlapped my bra foam when sewing it together instead of butting it together. I didn't realise my mistake until my top was completed. It was just as well I ordered quite a large piece of fabric and could recut my top! To make the lower half of my tankini, I simply cut the pattern at the legs and added a bit of a hem. This worked out brilliantly despite concerns it may be a little tight. I could have included a seam in the back to adjust for my sway back but didn't want to interupt the floral print with too many seams. Yes, there is a small amount of fabric pooling in my centre back but I felt the negatives of cutting into the print outweigh the positives in this instance.
The pants I cut out using my tnt McCall's 5400 pants pattern, which I altered slightly so it wasn't quite a wide in the crotch and through the seat. I made these in a remnant of black lycra and also used this to trim the cups and make the straps.
I am really happy with the resulting suit. It got worn a lot while I was on holiday. The only thing I would change in hindsight was to make a second pair of pants in the print and perhaps a bikini top so I can mix and match. I will have to add that to my list for next summer.