The Swim Suit…. Dreaded by so many… Honestly it never used to be my favorite either, until I learned to sew! Then I learned how to customize my fit/style and now I love sewing my own swim suits. I feel so much more confident and comfortable in them. Since I’m going to be pregnant into mid summer I had to sew myself at least one maternity swim suit. (I’ll prolly do another after making this one since it was so quick and easy).
I used the Edgy Top by George and Ginger and made a few modifications for it. First I used swim so I sized down… well really I was between two sizes so I just went with the smaller one. The other two take a bit of explaining so I detail that below. First will be the maternity mod, second will be how I added a shelf bra and foam cups for great support.
Buuuuuut before I even get into that, lets talk fabric! My white sparkle flounce is from Pink Zeppelin Fabrics to coordinate with this really fun bright blue plaid and solid blue from Mily May Fabrics. As much as I love my florals and solids its nice to wear something a bit different for a change… and since its gender neutral I was able to make a coordinating Rash Guard for Hubby (cute or corny? I cant quit tell, but either way I’m loving us).
Ok maternity mod time… If you’ve read any of my other maternity mods I did this one similarly, but I also rouched the back piece, since this has the plaid stripes I wanted the stripes to match. At the deepest point of the curve in my pattern (where the natural waist would be) I measured out 2 inches.
I measured down 6 inches and made a dot. Then I drew a general curve for the belly connecting these dots.
Now move your pattern piece 6 inches so it matches with the second dot and continue to cut/trace.
Measure 3 inches above your first dot, and 3 inches below your second dot. Make marks for gathering between these spots. You will gather to 6 inches.
But before sew the body pieces together we need to make our shelf bra… I measured from my arm pit to under my bust, be sure to measure over the bust. Then cut according to the pattern but stopping at your measurement, for me this was 6 inches. After making this I would also add – take off 1/2 inch from either side of your lining. I didn’t and it feels like it would be nice to have it be a bit more snug/supportive. You can add foam cups (I always do for extra oomph and support) to one of the pieces, here’s a previous post detailing how I do it.
Next measure your under bust for the band length. Then multiple by .85 so its snug (but not tight). I use 1″ elastic in mine so I made mine 2.5″ wide.
Sew the elastic off center so that when the band is folded the elastic lays flat. I like to use a zig zag stitch when sewing on elastic and a stitch length of 2.5. But your machine might be a bit different you may just have a different preference, I just mention this as a starting point for those trying to find what they like.
Next sew the side seams of your shelf bra.
Sew the ends of your band so its a circle. Then attach to your bodice. I like to line up the seam of my band with one of the side seams of the shelf bra, I think it gives it a cleaner look to have the seam going all the way.
Next sewing the side seams of your bodice. Gather between your marked points to 6″. Sew together, add clear elastic over the gathered parts. TIP: you may want to add the clear elastic a little before the gathered parts, sometimes it can be difficult to get it to “catch” in the machine. I also lift up my pressure foot and place it literally right next to the needle.
Now layer your shelf bra over your body piece (with the right sides of the shelf bra facing out). Sew the should seam with all four pieces together.
When attaching the arm band attach it to both the shelf bra and the body. Do the same with neckband (place and attach the flounce according to the directions as well).
Your done! Simple mods, big added comfort!!!! Your going to love feeling comfortable and confident in a swim suit that fits (and provides bust support) and your Bump is going love you soaking up all that Vitamin D!
If you haven’t already be sure to sign up with your email at the bottom of this page so you can get notified when new posts publish!!! Ive got more maternity/nursing mods coming… as well as getting started on The Bumps little capsule!!!!