Sewing Swimsuits;The Story of 12 Swims Sewn- part 1

We’ve had an above ground pool for a few years now.  When we moved last fall we got rid of it and then summer rolled around and Miss K wanted a pool again.  So we thought about it awhile and decided to get another pool.  We kept our sand filter and salt pump so the only investment was the pool itself.  I never really swam in our old pool; there were too many swim bugs and debris for me (germaphobe); also, it caused me too much anxiety to get into the pool because of the bugs and my fear of water.  However, I forced myself to get past that this year and K and I actually swam in the new pool a lot!  Because we were swimming almost everyday we needed new suits; my older Jalie suit – which I love – was becoming too tight for me.  I don’t mind sewing swimwear as I find it fast and easy to sew.  So I set off in a quest to find and sew a new suit, but didn’t have much luck at first, and ended up sewing 12 things.  I will actually split this post into two posts because it just got to be too long with all the makes in one!

First up:

Jalie – Cora Leggings (3462)


My measurements at this time:

Waist: 32     Hip: 46

date started and finished: 07/13/19

size sewn: z in waist and CC in hip (sized up 3 waist sizes higher and 1 hip size higher)

alterations: none


Fabric: Royal Blue Swim that I have no clue where I got or when; and White/Navy Sketch Plaid Swim, purchased from Fashionfabricsclub May 2018 for $5.59 for the yard

Notes: the Z waist is waaaaay to small.  The bands on the thighs are too tight; hemming without bands was also too tight. Need about 1/2” more in thighs

Resewn at straight size CC and added 1/8” to outer front and back leg hems at the bottom which equals 1/2” more room at hem.


Thoughts:  I love the look of this pattern.  I was very set on making these as my bottoms. However, they just didn’t feel right in the water.  I am not even sure what it is about them that makes me not comfortable.  I still love the style. Perhaps I’ll revisit them in the future. I do think the bands might have been better left on for in the water.  But if I try that again I need to make them wider.


Then I moved on to the

Stitch Upon A Time – Water Faery Top


My measurements at this time:

High bust: 37    Bust: 39

Waist: 32     Hip: 46

date started and finished: 07/17/19

size sewn: Bust- Medium, Waist- Large, and Hip- XL  (sizing exact on bust, 1 up on waist, and exact on hip)

alterations: added 3/4” to the hem, added powermesh to the bra part.


Fabric: Galaxy print swim for $4.80/yard (had 1.5 yards) and Red Swim for $4.40 for the yard. I purchased both from FabricMart May 2015

Notes:  I sewed the twist tank style. I also found it much easier to use a zigzag stitch to attach elastics to bodice (on page 12) instead of serger.


Thoughts: I was drawn to the cool twist design on this top.  However, the instructions for this pattern were horrible.  It is very hard to see how to do the twisting top part and explanation is not well either.  I spend a good part of an hour trying to figure just that step out.

The fit is terribly tight – like I couldn’t breathe tight.  I almost got stuck in the suit just trying it on.  I did not hem or finish it, deciding it was a toss at that point. If I ever do try to make it again (because I’m stubborn), I would size up 1 if not 2 sizes on everything and not put powermesh in the bra part;  maybe adding soft foam cups instead.

Jalie 3351 Swim Shorts


I’ve previously made these a few times for K and also twice for me: Feb 2015 roses, and May 2015 stripes.

My measurements at this time:

Waist: 32     Hip: 46

date started: 07/16/19

date finished: 07/17/19

size sewn: Z waist and BB hip  (sized up 3 waist sizes higher and exact hip)

alterations: I lengthened them by 1” with a 1/2” hem; I also removed the side pockets


Fabric: Galaxy print swim for $4.80/yard (had 1.5 yards) and Red Swim for $4.40 for the yard. I purchased both from FabricMart May 2015

Notes: These ended up being too big, too long, and the crotch rise was too long.  So much for me adding length! Now don’t get me wrong, I love this pattern.  I just need to find my right size again.

5 out of 4 – Xfactor tank


My measurements at this time:

High bust: 37    Bust: 39

Waist: 31.5     Hip: 46

date started and finished: 07/27/19

size sewn: M bust/waist to L hip; bra on C/D cup line. (sizing on pattern I was a M, S, XL so I sized up on waist and down on hip, bad idea!)

alterations: none


Fabric: Galaxy print swim for $4.80/yard (had 1.5 yards) and Red Swim for $4.40 for the yard. I purchased both from FabricMart May 2015

Notes: So I actually sewed this up twice.  The first time I found the powermesh too tight in the bra.  I needed 1.5” elastic under the bust and needed to raise the underbust line.  The binding was attached weird and the whole fit of the tank was weird.  The top was too long in the bust, the waist poofed up in center front and was too big. The hips were too tight.  It squished my chest and was uncomfortable.

The second time I sewed the top (because I’m stubborn), I cut the bra on the A/B line.  I lowered the front neckline by 2”.  I added 1/2” to the hip on the sides of the front and back tapering to 0” at waist. I added swim elastic all around the top with a zigzag, then I flipped it inside and triple-zigzag stitched it.  I did not use any binding. I used Purple swim panel $4.25/yard that I purchased in July 2016 from Hancock’s going out of business sale; And Black Swim that I have no clue where or when I purchased.


Future changes: I would like the bottom front and back to be lined.  The bottom needs just a slight bit more width at hips and the center front bottom needs more length.

Overall the second tank was acceptable to wear in the pool. I wore it a few times.  It does tend to ride up in the front when swimming around so I think it needs to be a smidge tighter and have a front liner on the bottom.


I actually really like this top and it only took a ton of sewing to get here, lol.  Look for part #2 to post tomorrow!


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