Sandpiper + Faye = September Swimwear

As I was thinking what to write on this post, it could have turned into an almighty essay about body issues, body image, confidence etc etc. However, we're staying on topic and I've decided to stick purely to the sewing, the rest is not up for discussion!

The pictures are here because I felt it was necessary to show how the patterns fit a human body and the different stylings they had.


Swimwear had been on my radar for many years but for some reason I just hadn't taken the 'plunge' as it were. 

I bought Helen's Closet - Sandpiper Swimsuit last year, and then the lovely Heather of Closet Core brought out the Faye Swimsuit which as a follower of hers, I could not resist. 

On an absolute whim one day I just decided to cut out the Faye Bikini!


For this swimsuit my measurements put me in exactly the 16 top and 18 bottoms sizing. So that's what I chopped and that's what was sewn.  

To my absolute surprise - it fit!!!!

 I bought my supplies for this from Little Legs Fabric and they had some wonderful SPF swimwear during summer. Swimwear seemed to be having a 'thing' this year in the sewing world so hopefully there will be more stockists of good swimwear fabric next year. It was difficult finding something patterned, but not childish or plain. Lightning bolts won me over. 

I was so surprised at how straightforward this was to make. I won't say 'easy' as there was definitely planning ahead involved in terms of the correct needle, elastic tension and turning some fiddly straps, but definitely a pleasant surprise. 

The bottoms are the high waisted version, which provided for good coverage. I also liked the simple lines of the top. I went for the straight strap version as a first attempt. 


Another great pattern maker and again - I came up as a size 16 top and 18 bottoms on the chart. Unfortunately I could just not get the bottoms to fit at all. 

My toile was just enormous and awkward looking at the crotch so I ditched them and kept the Faye bottoms instead. The style of them both is so similar save for a waistband. 

 The top however is fantastic! I really like the sporty look of the top and the added length makes me feel less self-conscious. This Faye and Sandpiper combo is definitely one I could feel confident swimming in as it feels nice and secure. 


At this point I really thought I'd much prefer a swimsuit as opposed to a two-piece and so I basically decided to 'fill in the gaps' of the Faye swimsuit. I figured there was about 3 inches gap between the bikini top and bottoms so I just drafted that into a pattern piece.

I have a long torso so swimsuits never fit me properly so it was great to be able to make my own!

I picked some hilariously gaudy lycra from FunkiFabrics perfect for some pool lounging! (Not that I have any of that to do yet). It's not metallic, just a rainbow snakeskin. Classy like.

I managed to find black swim lining on Etsy as well as black rubber elastic so that helped with the finished result.

The insides also have some foam cups stitched in for extra comfort. Bit wonky but who cares they work. 

 The swimsuit itself is the most comfortable one I've ever owned. Unfortunately there's a bit too much excess fabric in the middle where I extended - I fear that in a Jacuzzi I may just inflate. Exhibit A:

I think it's definitely a 'poolside bar and paddling' kind of swimsuit. Definitely one for an all you can eat buffet at least.

 The best bit of this swimwear experiment was that I got to use my coverstitch to its full potential! After some faffing with the settings it went over the elastic hems fantastically and my Janome fulfilled its swimwear destiny.

If you haven't tried swimwear I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot, it's really not as daunting as it seems!

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