Skip to main content

Ottobre 2/2011 #19 - Navy Tankini

Last summer I made my first attempt at sewing swimwear for myself. Overall, that suit was a success but having worn it several times now, there are some things I'd like to change about it. Instead of tweaking that same pattern, I made a new suit using a tankini pattern from Ottobre Woman 2/2011.

Tankini pattern from Ottobre

It's actually really similar to the suit I made last year: halter-style tankini with midriff ruching. So why make another suit so much like the first one? There are a couple of things I don't like about last year's suit: the top just barely meets the bottom which means I'm often tugging it down and the knot part of the halter hurts my neck after a couple of hours of wear. But, I do really like the style, so I wanted to change the parts I didn't like and keep the parts I do.

Tankini pattern from Ottobre

I don't really know what to say about how I constructed this suit. Ottobre's instructions are quite good, but I didn't follow them much. The main reason is because I put a bra inside the top. The overlapping front pieces made that a bit of a challenge and I don't think I could really explain to you how I did it if I had to. I can tell you that it involved a whole lot of trying on, pinning, hand-stitching, and then more trying on. I'm convinced it's all together securely, but my techniques would have to be described as dodgy at best.

Swimsuit top (front view)

The bra is sandwiched between the lining and outer fabric and is attached to the lining at the sides and the point where the strap starts. And then the rest of the bra was trimmed away beyond those points so it doesn't go around the back or over the shoulders. Yes, a perfectly good bra gave its life up for this suit, but I think the sacrifice was worth it.

Swimsuit top (back view)

Since the halter-style proves uncomfortable for me, I decided to cross the straps in back and attach them. While I really like the halter look, I think I'll enjoy wearing this more.

Swimsuit (inside back)

The fabric is pretty thick and spongy and ribbed. Most of those are good things for this suit, but it meant that the straps would not stay flat. I didn't want topstitching on the front but I didn't want sloppy straps, either. I compromised by zigzagging the straps in the back, but not the front. A little strange, but it does what I wanted it to. The front part of the straps do stay flat when I'm wearing it.

Swimsuit strap

I was happy with the bottom of my last suit, so I just used that same pattern (Kwik Sew 3238), adding 1/2" in height to the top.

Tankini top and bottom

I don't think I'm going to have any problem with the top and bottom not overlapping with this suit. The pattern for the top is really long. I trimmed a little more than 3" off it and I'm 5'9". You can see in the picture from the magazine that the top ends below the top of the leg openings.

I think I'm going to find this to be a comfortable swimsuit. I highly recommend this pattern. This is the first Ottobre woman pattern I've used. Other than shortening the top length, I didn't make any other changes.

Comments

  1. Super cute suit!
    You know, I never would have guessed that you are 5'9". That means that your clothes are perfectly suited for your body type. Yah! I have so much to learn from you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I did the same thing when making this suit - put a bra in it! I love it and wear it all the time since we swim almost daily in the summer.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fantastic. I've never attempted a swimsuit but yours is so inspiring. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It sounds like it will be very comfortable and it looks great. I like the look of the fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very pretty! It looks just like the one in Ottobre's magazine!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Where did you find you fabric? Searching for some ribbed swimwear fabric but haven't been able to find any :) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Shopping Bags

Most stores in our town charge you a nickel for a plastic bag when you check out. I love this practice and the way that it encourages people to bring their own cloth bags or reuse their plastic ones. My habit of bringing along bags to the grocery store is well established, but I used to find myself stuck at places like the drug store or farmer's market or other impromptu stops. Then I picked up a bag at an upscale kitchen goods store that rolls up quite compactly. Now I keep that in my purse, so I always have a bag with me.

I like my bag so much that I wanted to replicate it for the art sale. The final result is a hybrid of the bag I purchased and these that I made last year.


The bag is a little bigger than the average plastic grocery bag. The velcro tab is used to keep the bag rolled up, but also can close the top of the bag when it is full.


Most of the bag is a single layer of cotton, but the handles are faced. There is a double row of top-stitching around both edges of the handl…

Grocery Bags

More gifts!



These are just like the still-all-too-ubiquitous plastic grocery bags, but they're fabric. 



I followed this tutorial and you actually use a plastic bag as a pattern.  The instructions are very good and include a pocket so that the bag can be folded up and is easy to keep in a purse or a car's glove box.

Mostly for the sake of the gift recipients, here's how to fold up the bag....

1.  Lay the bag pocket side down and fold it length-wise using the edges of the pocket as a guide.



2.  Fold it in half, aligning the top of the handles with the bottom of the bag.



3.  Fold in half again and then reach into pocket with your hand and turn the whole thing (pocket included) inside out.









Happy shopping!

Christmas Table Runner

S asked me to make a Christmas table runner for her shop. Her only suggestions about what it should look like were "not too fussy or busy."

I decided on a simple applique of three trees on a linen background. The runner is 60" long and 13" wide.


For the trees, I used a lightweight fusible product and then straight-stitched around the edges. I like the raw-edge applique look, but don't use it very often.


The border and backing is an apple green color that didn't photograph well. I was happy with the mitered corners, but they don't look so good (a little lumpy) in the pictures. I do really like the narrow folded border inside the green one. I only had a small amount of the striped fabric, but think this was a good way to use it.



I was so happy with this when I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but now that I'm looking at the pictures, I'm less than thrilled. I'm really hoping that it is just the pictures, but it looks wrinkly and rumpled to me…