With that, let's talk about a subject that many of us find overwhelmingly unpleasant: Swimsuits. I do own one, and like many plus sized women, I didn't have much choice in my swimsuit. We were on vacation a little over a year ago, our hotel had a nice pool, and since I didn't own/bring a swimsuit, we ran to Target and I purchased the only suit I could find where my boobs didn't spill out in an obscene way.
I've been mentally toying with the idea of making a swimsuit so that I can have something to wear if I take my toddler to one of the local aquatic recreation centers. Of course, swimsuit patterns don't come in size "short and dumpy with a giant rack," so I'm looking at having to make significant pattern alterations and at least one muslin to come up with anything remotely workable. And unfortunately, there aren't many pattern reviews or blog posts for plus sized swimsuits out there where I could use someone else's work as a guide. We're in uncharted waters here.
I love love love the look of the Closet Case Files bombshell swimsuit (and love the look of bombshell swimsuits, in general):
|Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit|
Unfortunately, when I look at the line drawing, I want to run away crying when I see how small the bra portion appears to be in relation to the rest of the suit:
Another suit that I like the look of is Gertie's new suit for Butterick:
|Butterick 6067 by Gertie|
|Butterick 6067 line drawing|
I'm intrigued by the idea of making my own suit--I'd love to have a suit that I potentially actually like, rather than one that I left the store with primarily because my boobs didn't spill out of it.
Have any of you tried tackling a swim suit when you knew that there would be major fit challenges involved? What pattern did you use? And has anyone with a curvy figure made up either of these patterns and just not blogged about it or reviewed it yet?
On a related note, I think it's telling that there are so few blog posts from plus sized women about swimwear. Honestly, I couldn't find a single sewing-related post by a plus sized blogger (but maybe Google missed something)? Trust me, I can certainly understand not wanting to post photos of yourself in a swimsuit on the internet. We've all read that viral blog post by the woman who posted a picture of herself in a swimsuit as a way of making peace with her body only to have the image stolen by a diet company who used it as a "before" picture. None of us want to be that person. I'm not sure what the solution is; how do we communicate about what patterns work for us and encourage each other if the only way to do that is to put yourself out there in front of a judgmental public?
I'm updating this post to surface some of the suggestions/links given in the comments. I know that blog readers don't always read every single comment (shocking, I know), so I'm hoping that this info will be easier to find if someone reads this post in the future.
Other swimsuit patterns that go into true plus sizesJalie 2447 (goes up to a 50" bust, 52" hips):
|Jalie 2447 line drawing|
Simplicity 1374 (goes up to a pattern size 24 - 48" bust, 50" hip)
|Simplicity 1374 line drawing|
|Butterick 5795 line drawing|
|Denise swim suit|
Resources for modifying a swimsuit pattern for a curvy figure
Heather's instructions for grading the Bombshell swimsuit up beyond the size chart:For a sewist with the following measurements:
- 47" bust
- 43" waist
- 54" hip
- 5'7" and short waisted
"This is the formula I would use if I was grading the pattern specifically to fit your measurements. Trace the unchanging line of the pattern piece (the center seam or the line where the fabric is placed on the fold). Using size 18 pattern pieces, measure at the widest point of the bust. You are going to extend that point by 7%. Taking the narrowest point of the waist, you should add 16% to that point. At the widest point of the hip, add 17% (I got these numbers by dividing the bust/waist/hip ratio for size 18 with your bust/waist/hip ratio). Actually, add 1/2 of the above percentages since the pattern pieces are only half and will be doubled when you cut them out. You follow so far?
Once you have your new key measurements plotted (widest bust, narrowest waist, widest hip), you can join them together with a smooth curve (tracing the curve of the size 18 piece if possible). Normally I would suggest that you also lengthen all your pieces by 106%, but since you are short waisted you may not need to. Do the above exercise using a stretchy piece of a fabric for your lining parts only and see how the fit is. If it fits okay in the length, you will not need to lengthen any pieces. If you need to add a little to your lining pieces, THEN you would add the 1.6 ratio to your ruched pieces."