Pattern: Papercut Patterns Soma
Alterations: Changed the back straps (more information below), and shortened the bodice
Fabric: Polkadot spandex for the shell and black spandex for lining
The bathing suit featured here is, of course, the Papercut Patterns Soma one piece. I've had this pattern for awhile now - and I bought it last summer with the intention of making a bathing suit for my honeymoon. Long story short - that didn't work out, and I went the Victoria's Secret website sale route instead. In preparation for my first run at this pattern, I bought some fabric from Girl Charlee - it was cute but thin, shifty and I think I somehow cut my bikini top pieces the wrong way (I put the top on and it didn't stretch at all!). I also made a one piece, but the torso was too long (I've recently discovered my shortwaisted-ness) and I never finished it (and cannibalized the hardware for this suit!).
Fast forward to a few months ago when I was gifted some Funkifabrics spandex (and btw this post is not affiliated with them, I just used my Monettie scraps to make this suit). The Funkifabrics spandex is, however, wonderful for a bathing suit and I would totally buy more for this purpose. The fabric is thick and stable when cutting and sewing. Plus, you only need a yard or so - so you can save on cost and maybe shipping. Yay!
I made this up basically as instructed, but I shortened the wrap bodice pattern piece by an inch. I also used the hell out of my cover stitch machine, which I think really made this bathing suit look more professional.
I also added swim cups, and sewed them into the lining. It was a really similar process to my Moneta/Nettie Maxi dress - I just sort of guessed the location based on where the bodice pieces sat on my dress form and my body, pinned them in and zig zagged. I got the cups from Porcelynne.
I did change the construction a bit on this suit - I used swim elastic for the bottoms and waist, but I used bra strapping for all of the straps and bodice, which was a giant mistake. This is partly a fault of the pattern instructions, and partly my fault. The instructions call for FOE to be used on the bodice - but I didn't really like that on my first version last year - so I ended up using bra strapping for all the bodice elastic (the pattern calls for it to be used on the shoulder and back straps but not on the bodice itself). The bra strapping ended up stretching out so much while swimming, that I can't really wear this suit again :(
In the future, I would probably use only swimwear elastic for the entire suit and I'll probably use Sophie's tutorial to create actual swim straps using swim elastic. I think I might even have enough fabric still leftover (the yardage was very wide) to create another one piece to replace this one - I love the polka dots so much!
I also changed the arrangement of the straps on the back - creating the crossover across the upper back, rather than the lower back as called for in the instructions. Placing the straps across the lower back resulted in some, um, bits getting squeezed in an unflattering way, so I switched them up. I would actually like to find a better way to do the straps in general in the future, as I don't really like the over arm shoulder straps - but they're necessary to the construction as it is now.
Overall, despite the future unwearability of this specific bathing suit - it was a really fun exercise. I've never made a bra or a successful swimsuit before this one, and I will definitely make more in the future (plus I can practice more with elastic when I finally make up my Watson bra kit - she's sold out now, but that's where I got mine).
Bonus action shot!!
Have you made a bathing suit before? Any tips (besides using real swim elastic)? Any plans to make one this summer? :D