Posted in sewing

Roxy Print Swimmers and Elastic Guidance

Here is hopefully my last swimsuit for the summer from my Roxy material. ¬†I know. Three sets in less than two weeks! I’m still tweaking the pattern ūüôā

Since I’m changing the width here and there, I thought I would share the Singer Sewing Activewear guide for adjusting elastic below. I reviewed the book in full.

I have both rubber (left) ¬†and swimwear ¬†(right) elastic and I now prefer rubber. It’s much thinner and lays nice and flat. It’s also easier to sew /¬†top stitch¬†through with fewer skipped stitches. I purchased mine from Sew Sassy.

Guide below from Singer Sewing Reference Library: Sewing Activewear

Leg Opening: ¬†Use elastic ¬†2″ (5 cm) ¬†smaller than cut leg opening

Waistline: Waistline, minus 4″ to 6″ according to how snug you want it to be.

Armhole: Measures to cut edge

Neckline: For a snug fit in low, scooped or V neck, use elastic 1″ to 3″ shorter than cut edge of neckline


For knickers, Singer suggests sewing the elastic flat at the front and putting the stretch to the back (so it will grip there). I’m glad I found that tip!


Above is the inside of my top. It’s lined with swimwear lining and has powernet (just in the front for this one) as interlining.

And, for activewear, I think I prefer a zig zag stitch instead of the twin needle stitch. I used a zig zag for the bikini top and twin needle on the bottom.

Finally, there was a wadder in all this swim suit sewing

I tried to make the halter from the same pattern (above). I’ve never been a big fan of halter tops on me. I think I’m too busty and don’t like things that knot around the neck because of slippage and comfort. But, this design was just too much material after my FBA and not nearly enough support. I looked like two small bags of pennies hanging around it there. It was quite sad. Yes, yes. It doesn’t look like it’s low enough in the front, but I had to really pull at the halter straps to lift me up. The design just didn’t work for me.

I said this on Facebook recently. But, for real. If you want to save money sewing, make your own swimwear, coats and underwear. My suits cost less than $10 each. And, they *fit*. I do have RTW swim that’s a bit racier but really like making my own fitness swim suits.

And now, I’m putting away my ball point needle. I have some sewing for hire to complete this weekend and I have GOT to start my officiant dress ASAP.


Posted in sewing

The Olympics Made Me Do It

It appears I sew swimwear every four years. ¬†That’s when I bought the bulk of my swim fabric. I’m an obsessive Olympic watcher and seeing the beach volleyball players and divers make me want to swim.

For this iteration I used a poly lycra Trena donated to me about a year ago. The pattern used is the same fitness top from the out-of-print (OOP) McCalls 8813 and the view E bottoms (string bikini).

On the top, I added another 3/4 inch FBA for a total of 1 3/4 inches. I also took two inches out of the band width to try and get closer to my size. For support, I added power netting and 3/4 inch elastic for the underbust.  I (still) lined the top and lined the front of the bikini bottoms. 

For construction, I used my elasticator foot on my serger to apply the swim elastic and topstitched with a twin needles and my walking foot. The tops definitely has more support now and a bit of compression too. Marta asked if this could work as a sports bra. My best guess is ‘yes’. But, I’ll be honest, my sports bra is a ridiculous $60 affair from Under Armour.

The bottoms… well, let’s just say they are a little early 2000’s high waisted! They are not at my navel, but hipsters are more flattering to my heavy bottom half. Here’s a comparison of my Patrones bottoms with these.

I can’t be bothered to sew a second bottoms right now. But, I want to merge these two patterns. The McCalls has great rear coverage but I like the height of the Patrones.

And if you worry I’m sewing to be sewing… I’m back in the pool. It’s too hot to run and my gym has a really lovely pool. Maybe what this really means is I need to have a beach weekend soon.

Posted in sewing

Whim Swim Sewing: OOP McCalls 8813

I have no idea why. But, I was going through my patterns, found this old swim pattern and just decided to make a fitness swim suit and was done in less than two hours.¬†I have ‘regular’¬†swimsuits purchased recently from eBay. They are underwire bikinis and great for fun time at the pool. But, not great for swimming laps. I have to highly recommend eBay if you are a non-traditional US size (i.e. small band, large cup). Those Brits and Germans make some really cute swimmers (Freya, Panache).

The swim top is an Out of Print (OOP) McCalls 8813 … such an old pattern. It comes in one size per envelope with the seam lines marked on the pattern. I’ve only seen that in vintage patterns! I bought it in a size 12 years ago after seeing Trena’s review of the bottom. LOL. I wasn’t even friends with her when she made the bottoms.

The pattern comes with A/B and C/D cups. I used the C/D and made a 1 inch FBA. Based on the envelope, I should have sewn an 8 on top. But, I bought this pattern in a 12 before I understood FBAs. So, when I make this again, I’ll reduce the band size by about two inches, add another 1/2 to 1 inch in the FBA and use power netting. I need the support.¬†For the underbust elastic I used 3/4 inch and the upper bust 1/2 inch.

Actually, next time I might make the princess seam halter version. I have so much swimwear fabric and this was a quick make. It was all very slapdash. I was too lazy to get my twin needles and don’t have two spools of black (well, really dark grey since I’ve been out of black for a minute) thread that I zig zagged stitched for the topstitching.

Interesting note. I was complaining about the lack of swim lining in a one of my new suits and a friend said she’d never had a swim suit that was lined. Whaa?? Who would buy or even sell an unlined swimsuit!?!