Hello to the curious and curious of sewing!
I find you again for a particular article on making my new bathing suit. For the occasion, I used the Lucien sewing pattern from Atelier Guillemette which has a sublime plunging neckline and an exquisite bareback.
As usual, I made a first test to give me an idea of the finished piece. Being very prudish, I adjusted the neckline to be less plunging, without altering the back and the thin straps. I strongly advise you to follow my advice to avoid possible disasters.
Choosing the right elastic and knowing how to sew it
When it comes to choosing the right rubber band, choose an 8mm one that is braided and chlorine resistant, made of cotton and rubber. This material is softer than regular elastic and will support a swimsuit that will last for many years (see 1st image).
Sewing the elastic is a step that worries many people since it is difficult to know if the elastic has been pulled too much or not enough. A trick for laying the rubber band is the 25% less rule.
For example, the arm opening seam of the swimsuit would be 30 cm X 25% = 7.5 cm to be removed from the length of the elastic. We will therefore need a 22.5 cm long elastic (30 - 7.5) to open the arms of the swimsuit (adding 3 cm to sew the ends of the elastic at the very end) (see 2nd image).
To know where to sew the elastic on the jersey, fold it in 4 and mark each of the four ends with a pencil, then do the same for the opening of the arms of the jersey. This will give you a good idea of where the elastic should be sewn. Repeat for the rest of the seams (see 3rd image).
For the fabric, make the right choice, otherwise, you could end up with a fabric that is too heavy, too transparent or that could lose its dye. The latter must be able to stretch in both directions. It will therefore be necessary to test it to see how it deforms.
For the lining, take a second fabric of the same composition as the outer one (80% or 90% nylon & 10% or 20% lycra), but this time in white, cream, or black. For example, since the outer fabric is white with flowers, I chose a cream-colored lining.
Needle and stitch type
Take a needle with a ballpoint. The rounded end will be perfect for sewing your swimsuit.
If you're using your home sewing machine, avoid the regular straight stitch because the thread will break when you stretch your swimsuit. Choose a zigzag stitch with a width of 3.
It is possible to take nylon thread which is in my opinion the best for making a swimsuit. On the other hand, for beginners, I would advise you to take polyester yarn which stretches better than cotton and is easier to put on than nylon. If you take cotton, it will break easily over time and we don't want that to happen.
With the information I have just given you, I hope you will be prepared to make your bathing suit.