Readers of a certain age, do you like beach party movies? I ask you specifically because I'm not sure anyone under forty knows what they are.
I've always been a big Annette Funicello fan. She wasn't the most gifted performer ever, but she was fun, and I love many of the songs she recorded even if she had to double-track her vocals to create the famous "Annette Sound." The movie poster above notwithstanding, full-figured, modest Annette usually wore a one-piece.
I've decided that one bathing suit is not enough for Cathy's (potential) upcoming trip to Cape Cod, and since I had purchased Simplicity 1612, a vintage Forties two-piece pattern, I thought I might give it go.
I find the high price of vintage womens swimsuit patterns outrageous, so I wanted to show you how easy it is to make one. We'll start with the top, which I muslined today. It's quite simple and not hard to adjust for fit.
The pic below is the bra cup piece, which is cut on the bias. It will be gathered on the sides and center to give it its shape. (The final top will be underlined; I didn't underline the muslin.) The straight edge on the right is the center.
|I cut this a little bigger since the pattern is a 32" bust.|
The two fronts are joined at the center and the outer edges gathered, starting roughly 1" from either end.
The shoulder straps are made by stitching a long strip right sides together, and turning. The bottom of the strap, which equals the height of the gathered bra, is left unstitched, and the gathered bra edge placed between the unstitched layers of the strap and the strap edge topstitched on (as one would attach double-fold bias tape).
The front and back pieces of the center tie are sewn together (right side to right side) and turned.
One tie piece is attached at the bottom center front, and the other to the bottom center back (with the top diagonal edges facing in opposite directions).
The bottom strap is created like the shoulder straps: just instead of leaving the ends open, the middle section (equal to the width of the bra) is left unstitched. The bottom edge of the bra will go in between the open layers, which are topstitched on. The center ties are now knotted.
The brave among you can view the bikini top on me here. Eat your heart out, Ann Sheridan!
The pattern instructions have the shoulder straps crossing in back and being buttoned to the bottom strap, which then ties in back. You could easily tie the top straps behind your neck instead.
Wasn't that easy, readers? I hope to make the bottoms tomorrow. Fun!
In closing, have you ever made a bathing suit out of non-stretch woven fabric? I suspect it's easier to make than stretch fabrics, though less comfortable -- and perhaps less secure -- in the wearing.
Don't you think these old swimsuits are cute -- and how about Annette Funicello?
Have a great day, everybody!
(More about "The Annette Sound" here.)