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Aug 21, 2014

Swimsuit #1: Square-Cut Tropical Print (NSFW?)



Let's face it: there's not a lot of tailoring in a mens swimsuit.  It's basically two or three pieces of fabric stitched together with the top folded-over to create a casing for a drawstring.  But it has to fit.  And ideally it's finished in a professional way.  That's my ideal anyway.

I made four muslins before cutting into the first of my three swimwear knits.  The muslins all fit but each one was a little different (they'll all become underwear).  I basically worked from Jalie 3242 and made the boxer brief.  I removed the separate crotch panel and added extra width to the front crotch to compensate.  (I'm not a fan of those codpiece fronts on swimsuits.)   I also added a back center seam rather than cutting the back on the fold as Jalie suggests.  It saves fabric and provides an additional fitting seam.



The red and tan striped cotton knit is the version I went with.   Grab your smelling salts, girls!





I experimented with serger stitch density (I used all four threads on my Brother 1034D) and practiced making buttonholes on knit.  I decided to skip the grommets this time around and just make holes on the inside casing, just like my RTW swimsuits have.  Mine are reinforced with tear-away stabilizer.











My lining has approximately the same stretch as my fashion fabric.  I basted the lining to the fashion fabric with a long zigzag before serging.  I used a regular needle, an Organ #9, the thinnest I sew with.  No skipped stitches or problems of any kind using my Kenmore 158.141.





Then I serged away.



I made two buttonholes in what would be the inside of my casing.





Before stitching the casing down, I used my Bernina 930's long basting stitch to hold the folded-over edge in place.



Then I stitched at the inner edge of the fold (approx. 1") using the elastic triple straight stitch setting.   The stitches are dense (they're stitched forward and back) and have a lot of give.  Then I went around again 1/4" from the first line of stitching.

I used the stitch to the right of the "S" at the top of the dial: the elastic triple straight stitch.





I inserted my drawstring and voila: a square-cut tropical print swimsuit.  (The drawstring's hanging out but I'll wear mine in.)



Now I swear that large black leaf emerging from my left crotch is entirely coincidental, but it did make me laugh.  (Debbie C., if you're there, I know you'll get a chuckle.)





Michael was very impressed and, frankly, I'm surprised at how straightforward it was to make this, provided you have the proper tools and suitable fabrics (and practice on scraps before tackling the real thing).

And that's it -- now on to swimsuit #2!

Have a great day, everybody!

35 comments:

  1. Oh I'm here. And fainting quickly. Va-va-va-VOOOOOM!

    (Nice suit!)

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    Replies
    1. And, today, you're bottoms. I mean, YOUR BOTTOM!! ;-)

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  2. I'm laughing so hard right now! I'm comforted to know that I'm not the only sewer who's had, erm, anatomical print difficulties!

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  3. I think you have to name those the Adam trunks.

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  4. These are great! Did you use wooly nylon in your serger, or just regular thread?

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  5. The suit is great and it fits you beautifully. The leaf placement is a hoot. Your gonna be best undressed on the beach.

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  6. Thanks for the smelling salts warning. Great swimsuit (and fabric placement).

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  7. Your swim trunks look awesome!! Remind me of racing trunks for swim team - they're very similiar in style. And you're rocking them!

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  8. OK, is it indelicate to say you look totally fantastic in those swimsuits. Honestly, I'd be impressed if you were 30 but the fact that you're 50 and you look so awesome makes me feel like I really have to work harder. And stop eating.

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    Replies
    1. Actually he's 52 and don't let him tell you otherwise.

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    2. Well, honey, you oughta know!

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  9. *fanning myself* Is it hot in here, or is it just you? :)

    You did a great job on the suit! The leaf placement couldn't be better if you'd planned it.

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    Replies
    1. I think Peter did plan the leaf placement.

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  10. While looking at your recent photos I kept wondering: "why are there two toilets in the living room???"

    Now I see it's two small designer tables with laptops.

    Good swimsuit; I'd never have the guts to wear something that short and tight.

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  11. Oh ... my. Hubba-HUBBA!

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  12. Whoa! I'd say you need a fig leaf but you've already got one! ;-) The fit is spot on!

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  13. Thank you for going through the construction steps with such good pictures. The results are great.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know where all my self-restraint is coming from, but I am simply going to agree with you, Mouse.

      Great job, Peter!

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  14. Bravo! I would never take on sewing a swim suit and I certainly couldn't brave modeling it.

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  15. There was a typo…anyway…the fig leaf swimsuit is my favorite!

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  16. Absolutely fab! And, so much better than anything I've seen in rtw. So, Peter, how do you feel about a red and violet outfit since you look so good in both colours?

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  17. Be still my fainting heart! Nice gams.

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  18. Those turned out great! May I ask why you chose not to put elastic in the waist as well? Is this something that is only in ladies' suits?

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    Replies
    1. A few people asked about elastic. In a fabric with such strong stretch (high spandex content) -- and it will vary from knit to knit -- there's no need. The drawstring is to make sure you can swim confidently in it.

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  19. Beautiful job! One of my first projects was a bathing suit, an Andrew Christian wannabe, with uh codpiece, as you describe. The front pouch is white stars on dark blue, the rest is red and white striped fabric; my all American boy look. For a complete newbie they look good, though I don't think I'll post photos. Bravo, Peter.

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  20. Now you need to test drive them to see if they will stay up.

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  21. Brilliant fit, you look fabulous. Plus, I spurted tea all over myself with your pattern placement. Briiliant!

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  22. The striped trunks killed me - When I scroll past, somehow the monitor movement makes it appear that - wait for it - you're flexing your butt! Honestly! It cracks me up, the funniest thing I've ever seen!

    Does anyone else get that optical illusion?

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  23. Cute tushie! And I love the tropical fig leaf, coincidence or not.

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  24. Nice... Very nice... It looks like a brazilian speedo suit. I am sure you will swim with confidence
    Now imagine you are in Copacabana beach along with thousand of man wearing similar suit. Pass the smelling salts please.
    I am sure you are ready to turn in a new leaf

    Oh! Thanks for the memories
    Josie

    ReplyDelete

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