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!