We just returned from our week long vacation on Hornby Island here in BC! I got the chance to wear my new Bombshell Swimsuit and DIY Beach Kimono almost everyday, so my pre-trip sewing marathon was totally worth it. Hornby is a beautiful island that is mostly surrounded by sandstone rock formations on the shores. It also has its fair share of gorgeous smooth sandy beaches to frolic on as well. My beach ensemble worked out great, I managed to avoid getting burned and the suit was ideal for swimming & exploring the shoreline.
Closet Case Files is a totally killing it. Everyone is currently going nuts for the Sallie Jumpsuit and come fall I’m sure we will see lots more Ginger Jeans and Carolyn PJ’s too….from myself included! Heather makes really great patterns that are easy to print and put together, intuitive, and most importantly they are so flattering! Just take a look at Heather’s Pinterest board of Bombshells to see countless gorgeous beach babes in their makes. I am head over heals for this swimsuit and all it’s lovely design details. The lower cut along the bum is such a refreshing change from all the beach wedgies and saggy bikini bottoms of my past. I also LOVE the little skirt that comes down over the front, it is a little hard to see in these photos, but it covers the bikini line, which makes me feel so much more comfortable. It’s like a normal swimsuit underneath, with a ruched top piece that extends down and meets up with the lower bottoms on the back. You can get a good sense of it at this stage of construction on Heather’s Bombshell Sew-along.
I made view B of the swimsuit, with the triangle halter top. I opted to extend the straps down to cross at the back because I have never found halter swimsuits to be very comfortable. There was no pattern modification necessary to do this, the straps were long enough as is. Overall, the construction of the suit was quite smooth. I’ve been intimidated by swimwear for so long because I thought I needed a serger to do it (not true, zig-zag stitch works just fine), I figured putting in the elastic around the leg and torso would be challenging (very easy), and I was afraid of lycra, it is so slippery! The most time consuming and challenging part of making this suit is the ruching. It is not hard, but it is important to get it all nice and even. Once the stay-stitching was in to hold the ruching, constructing the suit was a breeze thanks to Heather’s Sewalong. She showcases how to do it without a serger every step of the way, which was very helpful and re-assuring. One thing I loved about sewing with stretch is that I didn’t have to do any pressing during the process! I’m sure I was probably supposed to at some point, but I was rushing and it was completely do-able without it.
The triangle top works well and is comfortable for me with my smaller bust size, but I still want to try making View A as well…..perhaps in a print? Can you believe I opted for a solid colour for my suit? The one garment where pretty much any pattern and colour combo is acceptable I go for black. Unfortunately it is hard to find good quality lycra in a decent pattern, I may have to source an online option for my next suit – any suggestions? The lycra I chose is a thicker 4 stretch fabric and it is a beast! I’m so used to store-bought suits, I was a alarmed by how heavy it was when it was soaking wet and how bulky it was to pack. When it’s on, however, it is so nice and form fitting, it hugs the hips and waist like a dream – by far the most comfortable suit I have ever owned.
The Beach Kimono
As you can probably tell from these photos, I am not the ‘go to the beach to get a tan’ type. I have finally come to terms with this after years of experimenting with self tanners, baby oils, and over sun exposure. It is just another one of those unattainable beauty standards that is so frustratingly silly, you absolutely do not need to be a certain size, shade, or any other measure of attractive to have fun at the beach!
To help protect my skin from the sun this year I decided to make a nice lightweight beach wrap that I could throw on for strolling the shores and rocks around Hornby. I’ve still got my sunscreen on of course, but it’s still helping and it was really fun to wear on such a windy day.
The construction of this kimono is dead easy, I used 2 meters of fabric and made some simple cuts before sewing it all up in under an hour.
Final Stats: Bombshell Swimsuit
Total project time: Approximately 4 hours
Fabric: 2 meters lycra, 1 meter swimsuit lining
Pattern: Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files, Size 14
Final Stats: DIY Beach Kimono
Total project time: Approximately 1 hours
Fabric: 2 meters