OK you knew it was going to happen after I made my Little Mermaid inspired yoga set… behold… the Little Mermaid swimsuit in all her sparkly glory!
I’ve always wanted a mermaid bathing suit and I found a few on Etsy, but I still refuse to pay more than $50 for what basically takes less than a half yard of fabric to make. (I know labor is factored into price, but still!) Thanks to sewing, I now have the power to control design and cost. I also possess the power to make all of my childhood dress-up dreams come true. 🙂
I tested my new bikini during my Las Vegas trip at the end of June and luckily it held up after sun bathing in 105+ degrees and multiple dips in the pool. I have to admit that it was a little awkward having my mom take pictures of me in front of strangers at the Luxor for the sake of the blog…
I had quite a bit of fabric left after making my yoga set for the Cali Fabrics blog and I knew this fabric would do very well as a swimsuit. Both the purple and mermaid scale spandex fabrics are thick with a good amount of stretch, so I don’t have to worry about see-through pool incidents or worry about needing pads inserted into the bikini top.
The pattern is McCall’s 5400 views C/D and H. I tried making this pattern last year with different fabric and the triangle bikini top and completely bombed it. Other than poor choice of fabric, I think it also boiled down to not listening to the elastic guides. I followed everything to a T for my second try and other than lengthening the elastic at the waistband and lengthening the bikini band a smidge, the guides were spot on!
I made a size 8 in the top for the A/B bust size and 14 in the bottom. My bust is about 36″ and my hips are about 41″ for reference. Next time, I’ll size up for both because the suit is just a tad too small. I’m hiding my little muffin top in the pictures, but it’s definitely there! The bottoms don’t go higher than a 14 in the pattern I bought, but I can sew a smaller seam allowance to make them a tad bit bigger.
For lining and the crotch guard (heehee), I used a nude power mesh. This worked really well!
And what new me-made bathing suit would be complete without a me-made cover-up?
It doesn’t quite go with the mermaid theme, but it’s definitely summery enough. The pattern is Seamwork’s Mojave, shortened 6 inches so it was less “muu-muu” esque. It was a fast and easy sew. I made a size 8, grading to a 10 at the hips. I definitely can get away with the size 6 next time as this is very roomy. I hand-stitched the the V at the bust halfway closed since it was a pretty deep cut to begin with and closing up the V helps keep the shoulders from shifting around too much.
The fabric is a sale item I got from GirlCharlee.com a while ago. It’s onion skin fabric, which I didn’t realize is basically a scratchy gauze. It’s perfect for a swimsuit cover-up, though! It’s pretty sheer and dries very quickly. It wasn’t too bad to sew with as I mostly used my serger for joining the seams. I have a bit of this fabric left over but am not sure what else I can make with it. It’s currently sitting in my donation pile and will be on the way to make someone else happy unless I come up with another use for it quickly!
I’m so happy with my new swim wear… now if only I had access to a pool on a regular basis so I could be a mermaid all the time!
Have you made the plunge into making swimwear yet? Tell me about your experience in the comments!
Keep on swimmin’!