Friday, 29 July 2011

and for my next trick ...

Can I sew a bathing suit? Well gee whiz, I'd like to. And if it's a question of what is possible, then yes of course I can. I do have to keep reminding myself that commercial garments too are sewn by somebody. Ok, somebody very proficient on industrial equipment (and possibly in dismal conditions) but, nevertheless, they are sewn.

I'm taking my inspiration from this Marimekko for H&M swimsuit that was on the market about five years ago. I actually tried it on and, of course, fit was an issue. Interestingly, this swimsuit was 100 per cent cotton - a cotton weave on the outside and a very fine cotton jersey lining with elastic at the legs. I ended up buying a black and red bikini version of which I mostly wear the bottoms with a plain black swim tank. Well, wore - my further inspiration for sewing a new swimsuit is that I seem to have lost the two of them.

So, a cotton swimsuit? Of course people used to knit woollen swimsuits in the 1930s. A quick look on ebay shows that swimsuits from the 1940s and 50s were often 100 per cent cotton with a whole lot of shirring and oftentimes a zipper. And let's not forget (as much as one might like to) the crochet bikinis of the 1970s.

Anyway, my point is, I would like to sew myself a vintage-styled swimsuit from something other than swimsuit material. Really, it seems to be a matter of styling more than fabric that makes something a swimsuit. I would probably use something with a bit of stretch (I love this floral from Mood fabrics) and maybe even a zipper, but that's ok with me, I wouldn't mind a zipper in my swimsuit. Just to clarify, I will not actually be swimming in it. Getting wet yes, taking my children to the wading pool yes, maybe even a parent-tot swim class but this swimsuit will not be seeing any athletic action.

So, this floral is a medium weight cotton sateen, 97 per cent cotton, 3 per cent spandex. Any ideas out there, dear readers (apart from something to help with my delusions)?

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