Friday, May 2, 2014

My New Swimsuit Pattern! (Plus a Sew-Along Update)

OMG, I'm so excited! I've just released my first swimsuit pattern with Butterick. B6067 is a one-piece that is completely '50s-inspired (but made in modern swimwear fabric for comfort).

How hot is this model?! She's totally working the bombshell pin-up vibe.

As you can see, the suit has a modesty panel (kind of like a little skirt), ruching at the sides, and at the bustline. There are separate cup sizes included, yay! The bust is reinforced with polylaminate foam (you can buy it here) for structure, and there's boning in the side seams.

This was my first foray into swimwear, and it is so much fun.



Here's a picture of it pinned on my dress form, so you can see what it looks like flat.

I love this type of pin-up swimsuit, because it's flattering on so many figures, and is especially great on curves.

It has a vintage applique hand sewn to the neckline, which is totally optional. Another cool idea is to do the bust ruching in a contrasting color, like in this illustration:

I'll definitely be writing more about sewing swimwear once the slip sew-along is over. Speaking of which! I had an . . . incident, let's call it. I took a bunch of photos for the next post, and I had a computer glitch which completely erased them. They are long gone, and deleted from my camera. I have to go back and start the slip from scratch to get photos. I'll do that this weekend--sorry for the delay!

59 comments:

  1. That's a very cute suit! I'm happy to see the separate cups sizes included; that makes it so much easier. What's a good place to find swimsuit fabric? (We can't do it in wool jersey, like way back when...)

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    1. The Fabric Fairy is amazeballs for swim fabric and knits. I ordered some lemon and berry print swim fabric from there and this is just the pattern to use it on

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    2. I second The Fabric Fairy - I got a red and white polka-dot swim fabric that I used for my maternity bathing suit there and I still have another piece that's black with pink polka-dots - both are really good quality.

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    3. I just ordered a white polka dot and lavendar swim fabric from The Fabric Fairy. I took a chance and just ordered it so it would get here soon. Then I came here since I bought it to use with Gertie's pattern. Glad to see the Fabric Fairy recommendations!
      Laurie

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  2. I really love this! I sort of feel like it's the vintage pattern I've most ever wanted to own, but I didn't know until I saw it.

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  3. Swimwear is probably my favorite thing to sew. And yours is so cute! I loooove it with the contrast ruching at the bust. Do you think that bustline is supportive enough for larger busted women? I always feel like the seam across the bust might be a bit odd for a larger chest...

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    1. The seam should go right under the bustline, actually. And yes, I think it's supportive enough. I'm going to look into adding underwire since I know that question will come up!

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  4. I really liked this pattern at first glance but the cup seaming not being under the breast cup seems strange to me? It looks more natural on the illustration. Is the model wearing it differently than intended? I want to sew it, but am worried about how that seam would translate to a D cup. Thanks!

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    1. It's supposed to go under the bust! I think the model is a little bustier than the sample was intended for.

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    2. That's good! But it's a shame they didn't fit the model a bit better!

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    3. Oh yay, I was going to say the same thing. Love the suit but the bust seam looks odd. I wanted it to go right under the bust. I was just going to make adjustment to make it dip lower but now I dont need to! Wahoo!

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    4. I was thinking the same thing. I'm very aware of style lines around the bust region. My opinion is that if a style has a bust "shelf" than the bust needs to be ON the shelf. Otherwise it looks like the bobs are way too big for the garment... which is the story of my ready to wear life anyway so I don't stand for it in my personal sewing.

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    5. Grace, if fitted correctly, the bust seam will go under the bust.

      In vintage dresses, many shelf bust styles go across the bust however. Luckily, since you sew you can determine that for yourself!

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    6. You're right... some shelf styles do go over the bust. This makes it a little tricky to determine if the style would work for my tastes since it could be a matter of a sample that is not fitted to the model. I'm delighted that the intended correct fit of this style because it's just adorable and would suit me well (especially with sized cups) so I'll be be watching this sew along with interest.

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  5. I love this swimsuit pattern!! It is a flattering style for anyone! Sewing swimwear is so much fun. I used to make my swimwear and my daughter's swimwear when they were younger, and I did keep the patterns.

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  6. I know you mention that it is for a modern swimsuit fabric- but for me I like the traditional stiffer fabrics - would this pattern still work if I chose a stiffer fabric? Also, I sew on a 50s hand wound sewing machine- does this pattern require more modern sewing techniques than I can do on my trusty singer?! Thanks Gertie X

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    1. Hi Shelly, do you mean you want to use a woven fabric? This pattern wouldn't work for a woven as it is. It needs 4-way stretch to fit properly and to be able to get the swimsuit on. My book coming out in September has a playsuit design that you might find more to your liking!

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  7. Cute! I will definitely be picking this pattern up!

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  8. So very cute! I want to make that this summer!

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  9. I absolutely LOVE it. I've never tried a swimsuit before, but I am dying to try this. Any plans for a sew along?
    Thanks for the clarification on the bust seam (and for including cup sizes in the pattern!!!!). That definitely pushes this pattern to the top of my most wanted list :)

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    1. Yes, I think I will do a sew-along!

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  10. Wow.... ok I may just attempt this..... cute!

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  11. Okay, Miss Thang, you have officially blown my mind. I have never had any interest in sewing a swimsuit until now. I already have a bunch of cute vintage suits, but this would fit right in!!!! Thanks for continuing to produce the most awesome, adorable patterns out there! Do you ever sleep?!

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  12. I adore it! Can't wait to make it. Side ruching combined with the "modesty panel" has always been my favorite look in swimsuits on my body. So excited!

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  13. Love the swimsuit. And as for losing your pics, I don't know if you tried this, but you can get software to recover pics off your memory card when they get mistakenly erased. It's happened to me and it works as long as you haven't formatted the card. You can find free versions googling recover memory card pictures or something similar. I can't remember which one I used. Good luck! It's quicker than doing it all over again!

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll give it a try!

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    2. Yikes, I tried one and it gave me a virus! Apparently some of them have malware. Let me know if you remember which one worked for you.

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    3. Oh, no! I'm not 100% sure, but I think I used the trial version of the Sd recovery pro on this list. I know it was definitely a trial version, but I may have had to pay to actually get the pictures back. You can check if there there with the trial though. http://softadvice.informer.com/Sd_Card_Recovery_Pro_Trial_Version.html

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  14. I really want this swimsuit! If I end up with time and can think of a way to steampunk it a little bit, I'm totally making it for my next convention adventure!

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  15. Yay!! I've been waiting for you to do this!! LOVE IT.

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  16. That's adorable. Has it been tested for swimming in? I'd be worried about the boning in the bodice causing discomfort while swimming.

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    1. My last RTW suit had boning in the sides and wasn't uncomfortable. The teeny tiny halter strap on it was more uncomfortable than the boning. The boning provided some stiffness and made me sit up straighter outside of the water, but I didn't notice trouble in the water. I was leisure swimming/lounging and not doing laps or anything with it though.

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    2. All of my store-bought swimsuits have boning and I've never found it a problem!

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  17. Cute, but very similar to the popular swimsuit pattern by Closet Case Files.

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    1. I like that suit, but I think mine is pretty different (though they both have the retro vibe). A few things: mine has bust cups with padding for support and modesty, boning for structure, princess seams on the modesty panel, ruching on the sides only for a slim front, and the accent bust ruching across the top. I designed mine to have much more structure and support. The Closet Case one just has lining through the bust, for example. That doesn't work for me since I don't want nipple show-through and I like a little extra support. It all depends on what you're looking for in a suit!

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    2. I think they are quite different! I like this pattern a lot Gertie, and it's a great option for someone who needs more support. There are only so many "silhouettes" out there and I think we both interpreted the 50's shape in very personal ways. Looking forward to seeing how this is constructed!

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    3. Thanks, Heather Lou! I like your pattern too--I looked over your sew-along (which is terrific, by the way) to make sure that I was offering something different. But you're so right--there's only so much you can do with this basic silhouette, mostly putting ruching or gathering in different places! I have a magazine full of bathing suit ads from the 50s, and all the suits are slight variations on one theme!

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  18. Love it! Definitely on my list for the next trip to the fantasy emporium (aka "my local fabric store")

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  19. Gertie, do you think it would be possible to add powernet for some tummy flattening and perhaps some underwires?
    I'm a 36L so boosting needed!

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  20. The only vintage cloth I owe is a swimsuit like this one without the modern stuff and I cannot fit in it anymore.Just recently I said all the swimsuit pattern are 2 piece why can't I find a full piece look.So I definitely cannot wait this I will get.waiting.

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  21. Awesome! I love this! (It looks complicated, so I think a sew along is a great idea!) You're so awesome, Gertie!

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  22. Really love your swimsuit, have,nt made one before and would love to give it a try. Two things- being on the slender side would it still fit as well without the padding and the boning. and would it be easy to convert it to over the shoulder straps instead of a halter neck i,m a little self conscious of my boney back.

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  23. I just want to say how good it is to see the concept of "modesty" in fashion. A rare thing.

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  24. Love the costume. Just catching up with your sewalong so great timing for me! Love the kit I purchased firm you. If you do read this I appear to have lost piece 4 from the slip pattern, can you tell me now long the elastic should be for the C cup size!

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  25. I dread wearing a swimsuit and have been a little wary of making one, but this one is just so irresistible! The design makes me think "I can wear this" and knowing it's a Gertie pattern makes me think "I can do this." Thanks for the inspiration!

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  26. Thank you so much for designing this classic pattern, it's genius! I plan to try making one for a busty tall girl who loves vintage and is totally frustrated by RTW.
    a note on the digital photo loss: I had the same trouble recently and couldn't make that retrieval software work either, but my local camera guys saved the day (if you haven't already, try your local camera shop).

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  27. Oh my gosh you have no idea how perfect this is! I've been wanting to make my own swimsuit for the longest time and was planning on altering some other swimwear patterns. This is the exact look I was going for! I don't know if i'll be able to wait for the next dollar sale at JoAnns, I might just hop over and get one now!

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  28. Yes, I am also wondering about working some power mesh in to the tummy area. No so much the sides but that flat front panel. Thx! This may be a sew along I may actually join. :)

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  29. More beautiful then any skimpy thong junk that girls think they need to wear. Thank you for bringing classy, gorgeous clothing back! Simply stunning; I just bought all of your patterns and book. Congrats on your success.!

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  30. I can't believe I somehow missed these news, but I just want to say congratulations and thank you/!!! I stumbled upon the pattern on ebay, and said to myself.. weird, this totally looks like Gertie's, how could have I missed it..? It is yours! Awesome pattern! Rose Marie Reid is happy, I bet.
    You know a sew along on that one would be gold. Please have one!

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  31. When I checked my mail the other day, lo & behold, what did I find??? It was a Hancock's Fabric circular featuring this very pattern!!! :) Way to spread the word. Hopefully we'll be seeing loads of these pop up at the pool this summer.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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