Making Swimwear

Posted by The Tall Mama
I always thought that you needed an overlocker and or coverstitch machine (neither of which I have) to make swimwear.  Or at least to make swimwear that would be sturdy enough to actually swim in!
Those thoughts changed when I started sewing on my Designer Jade 35, with its amazing array of stitches.  I found really good swimwear instructions which told you exactly which stitches to use for the best result.  Swim Style Patterns ( have great designs for all shapes and swimming needs and also offer really comprehensive instructions for swimwear beginners like myself.  I have made 2 suits (scoop back one piece and the Avoca one piece) from the Swim Style Patterns range and am happy with them both, and have actually been swimming in them so I know they hold up!
The first swimsuit I made was the scoop back one piece.  I added length for my height and graded the pattern to my measurements.  Swimwear is really fast to sew as it’s only small (ish!). 
I highly recommend using good quality swimwear lining, swimwear fabric and swimwear elastic.  It will ensure that your fabric doesn’t become transparent during wear and lasts longer.  I know from experience that thicker fabric is easier to sew than a flimsy lycra knit too!
For the main construction I used the stretch stitch on the Designer Jade 35.  I didn’t back stitch at the ends of my seams, in case the fine knit fabric got pulled into the machine, instead I left tails of thread and knotted them.  To insert the elastic I used the 3 step zigzag stitch, as per the instructions.  It was my first time using this stitch and it gave a great result! 

When using the 3 step zigzag stitch I suggest doing a test first with your elastic and adjusting the width of the stitch accordingly so it covers the width of the elastic.
To finish the edges of my swimsuit I used the cover stitch (stitch option 6 on your Designer Jade 35).  I was SO impressed with this stitch!  It gave a really professional looking finish and made the edges feel really secure.  
Now that I have made 2 swimsuits I’m eager to make more!  I can’t believe I was so intimidated by making swimwear (mostly afraid it would fall apart during wear!!).  When you have a good pattern & instructions (I really cannot recommend Swim Style Patterns highly enough!), the right materials and a great machine with all the stitches you need it really is a joy to sew!  I love that I’m still discovering applications for all the stitches  the Designer Jade 35 offers, it doesn’t feel like a machine I will “outgrow” which is wonderful!
Happy Sewing!

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