Sunday, 13 July 2014

Soma (not summer) swimsuit

I love swimming, and swimwear. Even at my biggest, I was in no way afraid of wearing a bikini or a nice one-piece. Never having sewed bathers before, I've been watching out for a pattern that suits my style.

When the Soma Swimsuit pattern was launched by Papercut, I was really excited. Papercut Patterns are a Kiwi company (the ONLY Kiwi pattern company?), and I like to buy local. I loved the bikini style with regular pants, and was confident that I could make any adjustments needed.

*NSFW pics below the jump*


My first iteration is loungewear. I used scraps of stash fabric. I did have to purchase some little metal rings for where the straps join together... and I couldn't find these at all in the shops (only ugly plastic ones). I ended up ordering them online from the US. Bear this in mind if you live in Australia or NZ - unless one of you knows a source that I didn't think of?

Need to make some adjustments to the top of the cup to minimise gaping
I won't talk much about the specific adjustments I made to the top. My underbust/waist measurements are XS, but my bust measurement is M. Any close-fitting top for me requires extra length (so the underbust band isn't at nipple height), some extra volume (increasing the darts, etc), and usually some neckline tweaking as well so that it all sits in the right place. So, I did all of this with reasonable success.

The elastic at the top of the cups takes a lot of the weight, so the stretch of this will determine how much support your top has. If you choose to use wider elastic, you will also need to increase the size of the metal rings. I also think that the back needs some extra stiffening where the fabric ends (see it bowing in the photo below?). Personal preference prevails, but I'm contemplating whether some plastic boning would help.

Love the style of the back!
This was my first project with fold-over elastic. I like the finish it creates, but if it is too narrow it is very hard to keep in place over the edge. I sew it on the inside first, with a long zig-zag. Then I fold it to the front and use a three-step zig-zag. This looks neat, and it's easier to control than sewing it all in one go.

I sewed the bottoms as per the instructions. The style is a bit meh, for me. They come up a little higher than I find flattering, and the crotch is far too wide. To sew these again, I'd have to chop about 3cm off the total crotch width. It will be just as simple to trace a pair of flattering undies instead.

Pretty good, but can be improved.
In summary: I like the style of the top - and think it will give sufficient support, especially if I include a layer of swimsuit foam between the lining and outer. The style of the bottoms does nothing for me, and I won't sew them again. This is a project for perhaps an advanced beginner - the instructions are very clear, but there are some techniques that are a bit fiddly.

Anyone else tried Papercut Patterns? Any thoughts on this particular pattern?

11 comments:

  1. They look pretty fantastic! I love that it's possible to make pretty much anything you want with the right pattern and a little bit of effort. It is also wonderfully odd to be making bathers in Winter, but it definitely means you're prepared for Summer. If only it worked like that for knitting, too. It's a little annoying to be preparing your Winter stuff in the middle of a heatwave...

    In other news, the link to your blog worked perfectly from my reader this time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so slow at sewing that it makes perfect sense for me to trial a pattern in winter that I may not wear for another six months! I've also changed sizes (again) since making this up, but at least I know how to make it now.

      I'm so glad that the post finally worked - goodness knows what Blogger was trying to do before.

      Delete
  2. These look great, but I haven't heard of Papercut Patterns before ... after seeing these I am definitely going to check them out ... J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love finding out about new (to me) pattern companies - maybe you'll find something you love :-)

      Delete
  3. Awesome! And I reiterate my previous comment on how awesome you're looking! I remember smiling pretty hardcore when I saw the latest offering from papercut, but being worried about how it would translate onto - you know - normal people. Looks like I need to worry no more - it works wonderfully! I saw fold over elastic for the first time the other day - very cool stuff. Love the grey on you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naw, thanks again Mel! You've inspired me to write an upcoming post...

      Delete
  4. I am glad I came across your blog as I plan to sew the Soma swimsuit TODAY! Thanks for sharing the crotch insights :) Same as you, I like my bikini bottoms slightly lower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inna, I hope your Soma swimsuit turns out well! It's a cute pattern.

      Delete
  5. I'm so glad to find your post on this suit (through Pattern Review) as I love this pattern but was unsure how it would look on a bustier gal (I ALWAYS have to do an FBA). Really good tips on using a bit wider elastic - I think this would really help give more support :) Lovely job on the suit - you look great!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad the review was helpful for you! All these nice comments have validated my choice to show these photos - it really is useful to see clothes on a variety of bodies.

      I've just had a quick peek at your blog - I love your style! Will be reading the archives for sure :-)

      Delete

Other posts you might like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...