Earlier this summer while on a fabric buying spree, I purchased 2 yards of swimsuit fabric from Chez Ami. I had never attempted to sew a swimsuit and had no plans of trying this summer. However, due to B having a growth spurt and M's current suits not holding up too well both needed new ones for our Labor Day camping trip to NC's Outer Banks.
I had 2 patterns from Ottobre Design picked out...#20 in the 02/04 issue and #38 in the 03/09 issue. The plan was to sew #20 first in a size 92 and see which girl it fit best.
It fit both girls but over all the swimsuit looked best on B's more rounded body. I went ahead and traced off a 98 for the next swimsuit from the 03/09 issue hoping that it would fit M well and still allow a bit of growing room since summer is coming to an end.
I did make one minor alteration to the pattern. Instead of cutting 4 straps out and having them tie on top of the shoulders, I cut 2 which turned out to be a good length and stitched them in place.
Quick note: It looks like M is significantly taller than B in this picture...as one would expect with a 2 year age difference. However, B is standing in a hole. There is only about an inch difference in height and B weighs a couple of pounds more than her big sister. Their trunks are about the same length but M's legs are a little longer which is why I started with the size 92 suit and went from there.
Sewing the swimsuits was a lot easier than I'd expected. I did learn a few things that will make the next batch better. My first attempt with sewing the elastic on was around the neckline of the first swimsuit. I zig-zagged it to the wrong side of the fabric then folded it under and zig-zagged again on the right side. However, I stitched too close to the inside edge which caused the elastic to flip forward a bit.
Also, on M's suit I did a horrible job of basting the crotch lining in. It was so bad that when I did the elastic on the legs and flipped it to the inside, I still didn't catch all of the raw edges. So, I flipped it again...and still managed to miss a small section. The more I think about it the problem might have been that I put the lining in the wrong way. I was in such a hurry that I didn't label my pattern tracings very well and eyeballed which end was the front.
Overall, I'm happy with the end results and will be making the girls' swimsuits for next summer.