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Ahoy, sewists! I am SO excited about this pattern release and have been dying to share these pics! Patterns for Pirates has released TWO incredible swimsuit separate patterns. Sewing your own swimsuit can be a bit intimidating, and definitely is more of an intermediate level project, but it is SO rewarding! Many women dread swimsuit shopping. Our proportions vary so much, and we all have a unique shape & build. This makes it [sometimes] discouragingly hard to find a store-bought swimsuit that will fit well! And when it comes to swimsuits, we not only want a great fit, but we NEED it! We don’t want to risk any wardrobe malfunctions, especially with children around! 🙂
Enter the Siren Swim Top & the Hello Sailor Bottoms sewing patterns from Patterns for Pirates! These patterns are easy to customize to get the right fit, and have several amazing variations to suit a variety of styles & tastes! These patterns include instructions to create comfortable, supportive, and flattering swimwear separates for women of many shapes & sizes.
First, let’s just talk about the pattern details. We’ll start with the Siren Swim Top:
Sizes XXS-Plus 3X (bust 30″-54″)
Cut lines for A-G cup
Plain, Straight Flounce or Pointed Flounce Front
Plain Back or Straight Back Flounce
Straight or Crossed Straps
Optional Boning on side seams
Instructions for optional sew-in cups
Instructions to add extra support with swimwear elastic
And the Hello Sailor Swim Bottoms:
Sizes XXS-Plus 3X (Hip 33″-58″)
High Waisted – hits at natural waist
Plain, Paneled, Ruched Side Options
Optional Attached Skirt
Skirt – Side-tie or Elastic Ruched Sides
Great booty coverage
Patterns for Pirates‘ patterns are always fantastic. The sizes are layered, so you can print only the sizes you need. They are no trim pages, so the pattern pieces assemble rather quickly. There are instructions on how to blend sizes to get the right fit. The instructions are written tutorial-style with full color photographs, and will walk you right through from start to finish! They are computer drafted, and easy to read. They are also tested extensively in EVERY size, and adjustments are made when necessary! Let’s just say, they are high-quality PDF patterns!
For my first round of testing, I made myself a swimsuit. Here’s the rundown –
For my top: Size XXL • Pointed flounce front • Flounce back • cut between 3″-4″ cut line • Crossed straps • Power Mesh innerlining on the front • Version 1 (no elastic in straps or along neckline)
For my bottoms: Side Tie Skirt • Size XXL at waist graded to XL at the hip • Plus 1X waistband • 3/4″ added to the rise of the main bottom pieces • Powermesh innerlining in the front • Version 1 (changes were made to side casing & ties)
I’ve mentioned before that my measurements are usually alllll over the place. Blending sizes and choosing the sizes according to your measurements is key in getting the correct fit! I have never, ever been comfortable in a two-piece bathing suit. I have had 3 children – countless stretch marks, a gall bladder removal surgery, and really lovely bellybutton piercing scar (thanks a lot, 18-year-old me!). I was so hesitant to agree to testing for this pattern, knowing I would have to take & SHARE modeled pictures. Of me. In a bathing suit. On the internet.
Well, I love this swimsuit. I have never felt so comfortable, supported, and confident in a bathing suit! The coverage is amazing, and there are great methods to getting the correct support included in the instructions. This past year has been a struggle for me as far as my weight goes. I’ve been trying to figure out how to effectively treat my Hashimoto’s/Hypothyroid and my weight has been up & down, non-stop. I’m currently 40 lbs above where I’d like to be. The fact that I feel this great in a bathing suit is nothing short of a miracle. And a 2-piece nonetheless! I’ll just say it.. Judy is magic!
Both my bottoms & my top have a Power Mesh innerlining in the front. It’s basically a second lining that is much tighter (like Spanx) to add extra-firm support! It keeps the girls in check and helps control my mom-tummy. You have to be careful about where you get your Power Mesh though, because the quality makes a HUGE difference. The “power mesh” I have gotten from Joann for a precious pattern test was basically useless. I picked some up from a local custom dancewear shop for this pattern test. I’ll be sharing some online sources soon though! Both the top & bottoms are also fully lined, which is crucial for swimwear. Without the lining, most swim fabrics would be too thin and see-through.
Let me just tell you how much I LOVE the skirt! The ruched sides are adorable, and for me, the added coverage is necessary! I usually wear shorts or something over my swimsuit bottoms, and now that is one less thing I have to worry about! Some of the other testers made a detached skirt as well to wear as a cover-up. For those who might be less than confident in their upper thighs, the skirt is brilliant, stylish, and functional.
Moving on to testing round 2! Some very important changes were made to the pattern during the second round of testing. Instructions were added to insert elastic through the straps, to help them “hold up” better. Instructions were also added to include boning in the side seams for added support. On top of that, instructions were added to attach elastic around the front & back necklines, and under the arms for even more support! You busty ladies will REALLY, sincerely appreciate those additions to the pattern! They really keep “the girls” well supported, and seriously help prevent accidental flashings! 🙂
For the second round, I made a swimsuit for my baby sister. She will be leaving in less than 2 weeks to spend 4 months in the Dominican Republic teaching english to under-privileged children. Her spare time will be spent at the beach! She has a harder time finding swimsuits that fit well because while she is thin, she is quite busty – a D cup. Sorry for sharing your cup size, Miranda! 🙂 So, I made her a custom swimsuit according to her measurements and cup size, and the end result is perfect! It fits well and has great support! And those side-ruched bottoms – ALL the heart eyes.
Isn’t she cute!? She requested the ruched-side bottoms, and a straight front & back flounce. She chose the black and cheetah print for a super amazingly chic swimsuit! I absolutely adore how this turned out!
Here are the full details for her suit –
For the top: Size Medium • 3″ cut line • Straight Flounce front & back • Straight straps • Soft cups sewn in • Elastic in side seam of lining • Boning in side seam of main • Elastic along front & back neckline & under arms • 3/4″ elastic in straps • 1″ elastic in waistband
For the bottoms: Size Medium • Ruched sides • shortened rise 1/2″ • Power Mesh innerlining in the front
Since we don’t have the ocean in Utah, we faked it and took some “beachy” looking photos at smelly Utah Lake! I think for our purposes, it worked out well! The straight flounce and the high waisted bottoms are seriously so flattering on her, and add to the “hourglass” figure effect! Seriously, stunning.
She is set for some fun in the sun in the D.R.! I am a little jealous of the adventure she will be embarking on! But, I think my children and husband might miss me a little if I ditched the country for 4 months! I know she will have such an amazing, life changing experience.. and of course a TON of fun!
We looked up swimwear model poses on Pinterest and had so much fun doing our little swimsuit photoshoot! She wasn’t too much of a diva and went along with most of the silly poses I requested of her. I didn’t even have to bribe her with Shopkins!
While we had plenty of posing Pinspiration, Miranda came up with the above pose all on her own! lol 🙂 I think this one will have to be printed & framed. Thanks again for your help and cooperation, sister!
On a side note – today in the Patterns for Pirates Facebook Group, the testers all shared our modeled pictures. The acceptance, love, and encouragement between an enormous group of women was utterly amazing! Women of all sizes (XXS-Plus 3X) shared their versions and all were met with kind compliments and support! It’s amazing being in a community of uplifting women who encourage and help each other instead of trying to tear one another down! I was feeling all the warm fuzzies with all of the amazing compliments I received and saw for other testers.
Again, a huge thanks to Judy for all of her hard work in creating patterns that women of all sizes can feel comfortable and confident in!
Of course you’re wondering about the release sale, am I right? Both patterns are on sale for $8 each through May 1, 2016 (midnight CST). In addition to the release sale, you can use the code “SWIMBUNDLE” for an extra $2 off!
You can grab the Siren Swim Top HERE and the Hello Sailor Swim Bottoms HERE. Grab both patterns, and come back tomorrow for my post about SEWING WITH SWIM FABRIC! I’m going to share some tips that I have learned along the way.
PS – Check out THIS POST on the Patterns for Pirates Blog with some amazing pattern hacks! Including a 1-piece hack! <3