Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bathers! I made Bathers! (The Bombshell Swimsuit in fact)

[How amazing was the view from our hotel? We were on the 18th floor]

Why is it that getting photos of bathers is infinitely more weird than photos of anything else? The sneak peek I posted on instagram suggests I finished these in October 2013 (below left), so it's been well over a year now, eek!

These have been well worn since completing them, coming with me on not one, but two beach holidays to Queensland (another instagram piccy shared on the first of those trips, above right), and worn on a few afternoons that were spent lazing in the pool at my old flat.

I tried taking some photos on a weekend trip to Warrnambool, where my friend's family had a spa we took advantage of. However, photos in the spa still felt weird. What I really needed was a beach. Thankfully, another opportunity presented itself, with my second beach trip to Queensland, this time to celebrate my Gran's 90th birthday (Happy Birthday again Granny!). In case you're wondering, these pics were taken on the beach at Coolangatta, which is just on the Queensland-New South Wales border.

[apologies for the squinty face, it was really bright!]

Despite the long period between completing this make and this post, I am still excited that I made bathers though, BATHERS! (For the international among you, 'bathers' is a fantastic Aussie term for swim suit or bathing suit, which I have eagerly adopted into my vocabulary)


The fabric was from Rathdowne Fabrics, and the lovely lady that served me helped me pick out a lining fabric to use too. This wasn't my original choice (which I also ended up buying and is waiting patiently in my stash to be transformed) but I decided that this print would look better ruched.

The pattern is the Bombshell Swimsuit from Closet Case Files. I picked the view with the halter, as I thought it would be more supportive and flattering than the other view. However, rather than get strain on my neck from the halter straps, I extended the straps and after crossing them over attached them to the back. This worked really really well, and the swimsuit feels both really secure and comfortable when I'm wearing it, which is exactly what I was after.

I also added some width to the top section of the pattern to give some more coverage at the sides, and didn't leave a gap between the two pieces at the centre front. The only other change I would make next time is to be more careful with the back gathers, focusing the gathers further up, as I get a bit of gather 'sagging' right at the bottom which I think could be avoided.

When choosing which bathers pattern to make, I was concerned about the front skirt-like part of this pattern and how practical and comfortable it would make the bathers, as I've never owned anything like this before. I have to say now, I'm completely converted! It's comfortable, doesn't go anywhere you don't want it to, and (I think) flattering. A big 10/10 from me.

I stitched the bathers together using the triple 'stretch' stitch on my machine, and then zig-zagged over the raw edges to keep them neat. The stretch stitch is great, it's really secure and also just as stretchy as overlocking would be. I had done lines of basting stitches to gather the ruched panels and it was really fun stretching out the pieces after stitching the seamlines to break the basting/gathering stitches to make them easier to pull out.

I followed the instructions as written, albeit with a lot of complaining about the formatting of the instructions. The instructions are incredibly comprehensive (which is good), but I found it frustrating that there are multiple steps per point. This led to the requirement to re-read each section multiple times, meaning it took longer and required more brain power than necessary, to make sure that I didn't miss anything accidentally. I would prefer it if the instructions were broken down into a step per point.

Incidentally, I have the same issue with the recipes in the Jamie Oliver cook books that I have, where I have actually missed a step in the middle of a big paragraph before, leading to a ruined dinner. If I were to make these again, or any other patterns with similar style instructions (I don't know if the other Closet Case Files patterns are the same), I would do what I now often do with Jamie's recipes and re-write out the instructions breaking down the paragraphs into their individual steps.

Pattern: Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files
Fabric: Swimsuit Lycra from Rathdowne Remnants
Notions: Swimsuit Lining fabric, clear elastic, thread

See also: The Hand Stitched Files, Sewaholic, Sallieoh

Have you made bathers (or whatever you would call them)? Can you explain the weirdness behind getting photos of them??


  1. Oh very nice! Love your work :)

  2. Your bathers look fab! The slang word I'd use is "cossie" (pronounced cozzy) for swimming costumes. Anyway, I think taking photos in them maybe feels weird because one is half naked - at least I know I feel really self conscious about that! Nice work on yours, it's great to see you're getting a lot of wear out of it - a sign of good workmanship!

    1. In this, not that half naked! I've seen women walking around the city on a weekend evening in dresses about the same size!

  3. I like your idea for the straps, I'd been wondering how well a halter neck would support my chest without giving me permanent neck problems! Also - home town represent, I'm from Warrnambool :)

  4. The crossover straps are great, these look fab ;o)

  5. Gah! You look fabulous. And some good feedback there. I'm going to keep in mind your point about the bum gathers: I seem to recall a few people having found they sag a bit. I'll make sure to push the bulk of gather a little higher up.

  6. These look really lovely on you! This may sound a bit strange, but I thought I'd recognized the trees in the background of your first photo and then I read they were taken in Coolangatta, I was there with my sister in 2006, during my internship in Australie, seeing that beach just brought back lots of happy memories, so thank you!

  7. Nice work on the cross back straps. I bet you feel a lot more comfortable. Love your print choice too.

  8. I am in awe of those who sew their own swimmers/cossies/togs/bathers/take you pick. Great job and they look fabulous.

  9. Ugh, I have the same problem with Jamie recipes.
    These look well hot:)

  10. These are fab, Rach! The print is so summery :D I am voting Team Togs (but only because I am a QLDer) :)

  11. Great work - you look amazing. My own bombshell was a total fail...not helped by the fact that I printed the pattern out in the wrong format so the sizing was all wrong.


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