I cannot say enough good things about the Bombshell Swimsuit pattern. The pattern is well drafted and easy to put together and the cut of the swimsuit is super flattering.
I never thought I'd post pictures of myself in a swimsuit on the Internet, but this is one swimsuit I'm not ashamed of wearing. It covers everything I want covered, it camouflages everything that needs camouflage and it's not in the least bit skimpy.
I feel good about it and I feel good about wearing it in public.
The pattern was a PDF and it was really simple to put together. All the sheets are numbered and they print in the order you put them together, so I got it all taped together on a board in the middle of our basement one night during TV time. Last time I used a PDF pattern, assembling the sheets confused me so much because the sheets weren't numbered, but this one was really simple.
You definitely need to print the instructions in color, though. I didn't and just ended up using the sew-along as directions, which was WONDERFUL. The step-by-step online instructions are amazing. I've never done a sew-along before, but now I see why they're so popular!
I messed up a few things and I kind of want to make another just so I can do it correctly. I thought the fabric was four-way stretch. And while it's stretchy all four ways, it's MUCH stretchier in one direction. And I cut it exactly the wrong way. Basically I'm a dunce.
I can wiggle my way into the suit, and it fits perfectly once it's on, but it's TOUGH to get on and off and consequently I'm not sure how long the seams will hold up. You can see how they're stretching in the side and back view pictures. It's because I have to roll and pull and work my way in.
I also cut the darts into the lining because the line on the pattern is a solid line and I wasn't thinking.
But guess what? Making a swimsuit is CHEAP compared to buying one. I bought a Victoria's Secret bikini last summer and it was $70. Fabric, notions, everything for this came to $20, despite the fact that I had to buy 2 yards of fabric when I only needed 1.5 yards. So I don't really feel bad about making a second one. Plus, it was a really fun make!
In terms of sizing, I cut an 8 at the top, a 10 in the middle and a 12 at the bottom (I'm a total pear). Since it's stretchy, I just eyeballed the grading.
I also read that Heather Lou added three inches to the suit for her 5'10" friend. Since I'm 5'9", I added 2 inches to my suit.
Ruching, by the way, is really easy with swim fabric! It's so slidey that it just ruches on up easily.
I sewed all the seams with my serger -- I loved how the pattern included serger instructions. Most knit patterns I've worked with don't. I guess they assume that if you have a serger, you know when to use it, but it's so nice when instructions are included for them.
So what do you think? What color should I make the next one in? I saw a really pretty white one somewhere... or maybe another print? What kind of fabric did you make yours out of?