Recently I was asked by Ajaire from the Call Ajaire blog and creator of DBCA patterns if I’d like to join a girls’ swimwear blog tour. It’s been ages since I’ve done a pattern tour, and it was also the perfect excuse to get me to cut into some of the swimwear fabric I bought last spring. So of course, I said yes! Not being very experienced at sewing swimwear I chose the Perfect Maillot pattern by DBCE, Ajaire’s pattern line. Use the code swim tour and you can get 20% off the pattern.
The simplicity of the design of The Perfect Maillot would be a perfect complement to this wild sixties inspired print. and I think it works well together. Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet again with making swimsuits, I have a couple more swimsuit projects coming up for myself. The actual sewing of this one one piece was pretty easy. I think most beginners could tackle this project. I have made a couple suits in the past, one for Gigi when she was a toddler, and then one for me, which I royally screwed up. I was ready to try again!
Isn’t Gigi’s garden pretty? She planted all those sunflower seeds with her dad and myself last spring, and has watched them grow over the months. She’s grown quite a bit, too!I did make two muslins for the suit as there were a few issues I let slip by on the first muslin. But I feel we now have achieved a perfect fit. I highly recommend making a muslin for any swimwear you sew. There are some issues like neckline gaping in our case, which can only be corrected in the pattern before cutting out the final fabric.
She is tres chic with her matching headband and thrifted sunglasses! I can tell she really likes this outfit. But she has her chic face on. I was relieved that I only had to print out seven pieces of paper for this pattern. I really appreciate that kind of organization on the part of designers as printing and taping is my least favorite things about modern sewing patterns. But seven pages I can do.
CUTTING THE RIGHT SIZE PATTERN
The instructions are very thorough for choosing the right size but I did make a cutting error which left me with a really LONG suit the first try .Gigi is narrow and long. She’s average height for a seven year old. But her chest, waist, and hip measurements fit the size 4. I failed to measure her TORSO and went ahead and cut a size 7 height. Well, after trying on that long crotched concotion, I realized I should have adjusted the pattern for her torso length, not her actual height! Her torso is actually only 40 inches which leaves her at about a size 5 for length. She has long legs but a short torso. Lucky girl!
The pattern has lengthen and shorten lines and the directions explain very clearly how to make the height adjustments. I had added about 6 inches to the pattern and I only needed to add 3 inches. So I shortened my next pattern. I added one inch to the back , one inch to the straps, and one inch to the front. A quick try on revealed that I didn’t need to lengthen the straps at all so I took that one inch back out.
PATTERN FITTING ADJUSTMENTS
My second muslin was supposed to be my final version but there were a few fitting issues that had slipped by me. Gigi has inherited mine and my mother’s narrow shoulders, so the straps were slipping off her shoulders after her test run in the backyard water slide. There was also gaping at the center front.
In case you are worried about me wasting so much fabric on my muslins, I need to reveal that I bought these fabrics for only two dollars a yard in the garment district. I’m glad to make some room on my fabric shelves. I’m actually giving muslin# 2 to Gigi’s best friend who wears the same size but has wider shoulders. I’m thinking it will fit her perfectly.
I made these changes:
Narrow shoulder adjustment
Removal of gaping at neckline by pivoting center front at the fold to remove an inch.
I was excited to try Ajaire’s instructions for sewing with a serger and coverstitcher. Alas, my serger seams became very bulky when crossing seams and sewing on the elastic. And my coverstitcher would skip stitches when going over thick seam intersections. I do have good machines, but either I’m not sure how to adjust tension properly for thick fabrics, or it was just too much for home machines to handle. So I played it safe and installed the elastic and finished the seams with a zig zag stitch.