I’ve been wanting to write a much more in-depth book on swimwear since I wrote Make & Fit Swimwear some years ago. There wasn’t any book on the market that went into the fitting, design and construction of all types of swimwear, including tankinis, monokinis or even bra bikinis. I decided to write what I tentatively called “the Big Book of Swimwear”. Like the Bra-makers Manuals that I wrote several years ago, this is also a comprehensive guide to Design, Draft, Fit and Construction, only this book is all about Swimwear.
Why should I make my own swimwear?
Making your own swimwear is a pleasure unto itself. Not only can you save money by making bathing suits at home, but the design options, fabric choices and fitting opportunities abound if you choose to sew your own. The best part is – it will fit your unique body.
Once you have a basic swimsuit that fits you well, that pattern can be modified to make patterns for other styles of suits, and each of them will look completely different than the original. You can transform your basic pattern blocks into a whole library of swimsuit styles. You should be able to look at a style you like in ready-to-wear and duplicate that look at home. That is the goal of this book – to teach you how to fit a swimsuit pattern, then modify the pattern into many other styles of swimwear.
What’s in the Big Book of Swimwear?
The book starts off with identifying the types of swimwear, including both one-piece and two-piece suits and all the top and bottom variations you might encounter. You’ll see the types of bust support and the back variations you might want to consider. We then move on to the style lines of swimwear that are flattering to the body with ample illustrations.
The next chapter is all about the materials used and how to choose them; from fabrics and linings to bra cups, elastics and hardware. Chapter 4 is all about patterns; measuring for a pattern or for foam cups and using a multi-size pattern to better fit your body. Then we move on to altering the patterns to fit you. Not only will you alter for length and width of your body, you’ll see bust cup alterations and how to draft the modifications for a separate bra back and even a built-in bra.
To the sewing machine! Learn the sequence of sewing a basic suit, as well as other one-piece suits. The section on correct machine settings and how to work with these sometimes challenging fabrics and elastics will make sewing swimwear a pleasure. The chapter on two-piece swimwear covers construction of tankinis, crop tops, swim shorts and bikinis. Learn to work with foam cups or foam lining to create your own unique and well-fitting suit.
Want to change the basic suit to a designer original? There are two chapters on designer details; straps and neckline to the back and leg shape. There is even a section on modesty panels and colour blocking. Finally, use fabric to create texture with flare, frills, ruffles and ruching. (Yes, there is a difference!)
You can purchase the Big Book of Swimwear here.