Monday, 27 June 2022

Leopard Print Bikini

I'm going to make this a speedy post but I wanted to share a recent make. I'm lucky enough to have a holiday to Italy booked for later this summer and the accommodation we'll be staying in has access to a swimming pool. I decided to continue my exploration into swimwear making and make this, my second two piece set. It also gave me the opportunity to finally use this piece of leopard print swimwear Lycra that's been in my stash for over ten years! 



A few months ago I made the Vernazza two piece pattern by Friday Pattern Company, proof of which you can see on my Instagram account here. It came out far better than I expected, particularly the bottoms, which I combined sizes to make. I traced the size M for the main part and graded up to the size L for the waistline and the fit is pretty much spot on. Therefore I went straight for the same pattern for this version, the only difference being that I inserted elastic into the waistband to make them feel more secure. 

The top half is made using the Helen's Closet Sandpiper swimsuit pattern. I received this pattern for free sometime ago, and hadn't initially considered it one I'd be likely to make. But the relative simplicity of the style appealed and I felt it would be a good canvas for this fun print. I initially attempted a wearable toile of the pattern using some solid black swimwear Lycra, thinking if it worked I could then make the leopard version and have some mix and match pieces. Sadly that wasn't the case as my first version came out too tight. I guess that there must be a lot of variation in the stretch and recovery of different swimwear fabrics, and although I measured myself carefully, the size my measurements corresponded to was just too small. 

So for this version, I recut the pattern for the next size up AND added some additional length to the elastic that is enclosed in the armholes and neck hole. It worked well and this version looks and feel much better, although I don't feel super secure at the bottom edge to I might insert some elastic into the bottom band at some point. 


As I mentioned above, I've had this length of swimsuit fabric in my stash for an embarrassingly long time. It's survived a number of destashes over the years because I always knew I'd get stuck into making swimwear at some point. Both halves of this bikini are lined with basic, black, swimwear/dancewear lining fabric that I bought on eBay. 


Unsurprisingly, I'm excited to try this bikini out when I go on holiday! I'm also committed to try swimming in the sea here in the UK this year, which is something I don't remember ever doing, despite living close to the seaside almost my entire life. 

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