Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Bombshell Swimsuit: N'awlins Style

After the mad rush to get my version of the Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit pattern finished, I didn't end up trying this baby out until I got to New Orleans. However, that place was so hot I couldn't wait to get in a swimsuit and some cold water. Funny thing is, New Orleans really was so damn hot that even the outdoor swimming pool was like a warm bath. However, me in a cold shower wouldn't have been the best picture so here's me in front of a fountain at our hotel, the Maison DuPuy, located in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

A little unsure of posing in a swimsuit in front of people

I chose version B for my swimsuit as I liked the plunging v-neck. Mr S also deemed it to be the sexier of the two versions.

I enjoyed making this project, mainly because it is my first venture into swimsuit territory. I did want to take this with me on holiday, but I also treated it as more of a learning process/muslin, which if successful then great, but if not, no biggy.

If I sit-pose, they can't see me

Fortunately, it turned out acceptable-ish and definitely wearable. I love the fit of this swimsuit and find it really flattering across all those bits we usually like to hide when relaxing by the pool. My favourite thing about it, is how it sits on the bum-bum. It really gives it that bombshell look reminiscent of some of my favourite screen sirens: Monroe, Betty Grable and Jane Russell.

Old photo style

The instructions are pretty good for this pattern. In some places I was a little "uh...wut?" but I figured it out with some re-reading and brain tuning. I would also advise practicing your zig zag stitch length/width on scraps first before you start, unless you choose to overlock/serge your seams. The seam allowances are only 1/4 inch so it's important to be accurate and to make sure you line all raw edges exactly, otherwise you'll find some raw edges will slip and not be sewn. (Grrrr, yes this happened!)

For fabric I chose leopard print. It's one of my favourite types of print and I also fell in love with a picture I found of Liz Taylor rocking a similar swimsuit. I bought my fabric and lining from Fabricland, which in total cost me (including the swimsuit elastic) £13.

The plunging neckline is not only sexy but also tasteful. I didn't feel over exposed in this and I really appreciated the positioning of the front bust sections: Heather advises to pin the bust triangles approx an inch past the side seam to avoid side boob and roughly 3/4" apart at the centre bust. In doing so, I think this helps to maintain a more demure and chic swimsuit as opposed to a full on "I got bewbs" look. Not that I am in great supply of the latter, but should you have some nice pillows you'll be thankful for this coverage.

Drying time takes a while because there's quite a bit of fabric involved, but hopefully you'll be wearing this because you're in a beautiful hot location. Other than that it's a really fun project and a great starting point if you've never worked with swimwear before.

Having made this first version, I feel that I have a better understanding of how to make this type of garment, and how best to work with this fabric. Next time around, I'd like to try and high waisted bottom with a bikini top, but maybe next year :)

Jazz, the Mississippi and some blues.

As for New Orleans, what a great city! Driving into Louisiana was so fun, especially travelling over the bayou while listening to Elvis' 'Polk Salad Annie'. We stayed in the French Quarter, which was so busy and colourful. The famous Bourbon Street stunk of vomit so we ventured out onto Frenchman Street (recommended by sweet Elisalex) where we found some great music including some real rhythm and blues, and a ten-piece brass band that mixed traditional jazz with a more funky, modern sound. During the day we walked around, taking strategic air-con breaks in shops and cafes, or eating Beignets (ermagherd, yum!). We also took a ride on a traditional steam boat along the infamous Mississippi river; it's hard to top an afternoon where you're sipping on a bloody mary, listening to some jazz and watching the world float by without a care in the word. Ahhhh New Orleans, see you again one day.

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