Monday, July 30, 2012

Kwik Sew 3239 Tankini Top & Triangle Bikini Top

Kwik Sew 3239 has been in my stash for a good while.  I've been wanting to make a bathing suit top for myself, something with a little extra coverage.   I own a black, underwire, cup-sized bathing suit top that I wear with a pair of black bottoms that are a comfortable 'hipster' cut with a modest, full bottom.  The bottoms are a crazy good fit, a surprise because I bought them at Target without trying them on.  

We were invited to visit with some friends at the beach for Saturday, and we have a week at the beach coming up very soon. It was the perfect occasion to make the tankini top, view A, to wear over my bikini top (underwire bikini top for support, tankini top for coverage).  I finished putting the elastic on about an hour before we left for the beach.  

Fabric used:  Swimsuit fabric in black from Hancock's, purchased last year (stash!)
Size:  Medium at shoulders, XL at bust down
Changes to pattern and instructions:  Cheater FBA by cutting the bust at XL, then adding 2" to the length, both front and back, at the lengthen/shorten line.  Also redrew the shape Added length to shelf bra as well.   Took up double seam allowances at shoulder seams.  Used a slightly narrower elastic than indicated, used clear elastic.  The pattern calls for 1/4"  SA's, but I doubled that below the bust to bring it in at the waist.  For the shelf bra, I used the swimsuit fabric rather than swimsuit lining.
Construction:  Mostly serger, used zig-zag on regular machine for the topstitching after turning in the serged on elastic, also sewed on part of the elastic to the shelf bra using a zig-zag stitch.
Result? I love it!  It is exactly what I needed.  
Sew again?  Yes!  Just need to find some pretty swim fabric...

DD, my constant  best critic, paid me the best compliment EVER.  She said, "Nice tankini top mom, but you are still too hot to wear a tankini.  You should just wear your bikini top."  Well knock me over with a feather!  Love that girl. ;-D

Next, my daughter wanted a triange style top with  neck ties, and after that compliment, well how could I not just whip it right up?   I made a trial garment for her tonight using the cups in an XL from this pattern.  She is petite but busty, DD/DDD cup size.  I had to reduce the vertical length of the cup due to her petiteness - there was just too much fabric.  Aslo, I doubled the cup fabric for both support and as a lining.  In the end, I decided to add an underbust band for support.  To do this, I gathered the bottom of the cups, pinned them RST with the band, and serged.  

This was a trial garment as I said, so there will be another, cleaner version.  This was whipped out in just a few minutes, so not the neatest sewing.  On the next version, I may add elastic to the sides of the cup.  I was out of clear elastic, having used it on the tank I made yesterday.  

There is a shot on my dressform and on me, over my tee.  There would be way too much of my girls showing to post on the webs without the tee underneath.  And I am not interested in a pic of DD in a bikini on the web, know what I mean?  Anyhow, it's a great fit on her - not so much on me.  As you can see, that underbust band is not lying flat as it should - I'm literally busting out.  (Pun intended.) ;-)

A few other thoughts from the studio...

On the cutting table is Jalie 2796, a sport skirt/compression pants combo, and Jalie 2563, a sport bra type top.  The skirt/compression shorts combo will be first.  I planned to make it in some wicking fabric I purchased from Rockywoods, but when the fabric arrived, it seems better for tops, so I will use leftover bathing suit fabric.  The fabric is advertised as being Under Armour brand.  I have designs on Jalie 2910 and Jalie 3131 to make my own UA workout tops.  I've been really loving working out, but had to take a break this week due to an injury.  It gives me more time to sew, though!  It is hard to find sleeveless tops that are fitted but fit the bust nicely, so hopefully I will be able to produce some wearable tops.  I feel that wearing good looking clothes to exercise make me more motivated to work out.  How do you feel about that? Do you like cute workout clothes?  The trainer we use convinced me early on to wear more fitted styles, and I am sold.  No oversized tees for me!

So much summer sewing to do, so many fabrics, so many patterns!  I am also in the mood for a sleeveless, ITY knit dress in black, with a fitted, empire waist and flowing skirt.  I can't quite settle on a pattern, so I may transmogrify a couple of patterns into one to get what is in my head.  

Lastly, I am thoroughly annoyed with the state of my studio.  I have been wanting to redo/reorganize the studio, so I plan to work on that after I get some of the sport tops done.  One of my biggest issues is that I want to see my stash without having to dig through containers.  Also, I want to redo the worktable/cutting area - my current one is nice, but too high.  I've got some planning to do!  

So, have you sewn with Jalie?  Has your experience been a good one?  Jalie reviews seem to be good, Shannon from Mushywear  made a great version of 2796 and 2563 as an outfit.  The title of her post is Motivation - appropriate since Shannon provided the motivation for my upcoming sew.  

Well friends, it's after midnight, and morning comes early, so toodles!  Happy sewing!



  1. What a nice accomplishment! A tankini is a great substitute for us modest gals. What a nice daughter you have.

    1. Thank you, Diana. Yes, I feel more comfortable with the tankini top, for sure!

  2. A very nice and modest suit for yourself, and I smiled at that lovely compliment from your daughter!! So sweet! The top you made for her looks gorgeous; that is a great colour for the beach!

    1. Thanks Carolyn, I hope to whip out another for her this weekend! See what compliments get ya?

  3. Both tops are very nice Andrea! I have never made any type of swimsuit for myself! (not sure I ever want to put this body in one either!). I really like the color of the bikini top too!

    I have made a few Jalie patterns successfully and like them. The do have good instructions, in most cases that is! Have fun at the beach!

    1. Thanks, Myra! I bet you look fantastic in a suit lady!

      Thanks for the input on Jalie. I just started 2796 tonight in swim fabric for our upcoming beach vaycay. So far I like it!


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