Kwik Sew 2422 and 1615: swimsuits for my big girls

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer: I was given this fabric for free by Funki Fabrics in exchange for making something and blogging about it. How could I say no to free fabric, particularly with swimsuit season upon us.

We all know it’s hard to be completely objective about something if you’ve been given it for free, but I’ve tried my best. For a little more information, it’s also worthwhile checking out Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow’s review here.

I made two little swimsuits with my fabric, and I have a little bit more to go yet. My first make was for Miss Five, using Kwik Sew 2422 (complete with a big raspberry drip of melted icy pole on her leg). She was quite specific about the exact style she wanted (down to the actual pattern and strap design). She also chose her own fabric; digitally printed neon tetras. She wanted to be in camouflage for her swim lessons. Obviously.

My only modification to this pattern (from last time) was to raise the neckline by 1.25 inches. Then I just measured the old neckline curve, compared it to the new, and adjusted the length of neckline elastic by the difference. I should have also narrowed the neckline a little as I raised it. Next time.

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The second pair was for Miss Seven, using Kwik Sew 1615, with the same (added seam) modification I’ve used in the past. I think she looks very chic! I only lined the front of the swimsuit bottoms, but due to the light colours, I realise now that I should have probably lined it all. At the moment, they aren’t see-through when wet, but I will have to wait and see how that goes as the print fades.

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I’m pretty fussy about most fabrics, and swimwear is no exception. I was pleasantly surprised with this haul. The prints on the fabric were spot on and exactly as I expected (I could have ordered swatches but I didn’t bother as I was mainly sewing for kids. Yes, double standards abound in this house.). For me, the enormous variety of printed lycra and foiled dancewear fabric are the best thing about Funki Fabrics. I will say though, that their website is a bit awkward, and it does take a bit of time to navigate.

Quality wise, I think the swimsuit fabric is good. In comparison to a RTW surf rashie I own, the fabric is better. But it’s not the best I’ve ever had. I think this may come from the fact that Funki Fabric is all about variety and fabric design. It appears to me that they have the same white, base fabric that they apply all their prints to. It’s a little bit thinner than some other swimsuit fabric I have in my stash, so if using it for myself, lining will be a must. For my kids though, this fabric is more than adequate on it’s own.

Overall, I’m actually very happy with this product. The fabric has a lovely, smooth hand, good stretch and recovery, and the printing is beautifully done. The lighter print (black hearts on cream) feels a little painted on, but not terribly so, and I suspect this is intended to improve the opacity of such a light colour.

We’ve already taken the new swimsuits for a few test runs (which I was waiting to report back on) and they’ve performed very well.  I can’t confirm that they helped the “big arms” actually make it out of the water, nor did I lose sight of my child amongst all the other neon fish at our local pool, but I am happy to say that there have been no saggy, baggy bottoms or immodest see-through togs.

Two little Jalie 3136 leotards

These leotards are such a quick and easy make. I love the opportunity to use contrast fabric, and I’m very happy with the overall fit on my tall, slim girls. I’ve made a few pairs already (here and here) so I knew what to expect. For Miss Seven, I stuck with a size 6, the same as last time. They fit her very well through the torso. The leg elastic is borderline too tight, but I think she’ll be ok with it. That’s the only thing I’d say about this pattern, is check the fit of the leg elastic before sewing it on.

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Miss Three LOVES gymnastics, more than anything else in this world right now. Three year olds really don’t need gymnastics leotards but I couldn’t resist making her one, just so I could watch her impossible cuteness in it. She wakes up everyday, puts on her leotard, and asks if its her ‘nastics day.

Her suit was made up in a size 3 and it’s a perfect fit all over. She is on the 50th centile from head to toe, the true “baby” of this family. Despite, LOVING this suit, and actually being a very happy child all day, she decided to practice her grumpy, angry person poses for the photos. I did my best, but there really isn’t any point negotiating with a three year old.

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Enter swimsuit season!

My first swimsuit has been successfully completed. 

 


And I am super excited with the way it turned out. I love the way the tulle skirt worked (my little modification) and the fabric is amazing. But don’t look too closely at my stitching! Being my first attempt at swimsuit making, I had to play around with stitches a bit. I do have an overlocker but it isn’t a very high end one and I sew much more precisely on my beloved Pfaff. So after a lot of indecisiveness, I ended up sewing the suit using stretch stitches on my sewing machine. I did however, still serge the waist seam to cover the tulle inside thoroughly so it wouldn’t be scratchy. Just look at how many stitches I have to choose from on my Pfaff!


I played around with number 16 and 18 (hopefully you can just make them out in the picture), and then ended up using a plain old zig-zag stitch of varying widths towards the end. It doesn’t look too bad, but I am still not sure if I used the best stitches for a perfect result. My main issue was with achieving a smooth finish over the elastic binding at the neck, arms and legs. I was also worried that the suit would be uncomfortable if I didn’t get it right. The pattern didn’t provide much instruction on sewing techniques for swimsuit fabric apart from the absolute basics.
 


The only modification I made (apart from the tulle) was to lengthen the body of it by about 3cm. My little ballerina Harper is not quite four but she is super tall for her age. She actually reminds me of Bambi with those long legs. I compared the pattern size 4 pieces to a one-piece swimsuit she already had and thought that 3cm would be more than adequate, but clearly it isn’t. Everything else about the suit fits her beautifully. And she obviously finds it very comfortable on. (I double checked for red marks on her little body at bathtime but there were none) I still think I will lengthen it a fraction more in the torso next time, and also raise the front neckline a couple of inches too.



Note the ever present ballet slippers. It was 32degrees today, perfect weather for all day swimsuit wearing… apparently.

And of course no photo shoot is complete without the Annecy photobomb.








Part 1 of the swimsuit issue

I am not sure at all how this is going to go, but I am ready to sew my first swimsuit. I initially chose this lovely Anna and Boy lycra from The Fabric Store

 
 
But then I popped by Tessuti Fabrics today and snapped up this gorgeous remnant. I guess I will just have to make two little girls happy now!
 
 
 
I found it a little difficult to find exactly what I wanted when I was searching for little girl swimsuit patterns. I found the pattern on the left first but it only started at a size 8 so I will need to put it away for a few years. I eventually ended up finding a similar one in smaller sizes so will be using Kwik Sew 2422 this time round. I plan on making View B for Miss 3 in the pretty paisley and View C for Miss 5 in the lemons.