Just call me Ariel

December 31, 2015

I'm so freaking proud of this make. It's far from perfect but it still doesn't take away from the fact I made my own bikini (and that I wore a bikini!) and finally got the fit of the Boylston nailed!

So, I'd like to introduce you to me Mermaid Bikini, I think the reason behind the name is fairly obvious :).

Mermaid Bikini

I'm so in love with it. The top is a modified Boylston Bra by Orange Lingerie and the bottoms are Ava High Waisted Panties by Ohhh Lulu. This is only my second Boylston but I'm happy to report I think I've iron out most of the cup fit issues on this one which will make subsequent bras even better! 

Mermaid Bikini

Most of the fabric, elastics and notions are from Spotlight. The Lycra for the top was a remnant I picked up for $2/m (seriously I couldn't leave it behind for that price!) and the Lycra for the bottoms I'd had my eye on for a while before I took the plunge. I'd fallen in love with the idea of a longline and high waisted bikini since seeing this one by Emerald Erin. Having worn it now I love the extra coverage it gives while still being a bikini.

Mermaid Bikini

The major alterations I made to this Boylston (as compared to my last) were to alter the upper cup peice to remove some fabric, I had experienced some gaping in the top cup while the bottom of the cup fitted. Thankfully I think I've corrected this issue now as it would have been more apparent while wearing a bikini and thankfully it wasn't.

Mermaid Bikini

The more obvious alterations include making that pattern a longline and ruching the upper cup. These were both relatively simple alterations but I think they make the suit. I read this post and this post by Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews who had altered her Boylston before and they were quite helpful. I also changed the straps to a halter style though this was incredibly straight forward.

Mermaid Bikini

The inside of the bikini top is lined with one way stretch mesh and powernet as you would line a normal bra. The whole process was quite similar, foam cups, underwire, top stitching and so on, the only major difference being the Lycra. Which my machine does not like.

Mermaid Bikini

I had major drama with my machine, skipped stitches (as above), birds nests the works! I did everything but change the needle which probably would have solved all my problems. Oh well, live and learn.

Mermaid Bikini

I read Erin's post about her bikini numerous times to try and ensure mine would be as wearable as possible. I followed any hints she gave to the letter, right down to the boning at the back and the three claps. I also used her wonderful tutorial to make the straps and closures.

Mermaid Bikini

Something that was a little different for me was finishing the top edge with fabric rather than elastic. It's not perfect but it does the job and was fairly easy to apply.

Mermaid Bikini

This was the first time I had ever used Ohhh Lulu's Ava pattern, I bought it especially for this project as I didn't wasn't to spend the time altering Betty to  get the seams right. Sometimes it's about working smarter not harder.

Mermaid Bikini

The bottoms are lined with some kind of stretch lining. I'm not really sure it is a swimwear lining but I'm sure it will pass, more of less. The lining also seemed to stretch more the the Lycra so it's a bit frankensteined on the inside. This results in them sitting a bit funny when flat but doesn't effect the wear at all. I used swimwear elastic for the edges and probably should have enclosed it but again, live and learn, there's always the next one!

Anyway, while this may not be my best make of 2015, I think it is the one I'm proudest of. If you had told me a year ago I would have made and worn my own bikini I would have laughed at you, however it just goes to show how much things can change in a year.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a wonderful start to 2016.

Until next time,

Emma :)

11 comments:

  1. Looks amazing! You did a great job :) I think mermaid-inspired bathers are definitely on my list for 2016 now...

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    1. I think mermaid bathers (bathers is a much nicer word that togs!) should be in everyone's cupboard! Even if I am a little biased ;). They're not my best work but as I finally finished them Christmas Eve before I headed to the coast I'm pretty happy :) thanks Maddy!

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  2. This is amazing! You did a great job, you have me thinking I could tackle making my own swimwear.

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I highly recommend it! Bra making is such great fun I think everyone should try it :) Swimwear is the same basic principles are bra making so for me it was the next step :)

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  3. Wow! I am SO impressed! I have been sewing for a LONG time and I would never consider sewing a bathing suit! This is just lovely! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Kathy! I really think it's something everyone should try, its such great fun.

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  4. Good job! I tried to make myself a pair of swim bottoms last year - they're wearable and fit but I'm not completely happy with them. Where do you buy your powernet? I checked Lincraft last week but they didn't have it and athough I haven't checked Spotlight, I don't have high hopes.

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    1. Thanks! I'm not entirely happy with the fit of these bottoms either, but that is more to do with how the lining sat than the actual pattern. I purchased my power net from Booby Traps. The postage isn't cheap if you're only buying one thing, however I tend to do a big stock up and then it's not so bad. :)

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  5. Fantastic idea for the bikini! The suit is darling. While you seem concerned that it's not your best work, let's put it into perspective: first, you can continue to learn and improve; second, if it were your best, every suit you'd make from this point on just wouldn't measure up and third, you'd get tired of trying. Embrace the beauty of this suit and move on to the next knowing that there's room for improvement but this will do for now. And really, what more could you want? Cute, fun, colorful and handmade by you really should be enough! Enjoy your beach time!

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    1. Thanks Mary. I'm really just my own harshest critic. But again, sometimes finished is better than perfect

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