Me: I'm never going to post photos of myself in a swimsuit on the internet again.
Also me: Hey Internet, here are some photos of me in a swimsuit!
This isn't my fault. Blame everything on Judy! She decided that P4P needed another swimsuit pattern and here we are again. This time, it's a one-piece with a fun cross-over bodice...which magically looks AMAZING on every tester. Want to learn more about it? Let's do this!
Judy can never settle on just one style when she puts out a pattern. So we stuff it as full as we can with options...this suit included. There are three strap options, two bottoms, and an additional skirt (in two lengths!) that you can mix-match all day long.
I chose two different styles for my suits, both of which I adore. First up is the halter top, peplum skirt version.
I am 5'6"-ish (depending on which doctor's visit I am on, haha) so I don't have to grade my patterns for the most part for P4P designs. However, with swimwear it's super important that I do. There are measurements included in the pattern that help you fit it to your body just right. I've yet to find a store-bought suit that fits me, and especially not a one piece.
Want to know why? I am long legged, and long waisted. I am 1" longer in the waist than the average person that suits are drafted for. AND, I have a bigger bust (which also takes up space). So with all of this added together, I get a suit that's too short and provides zero support. No fun.
But if you sew your own suit, you get one that fits YOU.
I'm not going to lie. Take the Plunge is not a pattern for the weak of heart. I usually can bang out a piece of clothing in 30-60 minutes. The first version of this suit took me FIVE HOURS. It's worth it. But the way it's constructed isn't something you can just wing. Read through the directions. Make sure you have your pieces cut. And pin the crap out of everything.
I'm not saying it's an impossible pattern. But I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner. Swim knits are slippery and can be tricky to sew with. If you READ, PIN, and DON'T rush....YOU'VE GOT THIS. Just saying.
The second version of my suit is the full back, regular bottom options. Oddly this is my favorite style of the two. You'd think I'd prefer the one that provides more cover. But I still have an aversion to halter tops (big boob problems) and I like suits that are less fussy. So a more traditional style is my jam.
A few notes about the pattern itself:
The front bodice is the same on all of the tops. While it can be a tricky sew the first time you're working through it, I do adore the finish. The entire suit has fully enclosed seams. It's fully lined as well. AND, full of support.
For instance: my suits have swim cups, inner lining (which is a power mesh, meaning it doesn't have as much stretch as swim fabric and has more "hold" to it), and also an under bust elastic. Ie: coverage, support, and lift. The perfect combo for swimwear.
You'll probably hear me say this every time I have to share swimwear photos. But it's such a humbling experience. Posting pictures of yourself in a bathing suit on the internet isn't easy. But when you pattern test alongside women of all sizes (XXS - 3X+) you realize how lucky you are to be in a small tribe of women at that very moment.
There's no body shaming. There's no room for self hate. It's literally you, sharing very personal photos of yourself, trying to get the fit right for a swim pattern. And posting your photos to only hear positive reinforcement and lots of lady love. It's amazing and an experience I wish all women had at least once in their lives.
I'd like to add that the pink/purple suit is made from fabrics that were sent to me by Kim from Love Adore Knit Co., after I did my usual heckling of her with fabric questions. Sadly, Kim lost her battle with breast cancer very recently and I am just gutted by it. She was such a beautiful spirit and Kim never once let on how much suffering she was dealing with. I worked with her a few times professionally, and also chatted with her about random things every once in a while. The sewing world has lost such a wonderful person and I was so incredibly sad when I heard of her passing. There is a group of women organizing a fundraiser/auction for her family and you can join the Facebook group HERE, if you'd like to help support her husband and kiddos.