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Summer By the Lake Swimsuit

Added May 11, 2010

by grosgrain

Harrisburg, Penn...






To see more visit Grosgrain

I made this little suit about two years ago. Believe it or not, this was perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever sewn. If you’ve ever tried to sew spandex together you know what I mean. The material reeked havoc on my sewing machine. Every other time I’d try to start a new line, the bobbin would snag the thread or the thread would fail to catch at all. And when I’d try to stretch the fabric….snap….and I’d have to start all over. UGH. Does anyone know if there is such a thing as spandex thread? That might have helped. Three bag fulls of hell shreds later and this was what emerged.

What I had in mind was a very retro looking bathing suit, the kind you see in sepia photographs. I compromised somewhere between the top and the bottom. And considering the material, it came out surprisingly similar to my original sketch. The era I was going for was “Lake Wobegone” although the setting in my mind was a summer vacation somewhere in the Poconos.

The colors I chose were very classic. Red, blue and a dirty white. The suit is pinched at the waist by a red and white striped belt with an anchor buckle. I was so thrilled to find the buckle in my local sewing outlet which carries these out-of-date oddities but absolutely no spools of thread or any of the normal fabric store staples. It’s a strange place that smells funny but I like it. I added a “boy short” bottom to the legs and rouched the red and white striped sides. The straps start out from the outer edges of the top like a lot of retro bathing suits and tie at the neck like a halter.

Okay, but seriously, my favorite part of this swimming suit has nothing to do with the suit itself. It’s the darling little head cap that I found online.

Material Notes





Garment Type

15 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    Jul 3, 2010, 08.32 PMby craftdinner

    btw love your sewing and blog!

  • F8f6689b24535ef81ae6c4e0cff83f0bf234c180_large

    Jul 3, 2010, 08.32 PMby craftdinner

    Did you use a ball point needle? Was your needle skipping and hopping, making long stitches? I use a ball point needle for spandex and other slippery synthetics, less friction…. try it!

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    Jun 27, 2010, 02.05 PMby Gina Marquis

    I want one!!!!!

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    May 19, 2010, 11.45 PMby munchkin25

    The suit is adorable and i have to say that I love your photography. The editing on the photos really brings out the clothing!

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    May 14, 2010, 10.54 PMby anuchka

    O gosh! The girl is awfully cute in this swimming suit! Well done.

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    May 12, 2010, 08.42 PMby Olivia Anne

    omg this is the cutest thing ever!

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    May 12, 2010, 03.16 AMby missymellie


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    May 12, 2010, 02.31 AMby msniaalys

    So adorable! The swimsuit looks great.

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    May 12, 2010, 12.27 AMby 00001

    I love this! so cute :)

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    May 11, 2010, 10.30 PMby lovestocraft

    Great job. It came out so cute.

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    May 11, 2010, 05.55 PMby lunatepetal

    such a cute swimsuite! and she looks so cute in it :) indeed, it is an AWESOME head cap!! where did you find it??

    1 Reply
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    May 11, 2010, 03.40 PMby jaimesews

    Yes – that buckle is amazing! I made my own swimsuits last year and one for my sister the year before. I’ll be updating her suit with a smaller bottom soon since she’s lost some weight. A lot of fun and the serger/overlock really helps with those fabrics, as I’m sure you’re well aware. Absolutely adorable suit!! Thanks for sharing your work!

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    May 11, 2010, 03.17 PMby artnest

    I have been wondering about sewing swimsuits for my girls. The cute photographs you took (and the featured French ones from several weeks ago on your blog) have me wanting to but the last thing I need right now is a frustrating sewing experience. I’m sure I’ll give it ago someday!!!

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    May 11, 2010, 02.48 PMby adabofcolour

    that’s adorable :) been there with the swimsuit spandex problems, glad you were able to push through, and create this! I need one of those caps!~

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    May 11, 2010, 02.41 PMby emilie6709

    So cute! It sounds like you had quite a lot of trouble sewing it, but it was definitely worth it. I love the vintage look of the swimsuit and the head cap is to die for! Great work.

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