Sunday, 27 July 2014

Summer swimmers OMG OMG OMG!

Sun, sand...

Feet (mine)

... sea, surf....

Son and sister (also mine)

No prizes for guessing where this is going!


Let's play "Insert your favourite Bombshell blogger cliché here": OMG I made a swimming costume! OMG it totally wasn't as hard as I thought! OMG Heather Lou is a genius! OMG this is the simultaneously the most covered and most sexy I have felt in any swimwear ever and OMG it beats the pants off literally everything to be found in any shop anywhere!

Delete as appropriate: NO NOT DELETING ANYTHING IT's ALL TRUE.

Fully water tested at one temperature extreme in a hot tub (family holiday fun!) - and, at the other, in the North Sea.  Yes, I swam after we took these pictures.  It was... refreshing. The suit holds up really well when wet, despite the enormous amount of fabric it contains, and although I have to admit I was sceptical about the actual swim support it'd give, it was fine. Which is not insignificant - my small back-band and large cup bra-size combination means that I have never in my life been able to find a satisfactorily wearable bikini/swimsuit. And, while wearing this does not feel as 'solid' as wearing an actual bra, it's nonetheless feels pretty darn safe.  In turn rather impressive, as to achieve this I only made a couple of tiny adjustments to the pattern.  For those who're interested,  the lowdown is below.

But in the meantime.


  • Pattern: Bombshell duh, size 38 (I think. Maybe it was 40. Anyway: straight up, no FBA or grading between sizes).
  • Fabric outer: cotton/elastane from the Chien Vert. Fairly heavyweight for swim fabric - my only complaint about this suit is that because of this, it dries slowly. But, the stripes make me think of ice cream, which is good.
  • Fabric inner: cheap-as-chips matte lycra from Berger.
  • Swim elastic: I ordered some from Fabricland UK (bad website but great phone service) and it was really good quality. However, I am an idiot and didn't order enough. To compare, I got some more from Lijfgoed (in Holland). Sadly this was much flimsier and broke easily. Particularly if you want to stretch your elastic to prevent gaping, I wouldn't recommend it.

:: :: ::

What I did: tips for adding support if you too are blessed with large bosoms

Heather Lou mentions in the sewalong (here) a couple of ways to add support, one of which is to sew a strapless bra to the inside front at the side seams, hanging 'free' and next to your skin under both layers of the swimsuit itself.  However, I didn't want the extra layer of bra fabric, and I didn't want the bra itself to be visible - I wanted it hidden between the lining and outer. I also didn't want to go and buy a strapless bra specifically in order to cut it up (plus, I've never liked them anyway, so).

Attempts to just add a line of elastic under the bust quickly demonstrated that this would not keep the girls where they needed to be, so in the end I took the scissors to an old bra - in the process fully vindicating my hoarding of all old items of clothing, worn to death or not, in case they ever come in handy. IT WAS HANDY so take THAT obsessive-clear-outer husband!

Um, anyway - so I turned the suit inside out and sewed the bra's side elastic to the side seams (I'd already cut off the back straps). The middle of the bra was left hanging loose between the lining and the outer, but at the very end I stitched through the centre part when I sewed down the tab over the bust ruching. This keeps everything exactly in place where it needs to be.  For the bust ruching itself I had extended the gathering line by about an inch, to make sure the ruching ended up between my bosoms rather than sitting on top of them. And that was it! Here are some (badly lit, indoor) pics in case it's helpful.

Overall placement - I put the suit on and wriggled till I'd got it about right.

Sewed on at the side seams. After finishing the top edge, the bust-ruching tab holds everything in place at centre front.

Does that all make sense?? Comment or shoot me an email if not!  Hope it helps, fellow busty ones :-)


  1. This looks brilliant! You did a fantastic job, I'm now seriously considering making one now, I have also major problems finding any sort of swimwear that fits / gives the right support. You've inspired me to have a go!

  2. It's fabulous on you! Well done! I started making a bombshell last year, and felt way too intimidated by it all... and truth be told, I swim about once every two years, so I haven't felt a lot of motivation to continue! Glad the process went well for you though! Enjoy the holiday!

  3. Looks great on you! Great idea for supporting the girls - thanks for sharing how you did it!

  4. Helen // Grosgrain GreenJuly 27, 2014 9:38 pm

    Looks great and you look amazing. Great idea to use the old bra! I really want to make one of these once I am back to "normal" bust size (currently breastfeeding). Enjoy he rest of your holiday! PS not sure what's braver: swimsuit photos online, or swimming in the North Sea!! 😄

  5. You look fabulous in your bombshell. I'm just about to cut mine out so your tip about the bra is very welcome and timely! I was just going to use the cups but will give the underwiring ago now. The girls could do with scaffolding to counteract the effect of gravity!

  6. Sew Little TimeJuly 28, 2014 12:55 pm

    great idea on incorporating the bra! i'm just making my second - it remains to be seen if i will be brave enough to post pics on the blog post-holiday. it's not an item that you can just photograph without a person inside it is it?

  7. LOVE IT. And I love it with that underwire bra support in it. If I make it another time that's exactly what I'll do. oh the pink fabric is to die for

  8. Wow! That is really pretty swimsuit! I love your creativity to go and use a bra to give some additonal support. I can image this helps a ton!


Please don't be anonymous or unpleasant!