I’ve been on a bit of a swimwear kick lately, and I’ve been dying for a sexy, yet functional (read: won’t fall off in the ocean) one-piece swimsuit, but it’s been a bit of a unicorn. Don’t get me wrong, I still have all the feels for the bikini’s I’ve sewn (see examples here, and here), but I’m also thinking ahead to our vacation next week!
While I enjoy traipsing around the beach in my bikinis and tankinis as much as the next girl, I’m also salivating over all that delicious authentic mexican food waiting for me just north of the border: bean and cheese burritos, taquitos with the-most-delicious-guacamole-ever, carne asada nachos….mmm…. Ooops. sorry. I’m supposed to be inspiring you to sew swimwear, not inciting a burrito run! Anyway, sufficit to say, there might be a few times during our trip when I’ll be more comfortable in a slimming one piece, rather than a bare it all bikini!
Laela Jeyne must have read my mind, because they just released the perfect solution: The women’s Violet Swimsuit. The Violet has a flattering crossover front, and options for a high or low back, side cut outs, and a ruffle neckline. It also comes with instructions for a built in bra (more on that in a minute), and a full lining.
This isn’t your mama’s swimsuit folks- this is the real deal, a sexy one piece that can stand up to everyday #momlife and come out looking like Vogue.
I sewed up my Violet in a size 0- the size that fit my bust and hips best, as I didn’t want to mess with grading out the suit (my waist is slightly bigger than the size 0 measurements). I chose the side cut outs, low back, and plain neckline options.
Those side cut outs are my favorite feature- they hit in just the right spot, and I think they really take the basic one piece silhouette up a notch!
My fabric is swim/activewear from Sew Vagabond– I successfully resisted purchasing it three times, before I finally gave in during the last sale! If you haven’t checked out Sew Vagabond yet, you really should- Emily has an amazing eye for fabrics (they carry knits, wovens and uh-mazing swim and activewear fabrics!) and some very high end designer connections for overstocks. The fabric was very nice quality too- just the right thickness and not too slippery at all. My swim lining was from Joanns- I actually love their swim lining, as it seems more durable than the usual mesh-like lining you find in most shops.
While the suit is fairly simple to construct, Violet and I got off to a bit of a rough start over the bra cups (I got mine from amazon here)- my cups wouldn’t fit onto the built in bra pieces without some serious trimming, and I was a little thrown off by the “sample” pattern piece in the illustration that didn’t match my actual pattern pieces (I’m a VERY visual learner). I ended up sewing the bra pieces together and then attaching my cups, but this lead to other issues when I tried to bind it. In the end, I know what I’ll do differently next time to for a smoother construction method, and it was a great learning experience! I have to say, I really appreciated how helpful Marisa was in responding to my cries for help- she really went above and beyond to help me out!
Despite my struggles, I think the cups are very worthwhile, especially for nursing. Note: I’m about to get a little personal up in here, so if you haven’t nursed a baby or the idea freaks you out, skip down to the next paragraph. With my twins, I leaked very little when nursing, and not at all after 6 months (I think they just sucked me dry every time!). With Princess, I’m still leaking like a faucet every time she nurses (she’s 17 months old), and since she sees water time as an all-you-can-eat-buffet, I’ve been a little anxious about how to handle the leaking issue. I was hoping cups would help, but I’d never sewn them before, and kept putting it off. I’m so glad this suit motivated me to try it- the added bra cups are very useful in absorbing any extra milk- preventing it from getting to the front of my suit and leaving an embarrassing ring there (not the beach sexy look I’m going for!)
After I tackled the cups, the rest of the suit came together seamlessly, and fits to perfection! I did sew the binding using my preferred method of sewing the right side of the binding to the wrong side of the suit for the first pass, then turning down the edge and sewing it closed from the right side of the suit. (If you haven’t every sewn bias tape/binding before, check out my video tutorial HERE– its a different pattern but the same technique!) I feel like this variation makes it easier to control your stitching, and ensure that both edges are sewn down accurately.
In the end, I can’t wait to take my new suit on vacation, and drink margaritas and eat burritos with impunity, all while nursing a demanding toddler and chasing after the twins. Yikes! I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Anyone else ever feel like they need a vacation after a vacation?
Go check out the other bloggers on the tour, and grab your patterns while they’re on sale! See all the summer collection patterns here. The Violet Swimsuit is only $9.00 right now- and there’s even a girls version I’m dying to sew up! Also, there’s a rafflecopter giveaway on the main Laela Jeyne blog– make sure to enter to win 2 summer collection patterns of your choice!
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you choose to purchase something using the links, a small portion of your purchase goes back into my fabric/sewing addiction, so my kids don’t have to eat mac n cheese every night to fund my fabric expenditures. (no, really, they’re fine. they LOVE mac n cheese).