Sewing Patterns, Pattern Review, Sewing Classes, Sewing Machines and Sewing Machine Reviews!
Platinum Sponsor: Stylish Fabric
Over 20,000 of high quality reorderable fabric

[SIGNUP - FREE Membership & 1 FREE Sewing Lesson ]
[Sewing Classes|Shopping Bag Your Shopping Bag|Login|Help]
Sewing Review and Pattern Reviews Sewing Knowledge Base Sewing Patterns Sewing Classes & Sewing Lessons Sewing Machine & Embroidery Machinery Sewing Message Boards Sewing merchants Blog Help/FAQ About Pattern Review
Enter your e-mail address:




Advanced Search
Tags
New to PR?
Sewing Machines
Compare Sewing Machines
Sewing Machine & Serger Reviews
Embroidery Machines
Sewing Reviews
Sewing Patterns
Review Gallery
Sewing Books
Sewing Supplies
Sewing Websites
Sewing Stores
Sewing Class Reviews
Sewing Expo Reviews
Sewing Tips & Techniques
Sewing Podcasts
NEW!Fabric Glossary
Sewing Review Requests Add a Review Request
Your Account
Edit Profile
My Page
Favorites
Wish List
Pattern Catalog
Notifications
Friends of PR
Join Friends of PR
Find a member
Deal Corner
Photo Album
Calendar
Chat Room
Chat Schedule
Chat Transcripts
Sewing Classifieds
Add a Classified
Sewing Contests
enter contest
contest report
contest gallery
Favorite Links
reviews with comments
merchant gallery
article archive
newsletter archive
Craft Resources
contact info
shipping rates
returns & refunds
testimonials

Platinum Sponsor - Stylish Fabric
Stylish Fabric
You are not logged in. Login here.



Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > RTW swimsuit alteration ( Moderated by MissCelie)

Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
Go to Page:
RTW swimsuit alteration
"too long & much too stretchy" straps
hazelnut
star
hazelnut  Friend of PR
Beginner
USA
Member since 1/7/09
Posts: 2310
Login to reply to this post

Date: 3/19/09 4:48 PM

I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right forum but my question is about RTW swimsuit alterations.

I've purchased several swimsuits online and one fits pretty well, except for having "too long & much too stretchy" straps. This suit (Suit #1) has detachable straps with buttons & buttonholes. I figured a couple new buttonholes could take up the slack in the bust (I know the suit will hang even worse when wet). I haven't sewn a buttonhole in 35 years and have an old mechanical SM with straight & zigzag stitch. Do I need to use a particular type needle, particular thread or a special stitch so that I don't pop threads or, worse yet, ruin the thin (single layer) stretch straps? The straps are an inch wide so the center is very (unusually) thin - I'm afraid it might get sucked in my machine or tear. Could I also possibly add some sort of "less stretchy" reinforcement to the straps that wouldn't irritate the skin?

Suit #2 has attached straps (also too long) and is a little loose on top. I think the bust could probably be adjusted enough in the straps to fit ok except I'm not sure which would be the best way - the "proper" way (which may open up a can of worms for me) or cutting a piece out and then overlapping and stitching, or just doubling over and stitching (and having it look bad). Suit #3 is just too long and I'm sending it back - not sure if Suit #2 should accompany it on it's journey or I should attempt to alter.

I have never sewn on stretchy material and even though this SM is like the one I owned for many years I cannot adjust it as well, so I'm extremely limited on the stitches. I think I can get my zigzag tight enough to create the buttonholes on Suit #1 but I'm afraid the swimsuit fabric might get sucked into my machine and ruined. Any suggestions or advice for a returning, forgot-what-she-knew-from-over-35years-ago sewer? Thanks in advance :)

PS Swimsuits are an absolute nightmare for my shape and these are about as good a fit as I'll get.


diane s
star
diane s  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 4527
Login to reply to this post

Date: 3/19/09 5:43 PM

Ideas for suit #1
By criss crossing the straps in the back when you button them, it will make them shorter.
You can also make a tuck in the strap so the original buttonholes are still usable.
If the straps aren't too wide, you could use swimsuit hooks for the straps. You thread the strap through the hook and stitch across. You can use the excess strap or some grosgrain for a small loop in the back.
To stabilize the straps, sew some grosgrain to the straps, either by hand or machine. That's a trick used in belly dance costumes to keep the bra from being jiggly.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

tourist
star
tourist  Friend of PR
Intermediate
BC CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
Posts: 6098
Login to reply to this post

Date: 3/19/09 7:06 PM

For #1, I would probably take it to someone to do new buttonholes if crossing the straps doesn't work. Since you can't test stitch as you have no scraps, you could make a mess, I agree. Or switch fastening systems as previously posted. I am assuming you can't move the buttons, which would be the easiest way to go, if you could.

#2 - You just need to shorten the straps? I usually do a fold and pin (or baste) and wear the garment that way at least once. If I feel it is conspicuous, then I go back and cut and rejoin. Often I find it doesn't look or feel bad and end up leaving it that way. The reinforcement idea sounds good. I was going to suggest twill tape - same idea.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

hazelnut
star
hazelnut  Friend of PR
Beginner
USA
Member since 1/7/09
Posts: 2310
Login to reply to this post

Date: 3/19/09 8:27 PM

Diane S - I will definitely try the crossed-straps first I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't know (or couldn't remember) what grosgrain was Would grosgrain ribbon allow some stretch? Could hem binding work as well? The only pic I found when I goggled was suit coat lining or ribbon and the lining material didn't seem easy to find - I'm sure I would have to order it. Sounds like it would be nice to have on hand though. I think I would want a tiny bit of stretch if I lined the entire strap, don't you? I don't fully understand the hook placement idea - can't quite picture it - but I will try these suggestions first.

tourist - I'm glad you brought up the material thing - I do have my old stretched-out swimsuit I could practice some buttonholes on. Your are correct in assuming that buttons can't be added - they are unfortunately on the suit not the straps. I will try suite #2 on again to be sure it's worth fooling around with and then do a tuck first before cutting as suggested.

I still have the question of do I need a special needle, thread etc. If not then I'm good to start practicing!

Thank you both for your prompt replies and good advice I'm glad I joined this site! I hope to eventually purchase a computerized machine so many things will be easier to sew. Never knew what a serger was 'till I came here but it sounds like the machine to have for knits & stretchies. I have many SM questions but I will save them for a different forum. Thanks again!

stirwatersblue
star
stirwatersblue
Intermediate
KS USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3070
Login to reply to this post

Date: 3/20/09 7:31 PM

I would probably eliminate the button holes altogether, shorten the straps appropriately, and then sew the buttons on so that they're permanently affixed.

------
~Gem in the prairie

diane s
star
diane s  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 4527
Login to reply to this post

In reply to hazelnut


Date: 3/20/09 10:16 PM

Quote: hazelnut
Diane S - I will definitely try the crossed-straps first I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't know (or couldn't remember) what grosgrain was Would grosgrain ribbon allow some stretch?

Grograin ribbon is the ribbon found in the ribbon section that has tiny ribs, instead of being smooth and shiny like the satin ribbon. It is very stable , with no stretch.
There is also a grosgrain made of rayon that is used in hatbands and waistbands, but it's more of a specialty item.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

hazelnut
star
hazelnut  Friend of PR
Beginner
USA
Member since 1/7/09
Posts: 2310
Login to reply to this post

Date: 3/21/09 5:15 AM

diane s -
Thanks for the explanation on grosgrain - I will have to check it out the next time I get into town.

Criss-crossing the straps in suit #1 works fine but it needs the ultimate test it in the pool to see how it literally 'holds up' The soft cup bras inside the suits are really too small to fit properly - I'm hoping to someday be able to sew my own. Suit #2 fits well enough to try shortening the straps and they are not as stretchy so it should work out ok - I hope.

Do I need a stretch needle or can a universal 15 x 1 work well? So far I've only purchased some Schmetz universal 10 thru 14's and jeans needles to start out with and poly & cotton thread. Should I maybe be asking these questions in the Beginners forum instead of here?

Thanks again for your help!

hazelnut
star
hazelnut  Friend of PR
Beginner
USA
Member since 1/7/09
Posts: 2310
Login to reply to this post

Date: 3/21/09 5:28 AM

stirwatersblue

Each strap has 2 buttonhole adjustments at each end and a permanent button sewn on the suit to affix them to. If I understand correctly you are saying to not make more buttonholes for adjusting, but just shorten the straps to fit the existing buttons & buttonholes, right? That probably would be easier Thanks for the suggestion!

glenj

glenj
AUSTRALIA
Member since 1/6/08
Posts: 802
Login to reply to this post

In reply to hazelnut


Date: 3/24/09 7:52 PM

A stretch needle or ballpoint needle should do the trick.

hazelnut
star
hazelnut  Friend of PR
Beginner
USA
Member since 1/7/09
Posts: 2310
Login to reply to this post

Date: 3/24/09 11:29 PM

Thanks glenj :)

I will get both! When I did some sewing many years ago I don't remember such a choice of needles - maybe they were around, but I never noticed - too young, too inexperienced and probably too broke Lots to learn...

Go to Page:
Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
printable version Printable Version

* Advertising and soliciting is strictly prohibited on PatternReview.com. If you find a post which is not in agreement with our Terms and Conditions, please click on the Report Post button to report it. Sewing Techniques and Tips >> RTW swimsuit alteration

Merchants on PR
Patterns from the Past
vintage sewing patterns
Deals!
Elliott Berman Textiles
Fabrics for Greater Ideas
Deals!
Sewn Square One
Patterns for Your Style.
Web site
Gwyn Hug
Fabric Shopping Help!
Deals!
Lanetzliving Vintage Sewing Patterns
Vintage Sewing Patterns
Deals!

Copyright © 2014 PatternReview.com® , OSATech, Inc. All rights reserved.
Conditions of Use | Posting Guidelines | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Online Sewing Classes
Bust Adjustments
Fee: $39.99
(Regular $39.99)
Bust Adjustments

Online Sewing Classes
Fit the Tee to a T
Fee: $29.00
(Regular $49.00)
Fit the Tee to a T

BurdaStyle Magazine 11-2010-147 Girls Coat
photo
Review by la inglesi... on 2/11/11
Read Review

Peek-A Boo Skinny Jeans Digital Pattern ( Size 12 mo -10 years )
Peek-A Boo Skinny Jeans Digital Pattern ( Size 12 mo -10 years )

Details
Price: $7.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Blank Slate Hipster Henley Digital Pattern
Blank Slate Hipster Henley Digital Pattern

Details
Price: $7.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Kwik Sew 3187 Men Jackets
photo
Review by mamakooz on 2/4/06
Read Review

Sewing Workshop Siena & Cortona Shirts
Sewing Workshop Siena & Cortona Shirts

Details
Price: $22.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Islander Sewing Systems Women's Classic Sport Shirt Pattern
Islander Sewing Systems Women's Classic Sport Shirt Pattern

Details
Price: $19.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Kwik Sew 4032 Pattern
Kwik Sew 4032 Pattern

Details
Price: $11.99
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Kwik Sew 2433 Pattern
Kwik Sew 2433 Pattern

Details
Price: $10.49
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Subscribe to PR Message Board Feed Subscribe to the PR Message Board Feed Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe at NewsGator Online Subscribe at Bloglines Add to MyMSN