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HELP WITH FITNESS POSING SUITS
lilycoe
lilycoe
Member since 2/15/13
Posts: 7
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Date: 10/7/13 10:48 PM

Hi Y'all! I've been asked by my daughter and her friends to make them posing suits for their bikini competitions. I thought, why not, it doesn't look that hard..but dang if those buggers aren't a bit tricky. I bought a serger and a coverlock machine to make them look professional, but after months for trying they're still not perfect. I have the Kwik-sew book for swimwear and Spandex Simplified, but there are still some kinks to be worked out.
For starters, I'm confused about whether or not to stretch the fabric when applying the elastic. I get conflicting info...some say to slightly stretch the elastic but not the fabric and some say stretch both.
The other issue I'm having is attaching the straps to the triangle. When I fold over the elastic of either side of the triangle and attach the strap at the top with it folds into a point, it looks sloppy instead of blending.
I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to fling one or all of the machines across the room in frustration so any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

tourist
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Member since 7/23/07
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In reply to lilycoe <<


Date: 10/7/13 11:07 PM

lilycoe - I hope SheBear sees this soon and can help you out. She makes a lot of these posing suits and does wonderful work.

You might get some ideas looking in the various swim suit or lingerie making threads. I can tell you that, with the bit of similar sewing I have done, you do need to develop a feel for it.

I think that stretching the fabric would give you all sorts of trouble, but it would depend on how and where you are doing it, I guess. I have to stretch the elastic in the back of a leotard bottom quite a bit around the "cheek" and have little to no stretch in the front of the leg. When I had elastic that wouldn't lie flat, it was because I had not stretched the elastic enough.

Joining a strap to a top might be one of those places you need to hammer the fabric to get it flat. Not sure about that.

Oh - and I know many people do bind their elastic with a serger or cover stitch, but I have found the old Kwik Sew version of zig zag, turn, zig zag to be the most reliable. That said, I had a world of trouble a couple of months ago even doing that. My machine went bonkers or awhile!

Good luck and hope SheBear can help you out.

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

lilycoe
lilycoe
Member since 2/15/13
Posts: 7
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Date: 10/7/13 11:42 PM

Hi Tourist, thank you for your reply. I'm pretty new to the board and haven't yet learned to navigate it that well. I'll keep searching for the info on swimwear and lingerie.
I've tried the Kwik sew method of attaching elastic, as well as, serging it on...don't know which one I like better. I want the bikini top to be as smooth as possible and sometimes I feel as though serging it on makes it a little lumpy. I think I need to practice more.

Thank you again for the info

PattyGee
PattyGee  Friend of PR
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Member since 11/12/03
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Date: 10/8/13 0:39 AM

http://totallystitchin.net/articles/making-one-piece-swimsuit

Lilycoe - If you scroll down at this website, there is a tutorial for the elastic.

HTH

Eta: on this page in the bar clickon the top right is Search Boards, click on it. Then in Enter Phrase: swimwear, search in titles & descriptions, you should find a bunch of swimwear threads.
-- Edited on 10/8/13 0:46 AM --

------
Patty
Bernina 530, Bernina 200e with upgrade 730, BL Enlighten Serger, BL Coverstitch and Juki TL-2010Q.

SheBear0320
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In reply to lilycoe <<


Date: 10/8/13 1:13 AM

Just seeing this now.

Oh the joys of posing suits -- are these for competitive bikini or for the model search types of bikini competitions? Or are they bodybuilding posing suits (for fitness, figures and/or physique divisions)? The division/type of competition will have a bearing on the style of the suit. I have done them all over the years.

First off -- what type of fabric are you using? Are your cups lined? Do they have pockets for inserts and/or push-ups? What type of elastic are you using?

Are you using elasticized straps or just spaghetti straps for the tops? I usually attach the strap first and then apply the elastic to the sides and topstitch.

Are you mostly having problems with the triangle cups? Or are you also having problems with the leg and waist elastic of the bottoms? My answer to the stretch vs. don't stretch when applying the elastic is that it depends on where you are applying it and on the style of the suit.

I will try to check back soon -- I'm in the midst of my busiest time of the year so don't get onto PR as often these days.

Patience and practice is the best advice I can offer -- that and using good quality materials.


------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
49.75 yards sewn (as of 07/17/14)
79.875 yards purchased (as of 07/17/14)

SewLibra
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SewLibra  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/8/13 1:19 AM

Wow. I applaud anyone who tries to make swimsuits. Carry on and the best of luck to you!

------
SewLibra
Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D, Janome Harmony 9102D

lilycoe
lilycoe
Member since 2/15/13
Posts: 7
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Date: 10/8/13 1:37 AM

Thank you ladies for your replies! What an awesome board!
The suits are for body builders, my daughter and her friends are bikini division If I ever do nail this I would like to move on to figure/physique suits. I'm working with spandex that I order from Spandex World I believe. So far I haven't moved beyond the bikini top so I don't even know what I'll run into with the bottoms! lol The top is lined...I've been experimenting with how to do the pockets for extra padding. I've made spaghetti and elastic straps. I usually attach the strap first and do the elastic fold over, but no matter how slow I go when I reach the top, the pointed area with the triangle meets the strap just doesn't look smooth.
SheBear, do you always use elastic on the triangles or do you ever make a bias binding from the spandex and attach without elastic? And do you ever put darts in the top? I suppose it all depends on what the client is looking for, but I'm wondering is you go one way or the other based on chest size.
It sounds like you're pushing the pedal to the metal getting suits ready for a competition, so I will look forward to your reply when you have the time.
I can tell you I have been practicing for quite some time now...made some strides, but I feel like if i'm practicing wrong, then I'm just getting better at doing it wrong
Thank you again, everyone, for all your help!!!

SheBear0320
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In reply to lilycoe <<


Date: 10/8/13 9:50 AM

I did my first fitness routine costume and posing suit almost 10 years ago -- I know I've been doing it awhile when my first clients are now trainers and sending their trainees to me.

The shape and style of the tops really depend on the competitor -- I've done a lot of different styles. While the triangle type tops are the most popular, they aren't necessarily the right style for everyone. Darts can be very important for the larger busted competitors.

There are no real patterns or instructions for making these suits although I did find reading through the Kwik Sew Swimwear book and some of the Jalie swimwear patterns (you can read the instructions online at their website) was helpful.

I have found that handstitching the strap and elastic together at the top before top stitching helps keep everything in place and looking smooth. And yes, I always use elastic on the sides of the triangle -- it provides a much better fit and "hug" to the breast when they are doing their poses (nothing worse than gaping -- and some judges will even call it as "showing too much breast").

Are you trying to make too much of a point at the top of the cup? The centre front and side should "flow" into the straps. I will dig up some photos of some bikini tops I have done and post them here when I can -- maybe later today or tomorrow (I usually come on PR when I'm taking a meal or coffee break).

I'm actually busy with ballroom and figure skating right now -- bodybuilding comps don't kick into full gear until the new year (although I have several clients lined up already -- they know to get their deposit in early to get me booked). Right now it's 2 ballroom gowns, 33 synchro skating dresses and 27 team jackets -- along with finishing up a couple of shirts and/or bodysuits for some male skaters -- never a dull moment around here.

Good luck and I'll try to check back often.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
49.75 yards sewn (as of 07/17/14)
79.875 yards purchased (as of 07/17/14)

lilycoe
lilycoe
Member since 2/15/13
Posts: 7
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Date: 10/8/13 7:28 PM

Wow, SheBear, I'm in AWE!!! And I'm very grateful that you've taken the time to respond to my post. You're right, there isn't much info out there to make these speciality suits.
When you have a chance, would you mind telling me if you use two pieces of lining to create the pocket for the padding? One to fully line the bikini and the other to slip the padding in? I've been trying that, but it really makes for bulky edges when you add in the elastic and then fold over and stitch. I'm trying to make it as smooth and flat as possible but it's just not happening.
I don't know if you have posted pics of your work on this forum..b it suits or ballroom dancing gowns but if so, let me know...I would love to see them.
Thank you again for your help!!!

SheBear0320
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In reply to lilycoe <<
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Date: 10/9/13 0:18 AM

If you check the PR blog, I was the member in focus on the May 16th entry -- there are quite a few pics of work I've done including a competition bikini, a figures posing suit and a fitness routine costume.

I'm going to get a couple of close-up photos of the tops and get them uploaded to my photo album and then post the links. I haven't tried to upload any photos recently so I'm hoping the photo changes on the site don't make it a steep learning curve.

There are several ways to do the padding in the tops -- most recently I have been sewing the padding right into the top and eliminating the need for the pockets. Most of my clients prefer this. I use Triangle Ultra Shapers which I buy in bulk from a local swimwear store and basically use them as a base for the top. Whether I use lining behind the fabric, then the padded shaper and then another lining or go with fabric, shaper and one lining depends on the type of fabric. Some definitely need the extra layer.

What type of lining are you using? I typically use the HSL linings from Spandex House HSL01 to HSL04 Stretch Linings -- scroll down to see these 4 linings. If I want something a little more substantive I will use the Suzi Basics line from Suzi Spandex. I don't find either add a lot of bulk.

Here are a couple of photos I already had in my PR album:

Foil Figures Suit with Crystals

Foil Posing Suit Before Crystals

Old Style 1-Pce Figure Suit (no longer required in competitions)

Pretty much all my reviews and projects posted on PR are from my personal sewing -- when I post photos of client work, it is usually to illustrate something for someone who is doing the same type of project.



------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
49.75 yards sewn (as of 07/17/14)
79.875 yards purchased (as of 07/17/14)

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