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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Is it a swimsuit fabric? ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Is it a swimsuit fabric?
bdichello
bdichello
Member since 3/26/12
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Date: 3/9/14 8:33 PM

So I bought this fabric about 2 years ago. When I bought it I intended to make a swimsuit out of it. I decided that this summer I'm actually going to make a swimsuit, but now that I took the fabric out I'm not sure that its meant for swimsuits. I bought a solid fabric to go on bottom and its a much heavier weight with more of a shine than the fabric I previously purchased.

I attempted the burn test. The fabric melted into gray clumps. Does anyone know what this fabric might be or what I can do to find out?

dmh1
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dmh1
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North Carolina USA
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Date: 3/9/14 8:40 PM

Swimsuit fabric can vary in weight and there are matte swimsuit fabrics that won't have as much shine. Is it a printed fabric or a solid color? How much stretch is there? A swimsuit is really just meant to cover you up in water, so I guess you could get it wet and see how it feels to you. The real problem could be if the fabric doesn't respond well to chlorinated or salt water and you'll be swimming (versus sunbathing). I use nylon spandex for my swimsuits, and I'm a fitness swimmer in saline (chlorinated) pools predominately.

------
Michelle

SM: Janome DC2013 & Singer Futura Quintet
Serger: Janome Magnolia 7034D
Coverstitch: Singer 14T968DC

happytobehere
happytobehere
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Date: 3/9/14 8:51 PM

Doesn't it need to stretch in all directions to be suitable for swimsuits?

bdichello
bdichello
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In reply to dmh1 <<


Date: 3/10/14 10:10 AM

The fabric is printed. The fabric stretches quite a bit. I have no concerns about the stretch. I did get it wet. It seems to be okay. Maybe with a lining I'll feel better about the weight of the fabric.

biochemistress

biochemistress  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/10/14 1:35 PM

If you can't think of any other us for it, why not go ahead and make the suit? At worst it'll be a muslin, and at best it'll be a usable swimsuit. FWIW, there are various weights, sheens, and finishes to swimwear fabric. As long as you're confident there's Lycra in it and it stretches four ways, go ahead and try it.

SheBear0320
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SheBear0320  Friend of PR
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Manitoba Canada
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In reply to bdichello <<


Date: 3/10/14 2:06 PM

I too use nylon spandex for swimsuits and it comes in a wide variety of weights. I find that most prints tend to be lighter weight than some of the solids. There are also matte finishes and shiny finishes and I know you can also get "Wet Look" solid colours.

You want to make sure that the stretch is both across the grain and with the grain.

Most swimsuits are lined -- just make sure you use appropriate swimsuit lining. I usually cut my linings just a smidge smaller than the fashion fabric for a good smooth fit.

I would also suggest using specific swimsuit elastic if you are going to be wearing the suit in chlorinated or salt water.

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

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
106.625 yards sewn (as of 12/19/14)
145.125 yards purchased (as of 12/19/14)

bdichello
bdichello
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Date: 3/10/14 5:36 PM

Thanks for all the helpful feedback! Actually I was planning on making this swimsuit a test run since I bought new fabric to make one, but I had forgotten how much I liked what I already had so now I'm obsessing over whether its actually swimsuit fabric. Admittedly when I bought about 2 years ago I had no idea what I was doing (and some days I still don't).

I got my swimwear elastic and my lining from sew sassy fabrics, so those should be fine. I think the fabric only has 2 way stretch, however the pattern that I picked (kwiksew 3238) calls for fabric with 2 way stretch so I'm hoping that works. I'm getting really excited to sew this thing now that the weather is finally warming up here!

SheBear0320
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In reply to bdichello <<


Date: 3/10/14 7:43 PM

I'm pretty sure when Kwik Sew refers to 2 way stretch they are referring to both cross-wise and lengthwise stretch -- your particular pattern asks for 2 way with a minimum of 75% on the lengthwise.

There is no standard for what exactly "2 way stretch" means --

I just looked at my Kwik Sew Swim & Action Wear book and under General Information they state:

"All patterns included in this book are designed for two-way stretch fabrics with Lycra spandex. This type of fabric stretches in both directions, crosswise and lengthwise, and is sometimes called four-way stretch fabric. The fabric should stretch at least 75% in one direction."

The greatest degree of stretch should usually go around the body (there are some exceptions to this rule).

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

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
106.625 yards sewn (as of 12/19/14)
145.125 yards purchased (as of 12/19/14)

beauturbo
beauturbo
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California USA
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Date: 3/10/14 9:29 PM

If your fabric does not stretch as much (or in ways) as the fabric they want you to use or only stretches across wise but not up and down wise, then I think you had better at least cut it out with some extra seam allowance room (or maybe a larger size) for the bottom of the suit.

The actual top swim suit, the halter top part of it, looks to me that it might not even really matter all so much, and just depending on your fabric there might or might not make much difference, but the bottom part of it really might instead. Better to have more and extra fabric you don't really need, (and just take a larger seam allowance) then some you might need and not have later!

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