|Pattern Description: |
Misses' bathing suit has several options for tops and bottoms. I chose View E, a tankini with a ruched upper bodice, fitted lower bodice, and halter neckline.
4-18. I cut a 6.
A knit from G Street's $2.97/yd table. I thought it was poly but realized halfway through sewing that it was rayon. It is a terrible choice for swimwear, but this is a muslin.
It's lined with a mesh from Lycra4Sale in eBay, $4/yd.
Total cost, including patter: around $6.
Time to Make:
This isn't too difficult, but I took extra care with cutting because of my stripes. I also made full size pattern pieces, rather than cut-on-fold. I spent probably 4 hours on the top.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the ruched top to build up the bust, and I particularly like the keyhole opening for the bust tie.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope?
Yes, although I shortened it quite a bit from the drafted length.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were ok, but I didn't like the finishing method for the keyhole so I did my own.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
-One of the features I really love about the top is the keyhole opening between the upper and lower front bodice. McCall's directions have you sew the fashion fabric and the lining separately, sew them together at the top, and then turn under the seam allowances at the keyhole opening and stitch in place by hand. I underlined, rather than do a regular lining.
Since I thought hand stitching wouldn't look great there, I started by clipping into the seam allowance on either side of the keyhole opening and sewing the lining and fashion fabric right sides together between the clips.
Then I sewed the upper bodice and lower bodice together, treating fashion fabric and lining as one. I used my serger for this, and was careful to get the seam allowance exactly right at the clip so the two lines of stitching would line up.
Then I turned the seam allowance down, and tacked it to the lining only (which was still open at the bottom, so I could easily separate the two layers) on either side of the keyhole opening to keep it from showing.
This makes for a nice tidy opening. Note that the opening in the upper bodice is longer than in the lower bodice, so markings are important. The ruched effect on the upper bodice is accomplished by pulling the tie through the keyhole and over the upper edge and knotting it.
-The upper front bodice is drafted to be cut on the fold, but because I wanted the >chevron effect of the stripes I cut it with a center front seam.
-The top pattern is drafted with a narrow halter strap that is stitched in place on either side of the front, i.e., not adjustable. Several reviewers mentioned that the strap was (1) skimpy, and (2) too long. Rather than mess with all that, I used the pattern for the center front tie to cut straps as well. After comparing the length with straps on a RTW halter top I had, it turned out to be pretty much the same size.
The tie is drafted as a rectangle, but I angled the ends on both the bust tie and the halter ties. I cut the halter ties on the bias for another chevron effect. I gathered them slightly before attaching to the upper bodice, right sides together. The tie's raw edge was later covered by the elastic and turned under.
This is a really cute top. I like the vintage style and it stays firmly in place with plenty of coverage. I will definitely be making this again in a more suitable fabric!
The blog post is here and the photos are here. The bottoms are reviewed here.