|Pattern Description: |
Tank top-style tankini with optional shelf bra. The shelf bra includes front and back bodice, with elastic at the bottom. In other words, it encircles the body and does not attach at the side seams.
Optional side drawstrings.
Swim briefs with wide waistband.
Swim skirt with briefs underneath, with wide waistband.
22 sizes, from toddler 2 to women's 50" bust and 53" hips.
I made 3 different sizes for my daughters. The pattern seems to run true to size - my girls are a little slimmer than the measurements indicated on the pattern and there's a little ease in the bodice. I made the size for their height and didn't attempt to alter for width.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. However, I did read the reviews here before stitching my suits, and found a link to Meigan's photo tutorial of how to do the straps. This made the strap construction very clear in my mind and I didn't have to rely on the instructions for that part.
As always, Jalie instructions go the extra step in making sure you get a quality finish.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the style of the suit as well as the choice of bottoms. This is a great suit for active kids (and adults!). I really like the flattering wide waistband as well as the opportunity for using contrast fabrics.
At first, attaching all the binding (actually just one long piece) seemed finicky, but after I had made my 5th top, it seemed very easy. I serged on the first edge, folded over and pinned the edge, then coverstitched the length of the binding.
The wide waistband has narrow elastic secured to the top edge. For some reason, I was expecting wide elastic (like as wide as the waistband, hehe), but that could be pretty uncomfortable. No elastic could be disastrous! Narrow elastic is a good compromise between the two, and since my girls have worn the suits multiple times, I can say it's been very effective.
The skirt is a nice length and is super cute. I will probably make one for myself at some point.
An assortment of nylon/lycras.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1. The front yoke had a tendency to gape/hang when the suit was wet, and especially if the wearer was using bad posture.
Attempting to minimize gaping of the front yoke, I stitched elastic to the top of the yoke on two of the suits. This was the wrong choice, since it gathered the fabric (making it gape out more) and did nothing to pull the suit in toward the body. Another reviewer mentioned trying to stretch (shorten) the yoke widthwise. I think that would work better, and will try it on my next version.
2. My oldest girl had her heart set on boy shorts (which is not included in the pattern!). After pondering this over a few days, I finally decided to take the nice wide waistband from this pattern and attach it to the bottom portion of the unitard pattern I have (Jalie 3138). This worked out really well and, other than making the waistband and shorts seam lines match each other, I didn't have to do any drafting (such as creating a crotch lining).
Photos of all 5 suits here.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I can see myself making numerous iterations and variations of this suit and highly recommend it.