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Pattern Reviews> Stretch & Sew> 1276 (bikini & maillot)

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Review submitted in Fabric Stash - 2011 Contest
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Reviewed by:dakotasews

About dakotasewsstar
Member since: 1/7/06
Reviews: 38 (patterns: 38)
Skill level:Advanced Beginner
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Posted on:2/21/11 9:29 AM
Last Updated:1/10/15 10:42 PM
Project Photo:Stretch & Sew: 1276 by dakotasews

Stretch & Sew: 1276 by dakotasews  Stretch & Sew: 1276 by dakotasews    
Pattern Photo:

Pattern Info provided by dakotasews

Pattern Rating:Easy & Great for Beginners
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 4 people   
Fabric:Nylon-Lycra  [See other projects in this fabric]
2015 Update - I tried out a different view and mixing fabrics. My daughter loves pink, so I used pink. I'm not sure on how practical the belt will be as she keeps putting her fingers in the belt loops and that was just from trying it on. I continue to recommend this pattern, but know the following:

Pattern runs small ( I think it calls for swimwear fabric with more stretch than what is readily available).
Raise the neckline and armholes for a bit more modesty.
Be prepared for directions that refer you throughout the pamphlet. Once you get the hang of the layout, the swimsuits come together quickly.

2014 Update - I needed a swimsuit quickly as I realized my daughter was going to camp, and I never did make her a swimsuit this year. I am so thankful for this site as I could look back at my issues/sizing/etc to help me remember sewing this pattern before. I made a size 29 for my daughter and she usually wears a rtw 8 or 10. The swimsuit fit pretty well, but I'll raise the armholes and neckline 1-1.5 inches next time. I also need to topstitch further away from the edge of the swimsuit as it now rolls outwards (see closeup picture).

Pattern Description:
Pattern Sizing:Sizing is by chest size 21-31 which correlates to approximate ready-to-wear sizing 4-14. My daughter has a 29 inch chest size. I did sew a 31 rather than the 29, and it fits well.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?The layout of the directions is not easy to follow. The directions come in a mini-booklet of 11 X 14 paper that has been folded in half. I chose to make View F which is the racer back maillot. Consequently, the directions begin "Refer to procedures in View E, Steps 51-57. In steps 54 and 56, match notches at side seams. Refer to procedures in Views B and C, steps 27-32 for leg elastic." Once you refer to the directions assigned, they are good instructions, but I found it frustrating referring back and forth.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like that it is basic and timeless. My daughter needed a swimsuit that would stay put as she was beginning diving last summer. I made one last summer as a wearable muslin and made the one with the fabric she picked out now.

Fabric Used:Chez Ami tactel/lycra blend fabric. It feels so nice. This is the first time I've sewn with it so hopefully it stands up to chlorine. I used a nude color nylon lycra lining that I purchased Mill End several years ago. The wearable muslin I made last fall had swimwear elastic in it from Home Sew. Using the same measurements as the swimwear elastic, I tried stretch-rite elastic, and I sewed with wooly nylon in the bobbin, but this did not work well. The stretch-rite did not have near the recovery as the swimwear elastic from Home Sew. So I ordered more swimwear elastic. but I decided to order from Sew Sassy as they had some other things I wanted to try. The swimwear elastic from Sew Sassy is flatter and softer, but did not have the same recovery as the swimwear elastic from Home Sew. For example, I used 18 inches of Home Sew swimwear elastic, but found that 16 inches of Sew Sassy elastic worked better for the elastic in the leg area.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: To finish the neck, the directions say to cut a slit and then sew it up afterwards. I didn't feel that was necessary and just sewing the neck elastic as I sewed the arm and leg elastic. I also stitch the lining to the main fabric before sewing the elastic in. The pattern does call for this, but it is in one of the steps that you skip for the one-piece maillot.

To mark the quarters on the elastic and openings, I use a washable marker rather than trying to keep pins in elastic that is stretched taut. I also try to put the area where the elastic is sewn together next to an area with a lining to the "bump where the elastics overlap" blends in better. It also seems easier to sew over.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I will sew this again. I never have a problem with my kids pulling their homemade swimsuits back into place or not having their butts covered. I like them to have swimsuits that suit their personality and fit very well.

Conclusion: This is an out-of-print pattern, I believe (1988). I bought mine for $2 from a fabric store that was switching its focus from apparel to quilting. If you see the pattern anywhere, it is well-worth it.

Link to swimsuit I made last summer
Click Here
Link to Chez Ami fabric swimsuit At the time I made this one, I hoped the Chez Ami swimsuit fabric would last really well. Well, it doesn't, it fades just as fast if not faster than anything else I've purchased. It does retain its stretch and stays smooth.
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2 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Pj3g said... (7/21/14 1:13 PM) Reply
Cute! And excellent review!
Raye Ann said... (2/21/11 12:13 PM) Reply
Thank you for the great review and including information about your experience with elastic. The swimsuit is very, very cute!
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