The Scooby Doo Swimsuit

These last few weeks I've shown you a handful of corsets that I have been working on, now, as the weather has turned warmer it's time to turn my attention to swimwear.

This week, I want to show you a basic swimsuit with built in foam cups in this amazing retro fabric:

I remember that back in the 70's my grandmother had very similar sheets on the bunkbeds in her spare room, except the background was white. In fact, I used these sheets in a quilt I made when my beautiful niece was born 5 years ago.

It also reminds me of the Mystery Machine - the van used by the mystery solving teens and their snacking Great Dane, Scooby Doo. I have to say that I love this fabric! It's so cheerful and busy and covers lots of lumps and bumps without even trying to!

But I'm getting ahead of myself!

Buying a swimsuit when you have a fuller bust can be daunting and frustrating. You want some support, however where a swimsuit has built in cups, they are generally all one size, which is, inevitably, not your size. So it makes sense to have beautiful swimwear sized to your own specifications as well as bras.

So, armed with fabulous fabric and the Denise Swimsuit pattern it was time to get to work.

This swimsuit has a two piece back with a clasp closing. The smaller upper back piece is lined with power net instead of swimsuit lining, just like the back band of my bras, which gives extra support. A strip of power net is also attached to the front lining of the bra. The power net will not be seen as it will be trapped between the lining and the outer floral fabric, giving hidden support.

Now that the lining is prepared, it's time to position your cups. The cups used in this suit are MU's (available from Bra Makers Supply). The cups are available in a range of sizes which don't relate at all to your regular bra size, so the only way to ascertain which size is right for you is to try them on. Once you get the right size, pop them on under your swimsuit lining and position them in the right place. Pin them to stop slippage!

This rather glamorous photograph (!) shows the next step which is where you cut through the lining and powernet in this starburst pattern to allow the fabric between the cups to settle closer to the chest wall. Once you have the fit you want, it's time to carefully remove the lining, pin the other side of the cups and zig-zag these into place.

It's all plain sailing from here on in. Baste the outer fabric to your lining and finish your edges. The leg holes require elastic, about 2" shorter than the leg opening. The underarm and neck/back elastic don't require any additional pull. In this suit, I chose not to use any elastic in the underarms and neck and back - instead I opted to bind this with brown swimwear fabric which gives a lovely finish.

The end result is a great fun and well fitting swimsuit. It's comfortable and supportive and so much better than any store bought swimsuit that I've ever owned.

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