Mark, I am not planning to make my own shapewear anytime soon, being a rather novice as well as a pretty lazy seamstress, but I am really fascinated by your skills and articles. My wish list is to find someone who can make me a swimsuit. My problem/challenge is a size 34DDD bra size as well as a 71-year old body, not in terrible shape considering but of course saggy and in need or more than bikinis, which is what all the local swim shops specialize in.
Any chance of an article or leads in this area of endeavor? Anybody? (I live in Southern California.) I would be very grateful for assistance!
There used to be a site called pattern school that specialized on this but it closed some months back. I made my own swimwear after a bout of sticker shock. Don't feel so bad. I can wear bikinis but I can't AFFORD bikinis! The advice Mark gives in his articles is basically the same as the other site but more in depth. There was a slightly different way of drafting some pieces like bottoms and there was lots of varying "mono-kinis" and exotic swimwear that may not be your style. I learned that swimwear needs a full synthetic poly/spandex/Lycra content. You can use "dance wear" fabric ONLY if there is NO COTTON otherwise it will absorb water and sag once wet. Also "sport elastic" is that clear stuff. Careful! It rips but it's worth it. The elastic has cotton and it will sag too.
Thank you, zyurelaie, for the thoughtful notes on fabric choice, and the elastic part. Perhaps I can search the 'net for fabric sources and turn up some professional leads from that direction. Also, Mark, I will continue to follow your articles here & - who knows? - I might just be emboldened to try my own hand out of desperation!
I have noticed several times in my research of vintage shape wear that many items feature panels of varying negative ease being joined up in a seam together. Usually this is some form of control panel. What kind of advice / experience could you share on drafting and assembly of pattern pieces with no stretch like a zipper or more severe control panel to a piece with more considerable negative ease?
Hi zyurelaie, I will try to cover things like zippers in firm control garments in another article as I am planning to continue with the theme of shapewear and “bifurcate d” shapewear garments, as to swimwear I will again try to look at that at some time.
Corset Hugs Mark
It's the time of year again for me to make my swimwear for myself. Maybe I should try a retro one piece with the old school boning and zip up back this year and document the process from start to finish? If foundations revealed will have me I would be happy to share it here. As a tailor I don't usually run into stretch unless I'm making swimwear for myself and my little girl. The "foundation wear" title had scared me off because it looked complicated but I have lots of personal experience making swimwear. Mark your articles have helped me so much I can't thank you enough.
Hi zyurelaie Thank you for your nice comment about my articles. Yes I to like the look of retro swimsuits and a one-piece strapless skirted retro style can still turn heads in a nice way on the beach, I have put some pics of some suits in a zip file on the forum page under bras. Look at pic file name 3698.jpg, a classic ruched number. To make one start with an inner foundation garment, a boned and cupped panty corselet or Basque and ruche the outer fabric on this foundation. Look at my article on making a corselet. Corset Hugs Mark.