Thursday, 19 February 2015

Papercut Patterns - Soma bikini becomes a tankini

OK. Deep breath. Swimwear pictures.

Try to concentrate mostly on the beautiful scenery of Eagle Bay, Western Australia.

I say 'deep breath' because my last swimwear blog post was one of my most popular. However, I suspect that it was mostly clicked on by frustrated men, hoping that 'Bombshell in Borneo' was going to offer them more than a middle aged sewer posing in a pair of bathers that used more fabric than the average set of protective workwear. Snigger - serves them right!

Anyway, this is my new set, the Soma Swimsuit by Papercut Patterns.

Soma Swimsuit from the Papercut website

Soma Swimsuit - I made the top pictured in the middle and the pants pictured on the left.

As you can see, the pattern is for a bikini. I wanted a bit more coverage, so drew up a tankini piece to be sewn directly to the lower edge of the bikini top in place of the edging elastic. I made the top edge of the tankini piece just wider than the lower edge of the bikini top, then drew a line outwards to the width I wanted at the hips. I curved the sides up very slightly at the hemline but, looking at these pictures, I think it would look better with a bit more of an upwards curve at the sides. The bikini pants are made according to the higher cut version in the pattern and are very comfortable. I will be making more of these to wear as underwear.

The bathers are made with navy lycra with a geometric jacquard pattern in the fabric, bought from a swimwear designer. The top and pants are lined with nude stretch lining. The tankini add-on is unlined. The straps are made using fold-over elastic and I added some bling, also from the swimwear designer.

The seam lines in the top are interesting and the fit is good and fairly supportive. This is probably because the top is actually quite bra-like at the front and back.

This was my first time using a pattern from Papercut. I forked out for the paper version and yes, the packaging is as lovely as everyone says. The instructions were excellent and very clear. I liked that they described how to layer the outer and lining pieces before sewing so that the seams were encased and not visible from the inside. My only tip would be to pull the upper elastic quite taut across the front and sides of the bikini top. I stretched it only slightly as instructed and had to redo it due to gaping. Otherwise, this is straightforward to make.

And yes, after gazing at that beautiful water, I did eventually venture in to give the tankini a road test.

The bathers performed perfectly and were really comfortable in the water. I much prefer wearing these to my Bombshell pair as I don't like the feeling of all the ruched fabric around me. I was constantly adjusting the gathers on the Bombshell, which detracted from the effortless chic look I was chasing, not to mention almost making me spill my cocktail. No, these are definitely an improvement and I will certainly be making them again.

 I leave you with a phone picture of an enormous stingray, approximately 1 metre across, that cruised through the water I had only just vacated. The risks I take for my blog pictures!

1m stingray (smudge at bottom of picture), shoreline, Eagle Bay.


Anonymous said...

These are fabulous Megan, really flattering. I have the same issues with the bombshell, and have been exploring other bathers as well. I have never bought a Papercut pattern, I have seen them around, but feel they might be a bit youthful for me. Your modifications bring the bathers pattern into my sphere of longing. As always, Eagle Bay is looking fabulous, and stingrays are such awesome creatures.

KathyS said...

I love your bathers Meggipeg. Good coverage yet still flattering and sexy. Tankinis are great, the comfort of a two piece with no bits spilling out. Yours are perfect.

katherine h said...

What beautiful photos! Such a glorious setting. Your bathers are gorgeous too :) I love that fabric. I have tried this bikini pattern but it doesn't fit me well and I have not yet mustered the energy to work on the fitting changes required. I also seem to have problems with seam lengths not matching up. Hopefully, when I get to it, mine will turn out as well as yours. Happy swimming!

Sew, Jean Margaret said...

Love your modifications to this pattern. They look great on and the location is stunning.

Sew2pro said...

Amazing pictures and a good find on the specialist fabric. Was it expensive?

You do these so well. I still haven't forgotten the amazing navy and white costume you made two seasons ago which looked like it needed a yacht to accessorize with. One day I might be brave enough to follow in your footsteps and sew swimwear myself.

MaciNic said...

Thank so very much for the detail shoot of the seaming, I'd forgotten how different the Soma was. I love tankinis, and I could gaze at that sand forever. Lovely ;)

Andrea F said...

Great job! I have an aversion to sewing lycra, so have had no desire to sew my own swimwear. Looking at yours may make me reconsider.

Sue said...

I have this bought this pattern recently and was happy to see such a great looking version reviewed. What a beautiful spot!

Lucy Legget said...

Looks good well done. I have been thinking about making one piece soma but running out of beach time now! I agree think a much more practical (but still interesting style) than the bombshell.

Gail said...

I had a failed attempt at the bombshell and looked at this pattern, but decided against it. I may get my new swimsuit yet.

Swimsuits Direct said...

Looks fab and a stunning place. I love beach <3

lp said...

Nice! I just saw this on PatternReview. Your version turned out great! I like the bling, too. It really is a nice touch. I just finished a tankini version, too: Now to go review it on PatternReview!

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