I mostly sew lingerie.
Swimwear may sound similar, but it's a whole another story.
Materials, elastics, techniques are all different. Even the way you treat the fabric.
These are my second swimwear in my life and I wanted to try out a new technique...so the complications are expected.
But I really wanted to test out for you if it's possible to turn the Forme bralette into swimwear and if so, what to be careful about!
So I hope this will help you!
Today I wanted to test a Forme bralette pattern, since you ask me all the time if you can make a swimwear with this fabric, and if so, what to pay attention to. So I used a Forme bralette pattern with stretch mesh lining.
But the stretch mesh / or light powernet cant be changed to lycra, even in two layers, since it has so much more stretch than the intended lining.
Therefore, I decided to add one layer of light powernet in between the swimwear lining and the outer lycra fabric.
The whole bralette will be finished with swimwear elastic and clear closure at the end. The straps will be also covered elastic.
I bought fabrics last year from some random Czech e-shop. When I wanted to use this fabric, I was reminded of an article I read about swim fabrics, that some that are too thick are the old technology that is see-through. And mine was kinda thick. So I tried to soak it in the water...and yes, it was see-trough.
I am glad I tried it before though!
So I used leftover swim lining from the SewMe, from the last year project.
Their fabric is much more slimmer and opaque in the water.
All the pattern adjustments are related to the different construction of the Forme bralette and any piece of swimwear.
We don't use a decorative edge of the lace, therefore, I added a 10 mm seam allowance on the upper edge of the whole bralette to sew a swimwear elastic here.
I made the back band longer since my closure is much more narrow than the bra closure. I also added a bit of space to attach it.
I didn't make the front center seam. This is more a design decision and is aware, that removing this seam requires stabilizing one of the inner layers (preferably light powernet) along this missing seam with sheer cup lining or another method. The inner cup is cut on the fold.
Based on the final result I think I would still decrease the projection a bit, as the fabrics behave slightly different while they are wet and I prefer a closer fit in the water than for a whole day bralette wear. But it's more of a personal preference and it's totally fine as it is now.
I didn't realize that the swimwear elastic I use has only 30% stretch as opposed to my pattern that needs at least 70-100% stretch.
I also didn't realize that one of the elastics I use has 30% stretch as the other has 70%.
So be sure, you are using an elastic with the right stretch percentages and that all of your elastics are elastic for the same amount.
Therefore after sewing, I find out that my bra is too tight and I am not able to close it.
Or I can close it but I can't breathe in it.
But there is absolutely no chance I can do both.
So there is a time to change the design a bit :)
I made strap elastics longer and I created a loop on the back. So now it is close by ties.
What would I change next time?
I wanted to try the technique with the final topstitching, but my sewing machine (or me) didn't handle this really well.
I do prefer the seamless look.
But I tried something new!
For the elastics, if I need to use my 30% elastic, I would make a band significantly longer, sew the bottom band, try it on, pin closure and then fit the shape of the back band and sew upper elastic in.
Or use my narrow elastic all over the bra.
Final tips for using Forme bralette as a swimwear
1) Change seam allowances and back band to the technique and closure you want to use
2) Use powernet as a middle layer
3) Check the stretch % of your elastic and accommodate to that
What about bottoms?
I wanted to make a matching bottoms, but as I said in the beginning, I run out of swimwear lining.
I made an order and hopefully I will sew them this summer!
In the meantime...mix and match! :-D
I really hope this helps you and inspired you!