Made for Mermaids: Roxy Swimsuit

Maid for Mermaids Roxy : Size 3 long peplum/regular bottoms

Notions:

  • Pattern states to use serger or regular machine. I used both.
  • Made sure rotary blade was new.
  • Changed my needles – using 90/14 stretch needles
  • Suppose to use wooly nylon thread for swim, but I chose to use polyester thread. Wooly nylon is good for swim because it doesn’t break down as fast with water, so it’s meant to last quite a long time. But because my daughter is growing fast, I don’t anticipate needing this swim suit past the season. So Polyester is fine.
  • Natural swim suit cotton elastic.

 

Disclaimer: The following is a “sew-a-long” of the original pattern. If you want to see what I thought and what I changed only- skip down to the bottom.

TOP

STEP ONE- Cutting and Marking:

  • Cut fabric and mark with pins where the straps should go.When you are done 3 cut pattern pieces watermarkedcutting you will have:
    • Two bodice fronts
      • One main
      • One Lining
    • Two Bodice Backs
      • One main
      • One Lining
    • Two straps
    • One peplum
    • Two bottom fronts
      • One main
      • One lining
    • Two bottom backs
      • One main
      • One lining
    • And all your elastic pieces:
      • One waist,
      • Two leg holes
      • Two straps
      • One neckline

 

 

 

 

 

After you are done cutting you will need to mark the bodice pieces where the straps go. I used clips and put one where each line on the bodice pattern piece was.

STEP TWO- Straps:

  • Sew wrong sides together with elastic.5 straps pinned watermarked
    • I messed up here and forgot to sew my elastic while sewing my straps. So after I was done- I just added the elastic on top of the previous seam.
  • Turn Straps right side out and “finger-press” the seam.
    • I don’t really like it when people say to “finger-press” something with a lot of stretch in it. Swim fabric never stays unless you steam it with the iron. But swim fabric can also 6 straps sewn with elastic wmmelt and loose its stretch when you steam it- so most pattern makers will tell you not to iron. Steam is definitely a fickle mistress and can take your project from “OOO nice!” to “OOO fire!” in an instant.
  • Run two lines of gathering stitches along top and bottom of straps. Make sure your elastic is in the middle of the straps and lies flat.
    • My advice is don’t use the serger for this. It’s very annoying to get the setting on the serger loose enough to run gathering stitches. It can be done, but because of the elastic it might be a bit tricky to gather your stitches. So I would switch to your regular sewing machine and use a very lose basting stitch and sew within the seam allowance- two rows of stitching.
  • Gather straps so they are the length suggested in the pattern. In this case one inch. Tip provided in pattern directions: “after you are done gathering your stitches, tie off the ends so that it doesn’t shift.”
    • Pull those tails of your basting stitches so that the width of the strap is one inch or whatever the chart states for your pattern size.
      • Two things:
        • I didn’t see the little tip until way after I sewn up the garment. It wasn’t very noticeable.
        • There’s a note stating that if gathering elastic this step might be harder. This is where I get annoyed with pattern designers. Because these things should be talked about before you even sew up anything- when you are gathering your notions and cutting your pieces.

Step Three- Bikini/Peplum Top-Side Seams:

  • Make a sandwich with the bodice pieces in the following order. When completed pin sides together and sew.9 bodice sewn and flipped wm
    • Back Lining: Right Side Up
    • Front Lining: Wrong side up
    • Front main: Right side up
    • Back Main: Wrong side up
  • Turn right side out and baste neckline and waist.

Step Four-Strap Placement:

  • If you didn’t do this before- take the pattern pieces and pin where the front and back straps should go on the bodice.10 strapped pinned wm
  • Place straps wrong side up and pin to bodice front- baste into place.
  • Do the same for the back
    • This step is very important to look at the pictures provided in the pattern. It can be a little difficult to understand how the straps should be placed. Especially what is considered what the “right side” or “wrong side” of the strap is.
  • Once basted into place- put on your kid/model and adjust for fit.
    • I didn’t bother with this step because my kid was sleeping and I just wanted to get it done. Turns out it fit just fine without her trying it on first. It’s really up to you and your kid whether or not you do this process. If you are picky I wouldn’t bypass- because the straps can make or break how it looks or fits. My kid is at an age where she doesn’t even get why she has to wear a swim suit in the first place so she could care less about how it fits- as long as she gets to go in the water- she is good to go.

Step Five- Neckline Elastic

  • Overlap Neckline elastic by ¼”. Stitch together.
  • Pin elastic to the lining side of the bodice neckline. Start at one side seam, pin to the front neckline 1:1 ratio pulling slightly at the “dip” in the front. Continue pinning around the front until you reach the other side seam.
    • The pictures in the pattern directions do a great job of guiding you on how to stretch the elastic- etc. I would look at them before you start to get a clear understand of what the pattern designer means. Maybe get a cut of coffee too…
  • Evenly stretch the rest of the elastic along the back neckline.
  • Sew into place.
    • Soooooo…. I tried to do this step with my serger and royally f’ed it up. I ended up with a mess on my hands that required my seam ripper and lots of coffee. I ended up seam ripping the entire thing and re-doing it with my regular sewing machine. I’m not sure why I felt that I could do this with my serger. I think by that time I was just done with this swim suit and was hoping that my serger could help me get closer to the finish line. Instead I spent waaay more time than I should have on this step. Lessons learned- slow and steady wins the race, every frickin’ time
  • Fold neckline 3/8” toward wrong side and pin into place. Top stitch this down making sure that fabric is folded over nice and tight and pulling the elastic while doing so to get a smooth finish
    • Make sure when folding to the inside that you fold your straps back up, before top stitching. If you don’t -the straps won’t work. So just be very mindful of that.

Step 6- Peplum

  • Find quarter points of the inner circle waist on both peplum and bodice and place pins.
  • Turn bodice right side out and peplum wrong side out.
  • Slide the bodice into the peplum and match quarter points. Pin into place. Then sew.
    • The Pattern designer states that you don’t need to hem this because swim fabric doesn’t fray. But I feel like that leaves it looking “unfinished.” So I went ahead and adjusted my serger (following my manual’s directions) to a rolling hem stitch and hemmed the bottom of the skirt so it looks fancy. I also top stitched the peplum/bodice seam to match the neckline because I like more work. I love to create more hassles for myself, always. But I also dig the final look of everything being the same. So…

BOTTOMS: View A-Plain high waist bottoms

Step One- Cut out pattern.

  • Cut out fabric pieces if you haven’t already done it. You should have the following pieces:22 bottom pieces cut wm
    • Two bottom fronts
      • One main
      • One lining
    • Two bottom backs
      • One Main
      • One Lining
    • Elastic
      • One waist
      • Two leg holes

Step Two- Side Seams

  • Make a fabric sandwich.
    • Back lining- right side up
    • Front lining- wrong side up
    • Main front- right side up
    • Main back- right side up
  • Sew side seams.
    • There’s a note in the directions that states “the front bottom pieces will be slightly smaller in width than the back.” This means that the pieces will not lay flat when sewing- so just make sure that the sides match when sewing and don’t worry if it doesn’t lay flat. This is because we are 3-D and fabric is 2-D. So we need to make sure that we are accounting for the circumference of our waists, etc.

      24 bottom lining and main pinned together wm

Step Three- Crotch Seam

  • Find center of main back bottom crotch. Match the notches from the bottom front main and lining pieces to the center point of the bottom back crotch. Then match the center point of the lining back bottom crotch to the notches. Pin the edges together. Sew into place. Cut off bulk.
    • So… I got kind of confused here because there was a lot of directions for something so simple that I thought it was harder than it actually was. And I definitely needed the pictures. Basically –You just want to make sure that the wrong side of the fabric is out. Then you will match the crotch seams together and sew.

Step Four- Leg Openings

  • Sew elastic together to make a band and then pin to the lining of the leg hole. Sew. Then fold the main fabric in towards the lining, pulling tight to create a binding. Top stitch down. Repeat for other leg hole.
    • I learned my lesson from earlier and I used my regular sewing machine25 bottom ready for topstitching wm for the elastic- it was a lot faster and way easier. I then used my cover stitch machine to top stitch.

Step Five- Waist

  • Sew elastic together to make a band. Pin to the lining for the waist and sew into place. Then flip the main fabric to the inside over the elastic creating a binding and top stitch down.
    • This step is exactly like the leg holes. So just make sure you follow the same steps and do the same thing and it will look the same.17 completed wm

ALL DONE!!! TADA!!! You deserve some chocolate for completing this. I know I had some when I was done.

Key take-away from sewing this pattern:

  • Directions are clear enough for someone who has sewn a lot before. But I feel like it could have been clearer for a beginner.
    • I think if you are a beginner then you will want to go slow and just make sure to study the photos if you are confused. Or ask an adult. Or set it on fire and walk away… whatever you want- it’s your project.
  • Make sure to use a regular sewing machine for the elastic- unless you are a magical serger sewer and know all the tricks.
  • I don’t like that the neckline/leg holes/waist seams are not enclosed. I think it gives it a not so finished look when the elastic is just turned to the inside and top stitched down. I know this is for personal use so it doesn’t matter- but if you were to try to sell it, I wouldn’t buy it.
  • I don’t like the straps- especially the gathered look. But that’s personal preference.
  • Younger children don’t necessarily need to have the elastic in the front neckline *personal opinion-don’t seam rip me!*- because they don’t really need the support. Unless your child is well endowed- it’s not really needed in the front of the bodice.
  • The bottoms are simple, but I would definitely add a waistband to the top of it to get it more structure and pizazz. Also because my kid wears swim diapers- I might need the extra support a band provides to keep the bottoms up.

This isn’t a bad swim suit. I really like the style, but I am definitely going to change things on the next go. The directions are easy to follow as long as you make sure to pay attention to the pictures. I do think there are a few steps that could be elaborated on, but that’s only for the benefit of beginner sewers.

Things I changed when I sewed up my next swim suit:

  • Reduced size of straps and omitted elastic/gathersSmaller straps no elastic or gathers wm
  • Only used elastic on the back of the bodice, not the front.elastic only on back wm
  • Enclosed all seams: Tucked bands into the bodice between lining and main fabric so that they were sewn into the neckline.strap endings enclosed wm
  • Added waistband to bottoms and used as casing for waistband elastic.green bottoms wm
  • Enclosed elastic/seams on the bottoms in between the lining and main.Crotch sewn so that seams are inside lining wm

Comparison Photos

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FYI I am NOT an affiliate of any of the following links in anyway. I’m providing these so you don’t have to go Google searching for them. You’re Welcome!

Link to Pattern HERE 

Link to helpful video on enclosing bottoms HERE. ***Don’t sew up waist first if you are adding a band. Skip to enclosing the crotch first then add band to waist.

Color fabric used is from Made Whimsy. You can find some HERE.

One thought on “Made for Mermaids: Roxy Swimsuit”

  1. Thanks for a detailed description, Jackie. I totally agree with you on the straps. A finer strap would look a lot better. Looking forward to a photo of Bub wearing the swimsuit.

    Like

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