What's a girl to do? | Handmade 50's Batik print Swimsuit

What’s missing from my wardrobe? My hubby would scream SPACE! Whoops. That’s the question asked over at Sew Weekly. What’s actually missing from my wardrobe is a new swimming costume. I have lived in my vintage 50′s swimmers so much that the last few times I’ve entered the ocean in the classy one piece I said to myself this could well be our last dance my dear. I could either surface stark naked or with a baggy sand filled crotch. It’s time to say goodbye but not without taking a copy, why part with a silhouette that works. | Handmade 50's Batik print Swimsuit

I kinda freaked a bit thinking about the construction of this challenge. Can I do it? You see, the entire back piece of the original swimsuit is shirred with elastic which I have happily done before on a dress, but for some reason— possibly me pulling too hard on the elastic sent me off on a whirl of confusion, cussing and frustration it just wasn’t working out, I almost threw in the towel I had already built the front— lining and all and felt I had come this far just work out another way to make the back work. | Handmade  50's Batik print Swimsuit

I cut the centre back panels inserted darts and a zip, I then cut side back panels which of course joins to the front panel. I dug through my sewing bin and save the shirred panel I so tirelessly worked on and cut it to fit into the bottom of the back side panels which worked out to be a blessing in disguise, this allows flexibility to the swimsuit, I can sit comfortably because of the ease these shirred panels give. Phew! The fit of this suit is perfect for me, there is no elastic needed around the crotch and rear she just sits excellently this could be due to the low cut. The bra section consists of a centre bottom panel, side panels to the centre bottom and a top panel that I have inserted thrifted, mustard coloured piping along. I then placed 1inch wide elastic down the centre to create the gathering mirroring this process for the lining and then took to inserting boning that sits at the either sides of the bra cups so she sits pretty. The back straps cross over and button up at the front. I’m quite chuffed with how this turned out. It was a long process but got there in the end with a smile on my face. | Some light reading

I enjoyed the moment of sunshine Melbourne had on offer soaking up some inspiration, but before I knew it the sun was lost behind a cloud and it became slightly chilly quickly, it is Winter after all. Melbourne and her four seasons in one day! | Handmade 50's Batik print Swimsuit

I knew I wanted to make a sun top to shield my lily white skin from the sun and found this reverse printed [silly] chiffon at a half price fabric sale. I self drafted this kimono type top which was a right royal pain in the arse, nightmarish, I cut the front panels on a curve and placed the reverse side of the fabric to it turning it under as I sewed, it didn’t matter how many pins I poked her with or how many times I pressed it into place the chiffon had a mind of its own. I know there have been numerous blog posts and tutorials on handling this stuff so please, excuse my ignorance I just thought I could handle her. The top has imperfections that only you and I would notice, I will wear it because I adore the drape, cut and reverse print and it strangely complements the swimsuit. Let’s just say, lesson learned. | Handmade 50's Batik print Swimsuit

Above is a shot of the back, I’m just not up to showing you and the internets my derrière not because I have body issues, not at all I’m quite happy for the most part I mean, we all have parts of our bodies that we’re not too fond of that’s just the way it is the photo’s just looked awkward besides, it’s not really about my body it’s about my sewing skills and showing how these skills can most certainly flatter the body. Being blessed with these handy skills can make us look classy and well dressed don’t you agree? Because it fits. Huzzah to that I say. | Handmade Kimono Reverse print

I’ve named this one after one of my favourite Bat for Lashes songs- What’s A  Girl To Do (appropriately titled I think) and can’t wait for her new album to come out, she’s such an amazing storyteller and singer.

Also if, you like to show off what you’re working on over Instagram I’d love to join in on the fun. If you don’t have the fancy phone why not use Webstagram. My UN is Kazzthespazz I look forward to seeing your posts.

Do what you love


23 Responses to “What’s A Girl To Do?”

  • sylvi pell:

    You sure should be VERY Happy with this Kazza it’s amazing.. I can only imagine how hard it would on been.. but hey… you can do ANYTHING… well done yet again darlin… Love the Kimono too.. your so telented. saying it again.. I’m VERY Proud of you… Loads of love to you ALL… enjoy the rest of your wkend.. Luv yu xxxxxx

  • Oh my goodness, that is the most amazing swimsuit. The fabric is gorgeous too. You always have the most gorgeous fabrics.

  • Amy:

    This has totally inspired me. I always love reeeeeeeeaaaaaally expensive swimmers, and never end up buying them. I love the cut, you look HOT woman!!! Is there anything you cant do???

  • ally:

    BAT FOR LASHES is dreamy .. and you are looking HOT my friend … ive always wanted to make one of those red and white striped body suits from the 1920?? with inbuilt spanx (nod to the 2000s technology we cant live without).. maybe i should commission you to do it for me? promise to Instagram it

  • Debi:

    Absolutely brilliant! I just love the fabric!!! Well done!

  • This is super duper wonderful! I just made a vintage suit too and they really are the most insanely flattering silhouettes ever. I LOVE the material you chose, but I would be a little worried about what the cotton would do when wet…. And from past experience in vintage “Fabric” suits they take a lot longer to dry. Why don’t they make swimming tricots in amazing crazy patterns such as this?! Anyway, I love it and you look stunning. Also wanted to say that I absolutely adore your Sew Weekly posts. You are one of the most creative, iconoclastic sewers out there and I always love to see what you come up with.

  • Bri:

    Your swimsuit and wrap are so gorgeous! I love the prints you chose and they both look so great on you, bravo! The swimsuit sounds like a quite a process because of the style, I recently read another bloggers experience about the shirring and what too and I think from what you’ve mentioned here koodo’s to you for “soldiering” on and making a masterpiece!

  • Super cool swimsuit! I just love the 50′s style silhouette so much!! Great work!

  • Ally:

    It tis such a flattering silhouette

  • Kazz:

    @Ally Oh I agree sweetie the only silhouette for me. Thanks for commenting you’re a doll.xx

  • Kazz:

    Thank you so much Shanni.

  • Kazz:

    Thanks Bri, I do want to eventually work out how to do it correctly, I’ll research and have another go I think. Glad you like it.

  • Kazz:

    Wow Heather thank you, what a wonderful compliment I shall float on that for days hehe. The swimsuit I copied was all cotton and you’re right she took a while to dry. This may sound silly but I’ll be jumping in the shower to see how this handles the wet. Better in my own home than on the beach :) Thanks again Heather.

  • Kazz:

    Ha Ha like the one in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang @Ally? hehe yes yes with spanx! now there’s an idea.

  • Kazz:

    Thanks Amy, you could totally do this, have a go. Yep swimsuits are dead expensive but after making one I can certainly see why.

  • Kazz:

    Thank you Graca, I was lucky to find this beautiful batik fabric she was all buried under all of the unattractive florals, lets say I saved her :)

  • Kazz:

    Thanks Sylv xxooo yep she made my head explode but am happy with the outcome. Thanks soooooo much for commenting every week LOVE LOVE!

  • Man, you really can do anything, can’t you? This bathing suit is beyond amazing and you look stunning in it. Seriously, I’m so jealous of your figure!

  • Kazz:

    Thanks Paunnet xx

  • Ally:

    Yep the chatty chatty bang one. Im gonna rock it gurl

  • gina:

    Verry nice
    Love the entire look,from the textiles on your cushions,to your jewelry,to the tatoo’s on your feet,shoes,red pom poms-Love it all (like my twin)

  • Kazz:

    Thanks Gina, I’m looking forward to Summer so I can look fancy on the beach. Glad you like the whole ensemble.

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