I must have had a premonition that a swimming costume would be featured on the The Great British Sewing Bee this year because the week it was aired on the BBC, I was indeed making one myself. I used a zebra print Lycra Fabric from Minerva. I am not keen on animal prints per se but I felt that the zebra variation would simply look stripy. It is a good weight and has 4 way stretch. 

The best technique for cutting this swimsuit fabric is with a Rotary Cutter to stop the slippy surfaces from moving as you cut. I have a handy bowl of stones from my holidays which are perfect as pattern weights. I tried a spot of pattern matching but in the end I realised that it really wasn't worth the time or effort on such small pieces.

Why would you even embark on making a swimsuit I hear you cry? I am short in the body so when I buy one I have a pool of fabric around my middle especially when the fabric is wet. Under the two large grey stones I have taken a fold out of the lengthen/shorten line.

The pattern I used was the Nautilus Swimsuit by Tuesday Stitches because I liked the twist front detail. It is a challenging sew but the website does have photo tutorials. The one featured in this years episode would also work well with this fabric mixed with black or you could use any of these Swimsuit Sewing Patterns.

The Elastic I used is suitable for swimwear and this is important because it is going to be subject to chlorine. I did choose a Swimsuit Lining pack from Minerva but with hilarious results. When I opened it, it was miniscule. My lower back piece was cut as a size 12 and this was the pre-shaped piece in the pack - much laughing ensued! I misread the packet online and thought it was a 'pre-cut piece' but it was a 'pre-shaped' piece. 

In the end I used Power Net to line the whole swimsuit which was a much better solution.   

There is a casing on the side of the bust pieces in which boning is inserted to give extra support and I am glad I did this. You could add padded cups too but I didn't feel I needed those as well.

This is my third garment of swimwear. I have been learning for the last three years to sew one. This is my crowning glory. 

Anyone for poolside cocktails?