Taking the plunge 1940’s style…

Project ‘Swimsuit’ is finally under way.

All last summer I talked about making some retro styled beachwear for myself, daughter and friends.

Did I actually get around to it ? weeelll,  I sketched ideas, collected some 1940’s and 1950’s patterns and original garments for reference… and then suddenly last summer was over.

But amazing early warm sunny weather has hit the south coast of England this last week and my thoughts turned once again to sun and sea.

 I saw this 1940’s pattern at the Vintage Pattern Lending Library  and decided it was the answer to my annual beachwear problems

The cotton fabric is from a French Connection skirt I bought 6 years ago. I always loved the print but finally the waist just became too tight so the skirt landed in my scrap bag only to be recently rediscovered and recycled into this swimsuit.

The top is bagged out with a lightweight black cotton poplin and that is what I used to make the shorts that attach under the skirt as well.As the fabric was limited cutting out was tight. The waistband is pieced from 3 scraps and I narrowed the band on the bottom of the bodice to be the same width as the waistband. My skirt finishes 1&1/2″ shorter than the pattern which was just too long for my 5’4″ height and I saved a bit more on the cutting layout by not including the 2″ hems allowed for on the pattern. The fit was perfect and the pattern for the shorts underneath could make a great pair of flat front wide legged trousers at a later date.

A cotton swimsuit will be quite a different experience from a lycra one especially in terms of drying out time after a dip. I’m ready to put up with some dampness in exchange for style though.

All in all I’m really pleased with the outcome and full sail ahead.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nathalie
    May 04, 2011 @ 10:01:25

    A very cool way of recycling fabric from something you can no longer wear. It looks fabulous!


  2. Nina
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 14:51:36

    Looking at this swimsuit, I realise that I was born in the wrong era. Bring back 40’s fashion!
    Vera, this is really amazing. Thank you!


  3. Erin @ Every Branch
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 03:57:50

    Absolutely beautiful! I don’t know if I’d wear it swimming, but I would definitely wear it on a summer’s day!


  4. Debra
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 01:01:48

    This is gorgeous! I LOVE it!


  5. Reana Louise
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 00:47:07

    This is so wonderful! I have a vintage bikini pattern that I’m psyching myself up to sew, just looking for the right fabric. Maybe I’ll try non-swimwear fabric too?

    Overdressed-shmoverdressed… rock the added jewellery I say!


  6. Loretta Sacco
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 23:14:39

    Hurray up. I won’t one/or two/or three………x


  7. Steph
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 22:52:18

    That’s really cool, great re-fashion. Hehe, sounds as if your summer sewing goes the same way as my winter sewing. Did you see Lauren’s version of this?


  8. VeraVenus
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 22:03:38

    lol, adding jewellery as well would be overdressing! 😉


  9. Claire
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 19:55:34

    Fabulous, I love that 40s pattern and the fabric you’ve used makes it look quite modern. With the wide brimmed hat and those wedges, you’re gonna look fantastic, if a little overdressed for a British beach!


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