Dreaming of Dorothy Lamour

For me the ultimate beach-babe is not off Baywatch and isn’t remotely like Bo Derek .

No, I’ve always held Dorothy Lamour as being the ultimate queen of Glamour Beach.

(Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable do figure in there too as style consultants).

So I got the Dorothy hair style down but the swim suit was missing.

But no longer…

(sound of a fanfare here and a ta-da!)

Move over Dorothy, Vera’s gonna kick some sand in your face.

Lamour 2 piece

This is the most recent proto-type: I’m on version 2 of the pants and version 6 of the bra. It still has pins holding the straps on and a couple of construction issues to iron out but basically it’s the swimsuit of my dreams come to life.

The lycra is swimwear quality (apparently not all lycra is made equal? … something I need to find out more about)  and I lined the bottoms in power-net so don’t even have to remember to hold my tum in all the time- the suit does it for me. The bra cups are backed with a seamed cotton cup for better shaping than lycra alone would give though I’m going to try them in the power-net too just to see how that works… that would make the whole suit stretchy and more modern in construction.

There’s light nylon bones in the sides of the top so it doesn’t crumple and plastic swimwear clasps to close the back band and neck strap. The bottom cut is a little shorter than the one Dorothy is wearing but is still proper ‘big pants’ and I’m loving the modesty panel. Possibly the most flattering suit I’ve put on in recent years.

And a 1 piece version in the works too.

I’ll have a red one, a black one, more print ones, a stretchy lace one, a gold one… one for every day of the week!

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sin P
    Sep 30, 2016 @ 02:41:30

    Hey VeraVenus! I was wondering about a few of your sewing techniques that were used for your perfect bikini! The ruching done on the CF bikini top, how did you do it? First were they two cups combined in the CF or one piece of fabric? did you do a zig zag stitch? did you use elastic thread? how did you finish the ends because I have no IDEA how you got that neckline so perfect!


    • VeraVenus
      Sep 30, 2016 @ 11:31:06

      Hi Sin, here goes from memory as I gave the suit away a couple of years ago but have done similar things since: I used my 1940s bra pattern as a base. The front and sides of the lycra bra top were lined with a non-stretch cotton so only a small back section and the halter straps actually stretched. The two lycra cups (the 2pc cup pattern joined to create 1pc cups that gathered centre front) were joined with the new curved CF seam and then bagged out at the top edge with the cotton lining which was the bra pattern again altered to have darts radiating from the cf. A strong thread was used to hand gather the lycra cf to size onto the lining centre seam. The front band was bagged out with its lining at their lower edges then attached to the cup section, lining sewn on first then the lycra top layer folded under and I used the machine stitch that looks like waves to top stitch it in place so it’s very clean finished on the insides. Next- the side pieces were lycra bagged out top and bottom edges with cotton lining then joined to the bra front from the inside then given a top stitch to flatten the 4 side seam allowances together. Lycra halter neck was finished with a swim clip at the back neck as were the two stretchy centre back pieces. However when I make lycra straps that will just tie I usually bag them out with a straight stitch at their ends because zigzagging across always make them distort… or I just straight stitch across the ends without bagging out and just trim close to the stitching. Hope this helps!


  2. Lisa
    Apr 12, 2016 @ 17:47:17

    This is a spectacular suit! Please let me know as soon as it’s done!


  3. Lauren
    Jul 07, 2015 @ 22:51:15

    Hi! Any progress on this pattern? It’s exactly what I’m looking for, so I’d love to know if it’s available for sale yet?


  4. Paula
    Aug 25, 2014 @ 21:27:03

    Love the one piece with the ruched front! Do you have a pattern available?


    • VeraVenus
      Aug 25, 2014 @ 22:22:55

      Thanks Paula! It’s one of the patterns I’m getting readying for sale at the moment- in bust sizes 32″-42″


      • Ashley
        Mar 29, 2015 @ 08:47:07

        Hello! Have you gotten any further with producing your patterns? Trying to save a few and I love how yours look! Thanks 🙂


        • VeraVenus
          Mar 30, 2015 @ 09:46:22

          Yes, I have actually gotten as far as having two 1 piece styles and two 2 piece styles graded in 6 sizes and actually printed…. however still haven’t written sewing instructions. 🙁

  5. VeraVenus
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 20:58:50

    It really makes it feel worthwhile to be doing this blog and all when I get a response like yours. I’m glad you like what I’m doing, very encouraging to hear, thank you!


  6. Maritha
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 19:25:23

    Wow, that 1 piece is so gorgeous!!! Any chance you’ll be making a “real” pattern of it, for sale? I’d love to buy it!


    • VeraVenus
      Feb 05, 2012 @ 19:42:46

      Maritha, I am planning to do exactly that, hopefully in time for summer! I actually have the basic pattern all worked out. Just need the time to finish, grade, make instructions etc. My 1940’s bra project kinda took over…


      • Maritha
        Feb 05, 2012 @ 19:50:56

        Yay, sounds fab!!! I’ll by the way make sure to buy that bra pattern as well, should I not be a lucky winner in the giveaway! I can’t believe I haven’t stumbled across your blog until now, but boy am I glad I finally did! 🙂

        All the best of luck with your pattern projects!


  7. Trackback: “Granny-pannies” or when french knickers just won’t do. « SewVeraVenus
  8. Catherine
    May 08, 2011 @ 06:25:18

    Being the unfortunate type of female who is so flat chested I virtually have two backs combined with the fact that most styles are awful anyway I have always avoided swim and beachwear.This little number is wonderful! I love the modesty panel too so much more flattering.
    I adore Dorothy Lamour in anything film or clothing related.Wow what a woman.


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