Tuesday, December 10, 2019

KWIKSEW 1606 Bathers Top and Oliver+S Class Picnic Shorts for Lidia

Soon, they are great for water sports but not so good for diving/racing,I am going to try the Jalie pattern Jax recommended below.

 Lidia had a very particular swimsuit design in mind, for her aquatics camp.
She wanted a very fitted cropped top with a racer style back and board shorts that behaved like swimmer bottoms i.e. firm, stretchy but good coverage.
After hunting through my (considerable) bathers pattern tub, Lidia stumble upon KWIKSEW 1606 (OOP but still pops up on eBay)
Liddy's measurements put her on the cusp of a size 6 but I have learnt with bathers, sizing back in width in advisable (and adding some length, if in doubt)
My sewing gal-pal Cindy, taught me the secret to a good swimsuit is lining it.
You don't have to use a special lining fabric. Self lining or using up scraps works just fine.
I had some pieces of a lighter weight swimmer fabric that was a good match, so I used that.
I cut and sewed two tops and the put them wrong sides together and the finished them as one.
I used the advised elastic lengths, which was spot on, and although I have a cover stitch, I find this 'wave' stitch on my sewing machine is a much sturdier finish on swimwear.
The fit is perfect!
You could add padding if you wish but Liddy was after a proper sportswear type swimming top. She wanted it firm but with good movement across her shoulders.
Now, for the bottoms...
Class Picnic shorts
Okay, not what I expected.
Lidia explained she had squeezed into her favourite shorts
Of course they were way too tight but she liked the fit.
She thought they may work as board shorts.
I decided to omit the facings and self line the shorts.
This adds to the 'secure' feeling Liddy likes in swimming bottoms. She is not a fan of skimpy briefs.
I then pinned the front flaps in place and Liddy tried them on. We moved the flaps over until the shorts were quite firm through the thigh.
The 'wave' stitch, on my machine, is extremely stretchy and strong so it is my goto when sewing swimsuits.
I finished the waistband, including leaving the openings in the side seams to thread the elastic through, and then sewed them together.
Lidia is very pleased with the result.
A snappy swimsuit sewn to her requirements.
And a spare!
This is not the first time I used the Class Picnic short pattern to make swimmers.
I had made them before in a drip dry taslon.
Which made a sporty, sturdy pair of trunks.
~My Verdict~
I was surprised at how well these turned out. When Liddy first suggested this pattern I wasn't sure at all.
I wondered how I was going to do the facings with slippery spandex and installing a gusset seemed impossible.
It was when Lidia asked for them to be lined I had a light bulb moment and decided to self line.
The pattern construction made that very easy to do.
For the first pair, I used a wide elastic across  the back.
But this caused a few issues at the side if the casing(twisting)
so I used two channels and a narrower elastic for the second pair.
This turned out much neater and I would think, more comfortable.
The KWIKSEW pattern was perfect, the suggested elastic length was spot on and the instructions were excellent.
~Lidia's Verdict~
Mum made this swim suit set and another; in the same pattern but different colour, for my aquatic camp.  The Aquatic camp was for the whole senior school (even though there is less the 20 of us) we had three days of activities and this meant that I was able to rotate them throughout the camp.
The swimsuits fit really nicely and although they fit quite tightly when they are dry they are very stretchy and fit just right when they are wet.  Because of my broad shoulders and small bust measurements I often find bought swim tops rather constricting when I try to move. This top was great even when we went went water skiing and kneeboarding it didn't rub anywhere.
The shorts are also great. I will be the first to admit that I am quite particular about my swim shorts as I like nicely covering shorts and these are just what wanted. 

The aquatics camp is a wonderful trip organised by our tiny school. The students are able to try a myriad of activities from water skiing to catamaran-ing. 
I baked them 4 1/2 kg (about 10 lb) of biscuits for snacks and they ate them THE FIRST DAY, that tells you how active they were.

We love our little school and Liddy had a blast!
Thank you for reading.... xx N


  1. What a great suit! Clever idea to use the Class Picnic shorts. How many sizes down would you say that was for Liddy?

    1. I would guess the size 12 short *may* still fit Liddy so...2 sizes? However, as you wrap it to fit, you definitely have flexibility.

      I was worried she would be teased but quite the opposite, everyone thought they were proper sporty.
      Thank you!
      xx N

  2. You may also like the jalie swim shorts. They even have pockets.

    1. I am definitely going to check that one out, these have got a bit 'sloppy' with wear and don't stay up so well.
      Thank you
      xx N