When I tell people that I like to sew my own swimming suits, I tend to get the same reaction of awe and I-could-never-do-anything-like-that self-doubt. Sewing a swimsuit isn’t that hard. Shopping for one is hard.
Let me put this in perspective. How many women out there go to the store, pick out the first suit they like, try it on, love it and go home? And if you’re reading this and you do that, you’re either pre-pubescent or a freaking unicorn. Because that doesn’t exist.
Every woman I talk to spends at least the double-digits in hours either searching for, trying on, buying/returning a swimsuit. It’s a laborious task finding the swimsuit of the season. It is!
I’m thin. My BMI is in the “you need to gain weight” range. It always has been. So many think it might be easy for me to find a suit I just love. It’s not. I always end the swimsuit excursion feeling emotionally bankrupt, thinking: My boobs are too small, my torso is too long and my body is too pasty.
Why? Why on earth put myself through that kind of torture? WHY?!?!?
You know what? I have an amazing body. WE ALL HAVE AMAZING BODIES. It’s just that 99% of the time our bodies don’t fit the block created by one manufacturer or another. And is that bad? NO.
So I’m not going to waste another minute feeling upset that my body doesn’t fit a man-made proportion, or spend a second on the things I could do to enhance or change my god-given proportions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thought about it. It’s just not for me. Not right now.
Now I spend that half-day obsessing over muslins and sketches. I huddle over my sewing machines finishing every detail as best as I can. I’ve drafted my own sewing pattern through lots of trial and error (version 1.0 here), so now I have a pattern for swim bottoms that fits me perfectly. I can adjust that pattern to the style I’m going for. Drafting a top takes more time, but it’s worth it.
At the end of the experience, I have a swimsuit I’ve made. A swimsuit I’m proud of. A swimsuit that fits me.
Some may think that sewing is so antiquated. I’ll tell you there’s nothing more empowering than that sewing machine. If you’re on the fence about sewing a swimsuit this year, get off the fence and start making one right now. It’ll be the best investment in you you’ll make this summer.
- floral knit: L.A. Fabric District
- scuba knit: Fabric.com
- necklace: H&M
- shoes: Forever 21
- bracelet: THP shop
I drafted each pattern from scratch. I would consider starting at Burdastyle, if you download their patterns make sure that patterns have seam allowance before you cut them out. :)
If sewing isn’t for you, check out my swimwear inspiration board.
All images by Sam Pierson