Bond Girl Swimsuit

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I recently decided two things.  1 – I wanted to attempt working with knits, and 2 – I needed a new swimsuit.  As part of my learning new techniques, I figured why not combine the two and make myself a swimsuit.

I love a good retro styled swimsuit – the only problem?  There are very few patterns available with a retro feel.  I finally came across a great one piece maillot for download at Burda Style.  The $3.00 I paid was well worth it for the pattern pieces, but I felt that the instructions were pretty lacking in clarity.

I’ve only ever worked with downloadable Burda patterns, so I don’t know if the print versions are any better, but I’ve pretty much decided that you shouldn’t work with a Burda Style pattern when you want to learn a new technique, or if you are unfamiliar with a process, because they are often very hard to follow.

The biggest issue I had with the pattern is that the pattern is sized 32-34, 36-38, and 40-42.  No where on the pattern or the instructions could I find what that measurement meant.  After asking around to several friends, we finally decided it was the hip measurement.

So, I cut out my test fabric and made myself a muslin from lining material.  It was super cheap – only $6/yard for 60″ fabric.  Once I figured out the instructions, I was very happy with the fit of the result.  That meant it was time to make the final version.

vintage James Bond beach towel

I wanted it to look good enough to go on a Bond Girl, because it needs to look that good if I’m going to wear it with my amazing vintage James Bond beach towel.

Burda Style swimsuit

It looks beautiful, but I didn’t take into account the difference in the amount of stretch in the fabrics.  My fashion fabric doesn’t have as much stretch as the lining did, so the suit is hard to get over my hips and is a bit tighter than I would like at the leg openings.  This means I’ll probably end up taking it apart at the hips and adding some sort of decorative panel to make it fit better.

Burda Style swimsuit

Burda Style swimsuit

But in the mean time, my suit still looks good enough to hang out with 007 – at least in my backyard.

Burda Style swimsuit

Have you ever attempted to make your own swimsuit, or would you?  How did it turn out?

This week we're sharing over at:
Take a Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts
Make It Wear It Thursday at The Train to Crazy


  1. Rachel on May 20, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Not nearly brave enough to try swimsuit sewing! Go you looks great.

    • Andrea on May 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      You can do it! Working with the Lycra was actually really easy.

  2. Diane on May 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Awesome suit! I think it turned out great!

  3. photosarah on May 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I love the color of your swimsuit. My mom’s friend just gave me a bunch of vintage patterns and there were a couple of swimsuit ones in there. I might just have to give it a try this summer!

  4. Ludis Mergin on October 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Hey Andrea,
    You suit really turned out, congratulations. I myself just posted my own account of my swimsuit-making adventure for a friend. It is part of a blog that I want to update from time time with various projects. Anyway, thought I would share! -L

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