If you're like me, swim is absolutely terrifying. It use to fill me with such dread, I avoided it for ages. Sewing has become a liberating and empowering activity, but swim was where I drew the line. Swim seemed like this mountain of spandex that I couldn't climb. But eventually I dug in deep and told myself, "You have made harder things than this, no one has to see it if it's terrible, just TRY."
So I did, and let me tell you about that suit...it wasn't great. It was a mess on the inside, it was bulky in places it shouldn't be, it was pulling too much in places it never needed to pull in. But you know what?
I did it.
I tried it.
And it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be.
I've made more swim suits and picked up different tips and tricks that will hopefully make sewing swim easier, but also convince you to try to sew swim.
When you're starting you are going to want to look for the correct fabric. Swim is unique in that it is very stretchy but it also dries very quickly. You will want to look for fabrics labeled as Swim. You can also look for performance fabrics that contain Nylon in them, you could use these for swim as well. Some yoga will be acceptable for swim, but you will need to read in the fabrics specifics if it can be used for swim. Our custom printed Blush Lilly yoga we had made so you can indeed use it for swim!
So now you've got your fabric, here comes trial and error. You are going to want to play around with your stitches. Are you going to want a zig-zag stitch or use your serger? Either one will work, you just want a great stretch stitch. I personally found I felt more comfortable with my serger, so that's what I primarily use. If you are deciding to sew with your regular machine, I cannot recommend the use of a walking foot enough. It will make a WORLD of difference. So save yourself some tears and grab one if you don't already have one, you'll find that you use it in tons of other situations too.
Slow and steady really does win the sewing swim race. Swim can feel very overwhelming, there's usually a lot of smaller pieces (and double that if you're lining it), elastic (which sends shivers to my core), and getting the fit correct. Basting and even making a practice suit first are going to be your best friend. Swim is slick, basting is really important to ensure that as you sew it you're getting the best possible outcome. I really recommend reading through the directions from start to finish first. Before you even have fabric, read through all of them. Visualize the steps in your head. Then when actually sewing through the steps TAKE YOUR TIME. You will have a much better outcome if you're not rushing through the steps.
Let's spread those sewing wings and try something new! Swim is a great way to push yourself forward. Trust me, you'll be so glad you branched out. Still feeling a little...unprepared? We also have not one, but TWO swim suit sew-a-longs you can take a look at in our group! We did the North Shore by Greenstyle Creations and the Mairin from Sew A Little Seam.