I’m not naturally a performer; that is, becoming a symbol, a larger-than-life self in front of an audience. My husband is. I’m an introverted intellectual. And so he was giving me cues about what one does taking pictures of oneself in a bathing suit standing in a hallway. Like read the New York Times? Yeah, he actually handed me a paper, shots of which did not make it to my final cut. Any prop will do, he said.
But I really wanted you to see my fantabulous swimsuit. (And after this I’m going to resume posting pictures of lingerie on mannequins (or friends, or models!).) It makes a body feel good. This is the super-glamorous Bombshell Swimsuit pattern by the lovely Heather Lou of Closet Case Files, which she just released Friday and is available here. When she asked me to test her pattern it couldn’t have come at an easier time, since I’ve been up to my ears in spandex lately.
For this pattern Heather was inspired by Norma Kamali, which made me love it all the more. I’ve long had a fascination with the queen of nylon and mesh. Kamali is a smart and adventurous businesswoman with an eye for lean production. She was the first designer to open an Ebay shop, and one of the first to offer “a try before you buy” online shopping experience and forgoes the traditional fashion week catwalk for collection releases featuring cut-out paper dolls of models and 3D displays. She’s got a flare for costume and irony–anyone remember her designs for The Wiz?–especially with her famous Victoriana dresses out of parachute nylon and “sleeping bag” coats. Every year she comes out with a new take on her classic ruched one-pieces, which you can see in action on a young Bette Midler here:
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I hope I look that healthy at 67.
But back to Heather and her amazing, ageless Bombshell. If you’re up for an adventure in swimsuit sewing and like a bit of oohlala retro, this suit may be your gal. It’s got a very clever design that allows it to sit low on the bum, which all comes down to the way the back back seam is shaped. And I’m of the opinion that ruching in the right places has a svelting effect on the body. But you’ll have to prepare for some swanning and answering some “where did you find that!” questions if you wish to wear this in public.
The pattern has two versions: a halter style which I’ve made, and a bandeau-top style. Alternatively, you can cut the pattern to create a high-waisted bikini and top. Heather is hosting a sew-along starting next week that will walk you through the process of each.
I chose a pattern size based on what I thought was my hip (an 8), but it’d been awhile since I measured myself. Oopers, I’m closer to a 10, which explains why I had to artfully wiggle to get into the bottom but it’s quite comfortable once on. The front is composed three layers, a lined flat front which is then covered with a ruched and skirted bodice. My fabric is a matte 4-way spandex which I dyed to a creamy pale daffodil. My crush on yellow is getting out of control, but at least it’s going into purchasing dye rather than fabric.
I love love this bathing suit and the pattern. And so does my husband. He followed me around for the hour complimenting me for looking as if I was on the set of a Fellini movie. Thank you, Heather!
Pattern: Bombshell bathing suit pattern from Closet Case Files
Fabric: white 4-way nylon spandex from my pile
Fabric dye: Vanilla Cream acid dye from Dharma Trading
Rubber elastic & swimsuit lining: Fabric Depot Co.
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