My new tankini is finished and I love how it has turned out. The printed panel was not as easy to work with as I first thought, but I’m really happy with how the print works with this design.
The pattern is Merckwaerdigh MIX5L, view D. Which is a tankini version of the bras I made a couple of months back. The bra is wire free but still very supportive and has been very comfortable to wear. But it was really the back of the tankini pattern that sparked me into buying the pattern.
Just to recap, I’ve been using a printed panel fabric to make some swimwear. Initially, I was trying to use the panels as ‘suggested’ eg use the front for the front, straps for the straps etc. After the swimsuit didn’t turn out as well as I’d liked, I decided to ditch this idea and just work with print as I would with another other fabric.
First up, some tracing of the line drawings and colouring in to gauge how different colour schemes might work. I really like the white version, but I’m not sure how good this would be when its wet.
Instead I went for the blue at the bottom left. The pieces were cut to get the strips running roughly in the direction on the drawing. The lower front was cut upside down from the printed back panel. I had a couple of tries at cutting the cups, and decided to use the blue stripes at the edge of the upper cups. The upper cups were cut from the ‘straps’ and the lower cups from another ‘back panel’. The lower cups aren’t quite symmetric but close enough. The back,is from the middle of a front panel. Pinning the pieces on Red helped me get an idea of the overall effect and I was able to change the cups and bridge to get a better look.
Putting it together was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be, partly because I change the edge treatment a couple of times ( and got lots of practice unpicking). In the process, I lost the tab to attach the ring to the bridge and had to be creative with the strap attactchments. The top of the straps are padded and I’ve used fold over elastic to bind each side. The FOE then continues around the armpit edge and onto the back bra band on on side, and splits off to form the centre front straps on the other. I’ve crossed these straps at the bridge so the line of the strap runs parallel to the lines on the upper cup when worn. There is clear elastic inside the FOE to give them a bit extra strength and durability
If I made it again, I’d probably change the order of construction so the armhole and back elastics are put in together. I’d also add a couple of notches into the arc of the back seam to help line up the pieces easily. Apart from that I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
Swimwear uses a LOT of clear elastic. For the same price as two packets from the chain store, I could get 20m buying through M-Recht. I also ordered plastic boning at the right length for this bra rather than using the cut to size boning. The other bonus was ordering dyeable bikini clips. Even though the clip is covered in this tankini, I reckon it makes for a better finish.