According to my records, 62 weeks ago I made a checked swimsuit out of scraps for my daily swim, and I estimate that I got around 300 swims (or more than 400 kms) from it before it lost all elasticity and became rather embarrassing when I got out of the pool. I needed a new one! I had more checked fabric in my stash, found some lining fabric, got out my swimsuit block created for me by Sarah of Workspace-fads, and away I went. I harvested the zip and zip pull from the old bathers, as they still have plenty of life left in them. The zip pull is the headstrap from an old pair of swimming goggles.
These are known as “bathers” in Western Australia, and other parts of Australia have different names – togs, swimmers, etc. I shall call them bathers from hereon-in.
I used to find that zip pull slightly annoying when I swam, as it would float its way round to the front, so this time I found a way to anchor it. I got a piece of fat elastic and sewed it in a loop at the bottom of the zip. I made sure it wasn’t too tight (I didn’t want a wedgie) and that it would stretch as I did.
I’m delighted to report that it works perfectly and fills in a gap from a zip that is slightly too short.
I really love my checked bathers, but felt like I wanted something a bit more summery, so dug out this fabric that I bought some time ago and decided to make a second pair. I need to say at this point that making bathers is not my favourite activity, but when I make them I wonder why I don’t enjoy it.
I couldn’t quite get the back bottom out of a folded piece of fabric (I have loads left but I’m saving it), so I put in a centre seam. I got caught out by a white stripe right in the middle where the selvedge landed. I cut off the stripe and inserted another piece. I was being very frugal!
It’s obvious when I’m not wearing them, but not sure it’s too obvious when worn.
I used a zip from my stash, but it’s a new one, as I’ve learned the hard way that recycled zips aren’t a good idea in bathers. I would have bought this at an op shop; I’m always intrigued at the gorgeous colours we used to be able to buy. I had two goes at sewing it in, hence the unpicked threads still showing. I see I also got a bit of a white stripe here, but couldn’t do much about it.
I thought I’d bravely show you how the flowered ones look being worn, so this is my warning to look away now, keeping in mind that this is a 70 year old body, which is still going ok.
I have to check that they won’t ride up, hence the arms in the air pose. I also want to make sure that seams don’t come adrift when I stretch out, which is what I’ll be doing in the pool.
here is the back, again checking that everything stays where it should. Can you see the join in the back? I had actually forgotten about it.
The fabrics and lining all came from The Remnant Warehouse, bought in a sale at some point. The flowered fabric was super cheap as it had dirty marks on it. I must have cut them off as I really can’t see them now.
I have to say that I absolutely love these bathers. I feel really summery in them and Archie told me that they were really “me”, although I don’t think he was being complimentary! I’ve swum in both swimsuits and they both perform really well. The old ones were creating quite a lot of drag as they were so loose, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much less effort it was and my lap split times improved a tiny bit too.
Finally, a couple of fun photos – Granddad hiding in Miss G’s tent and the minute she discovered him! It was quite funny.