Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bahama Mama Swimsuit

Is it hot enough to swim in your neck of the woods? Yeah, me neither. But that didn't stop me from sewing a swimsuit in March! Actually, I was testing the Bahama Mama maternity add-on from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop. I've been sewing Amy's children's patterns for years, but this was the first time I ventured into one of her women's patterns. The results, as always with PABPS, were awesome!


I honestly can't remember the last time I bought a children's pattern from another designer, that's how much I prefer Amy's designs. This maternity swimsuit lived up to all my expectations, even though I was very wary about sewing more swimwear


The pattern is actually two patterns, the boy shorts and the tankini (click here for the regular, non-maternity version of the top). Amy has plans to make more swimsuits so you can mix and match patterns. I made the boyshorts in a size small, with no modifications for pregnancy. The tankini is also a size small, using the maternity add-on pack. I'd say "small" is my pre-pregnancy size, though my bust size has increased while pregnant, which made it tricky to pick a size. I sewed in size D cups (from Wawak) into the shelf bra. It was a tight squeeze, a D cup into a small, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked out. The rest of the top is unlined to reduce bulk. The shorts are fully lined. You can sew the straps in a criss-cross or straight over the back, or tie them in a halter neck.


One of my biggest frustrations with the Bombshell suit I made last summer was the seam allowance, and the excessive use of the sewing machine over the serger. A SA of 1/4" plus my sewing machine plus slippery swim fabric just did not make for easy sewing. The Bahama Mama uses a 1/2" SA and the vast majority can be constructed on your serger. Happy dance! I still used a glue stick to baste in many places, just for my own sanity.


I'm fairly certain I'll be able to wear this suit when I'm no longer pregnant. It might be a bit long, but that's an easy fix with my coverstitch. Heck, I might even cut off the majority of the tankini and make a bikini instead. The printed fabric is from Girl Charlee (I used it to make leggings previously) and the black is from Jo-Ann's. The print is see-through when wet (whomp whomp) but the shelf bra covers up the important stuff. 


I have to apologize for these hideously sad photos. This suit is doomed. I live in land-locked Indiana, but we have a large lake with a beach nearby. The day I went to take these pictures it was 60 degrees and the beach was flooded.


I promise that when it's not flooded it looks more like a beach and less like a swamp. A goose-poop covered beach, but still a beach. This past weekend I went to an indoor aquatic center with the hopes of taking more photos...and their heater was broken. So the pool was closed. The lesson here: never tell a 3 year old you're going to go swimming until you're in the water.


If you're looking for a modest, easy to sew swimsuit, buy this pattern. I love sewing up black swimsuits so I can mix and match with RTW pieces (hello Target clearance with orphaned swimwear!). This would be an excellent starter pattern for anyone who hasn't tried a swimsuit yet. I'm so glad I got to test it out! While you're picking up this pattern, take a look at the brand new Tutu Cute Swimsuit for girls. It's 15% off today only to celebrate the release.


I received the Bahama Mama pattern for free in exchange for testing feedback and photos. I am an affiliate of Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop and have used affiliate links in this review. All opinions are my own.

2 comments:

  1. The suit is way cute, and to think you braved that cold for photos! It looks more like snow than water. I like your plan for mix and matching with the black.

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  2. That's great you'll still get to wear this after having the baby. I made the bombshell and wore it for the first time last year. After I swam in it my crotch was all saggy. Probably because I needed to shorten the torso a lot. I didn't like the excessive use of the sewing machine either so I gave up and just strictly used my serger. Not sure if I'll attempt another suit again or not.

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