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.


  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.

  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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