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Jaime's Camelia Cottesloe Swimsuit

I made a swimsuit! The final sewing frontier has been reached. Here are my many mods, my thoughts on sewing swimwear and my review of the Cottesloe Swimsuit pattern by Megan Nielsen.

Jaime's cottesloe diy swimsuit sewing pattern review

Pattern: Cottesloe by Megan Nielsen

Fabric: Scuba Jersey Knit in Camelia Embers, 1 yard 

Size Made: 10

Modifications: excluded elastic in the arm and leg holes, drafted down 2" on hip for more coverage

I have to admit, I was intimidated by sewing swimwear. Thankfully, my friend Sara is always here to help out when I'm taking on a new and scary sewing project - thank you, Sara!! Sara had made many swimsuits and had many tips for me that I'll pass along to you (tomorrow in our tips and tricks of swimwear post).Jaime's cottesloe diy swimsuit sewing pattern review shot on deck

Folks: I basically made two swimsuits. Here's what happened. My first take, I made a size 6 top and a size 10 bottom (based on my measurements). Both were too tight. This Scuba Jersey has much less stretch than a traditional swimwear jersey so size up! (And learn from my mistake!) Lucky for me, Sara had made a size 10 top in this pattern, so I tried it on and decided to make a size 10 top. I didn't like the way the elastic on the armholes squeezed my body, and this scuba is very sturdy with good recovery. So for my second top, I opted to omit the elastic from the arm holes. That's right. I just folded the edges over 3/8" and sewed them using the Tricot Zig Zag stitch. I still used the elastic on the neck opening and the bottom band. It totally worked!

Back view of Jaime's cottesloe swimsuitSo then... I decided to try and take the elastic out of my size 10 bottoms to see if they would then fit better and not be so snug on my thighs. I would not recommend this at home. I had to unpick two lines of zig zag stitching on each leg hole which took as long as it took to make the entire ensemble. I then finished the leg holes as I had the arms. It worked in making them a bit less tight. Overall, I think the bottoms would look and feel better if I sized up. I really didn't feel like re-making them so I've just been getting used to wearing them as is. It's alright!

back view of Jaime's cottesloe swimsuit pattern

I made one other big modification that was a real risk and worked out: I wanted the bottoms to have more coverage - i normally wear boyshort-style bottoms in my swimwear. To add coverage, I drafted down the outer hip line a full 2" down my leg. I did this on both the front and back pattern pieces. Then I had to re-draw the leg line. I have no experience drafting patterns. I just totally winged it, trying to mimic the basic curves of the original lines. I would say it worked! I'm happy with the amount of coverage. This modification could also have affected the fit.

Jaime's cottesloe diy swimsuit sewing pattern review

I feel like my first one (and a half) swimsuit was mostly successful! Mostly, I'm proud of myself for taking on the challenge and I learned a lot. The biggest takeaway is that it really wasn't as hard as I thought. For all these words, I made everything in one afternoon, so overall, it was a quick sew.

(Check back tomorrow for some of our tips and tricks of sewing swimwear!)

Comments on this post (2)

  • Aug 11, 2019

    I love the fabric, and you made a cute suit, and it looks great on you! I’ve been meaning to give this pattern a try all summer. You are giving me fresh courage!

    — Beth

  • Aug 08, 2019

    It turned out so good!!! That fabric is amazing, and I’m always happy to help!

    — Sara Cougill

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