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The Fabric Maverick says... Thank you, Ruth Nelson

March 19, 2009

Every once and awhile, I receive a great email from one of our customers. Last week I received an email from Ruth Nelson who commented on my tips to make swimsuits. Now Ruth makes a bazillion swimsuits and has offered some tips of her own. These are extremely good tips and I want to share them with you. I have not changed anything in Ruth's email because she has this great attitude which can only uplift us all.

Here's Ruth:

 I do water aerobics and make a bazillion basic swimsuits.  Everything you said is good but there are a couple more tips:

1)  Line the entire suit - not just the front - and use regular weight swimsuit fabric instead of "swimsuit lining" fabric.  Lining the whole suit means no seams touch your skin, the weight and support are extremely comfortable and the suit lasts longer and stays in shape better.

2)  NEVER put your suit in the washer or (god forbid!) the dryer.  No soap whatsoever - not even "swimsuit" soap.  Rinse carefully after each use and hang to dry.  (How dirty can it get anyway!!)

3)  If you swim in a chlorine pool, don't worry about the type of elastic you use.  The swimsuit fabric will wear out before the elastic does.  If you can't manage the serger insertion as suggested, just use a zigzag stitch. 

4) I would rather use a zigzag to sew it down than a double needle.  It is faster and easier to manage the tension.  Cover or double needle does look nicer, but I've never had anyone even notice the type of stitching unless I pointed it out.

5) Don't bother with the "bra".  Too much work and does absolutely NO good whatsoever.  If you fully line with regular swimsuit fabric you'll get all the support you need and it will be more comfy.  I write this speaking as as 48DD.

6)  Too heck with dark, dreary, sensible colors.  If you are heavy, love your body and get whatever fabric that strikes your fancy.  I am a great big woman and was self-conscious 16 years ago when I started doing water aerobics at a gym full of the young and fit.  I learned to my joy that no-one cares what you like like if you are happy and having a good time.  Most people are too worried about themselves to worry about you and think you look perfectly fine.  It's confidence that makes you look good so get that striking floral pink and orange if that's what you secretly crave.


Special Tip for elastic insertion:

ELASTIC INSERTION:  Everyone tells you to sew elastic by cutting the measurement (usually swimsuit patterns tell you what measurement to cut), sewing it into a circle, quarter marking it and quarter marking the fabric and matching the marks stretching as you go.


This is all well and good but it is very frustrating to manage especially as you get to the end of the circle.  A better, easier way is to either not cut the elastic or cut it about and inch longer than it needs to be.  Leave it straight and make your first mark at the true end point measurement.  Put in the other 2 quarter marks.  (I use a pen instead of pins - easy to see, hidden in the final product and doesn't fall out or need to be removed.) Quarter mark the fabric as usual. 


This way you have a "tail" to hold onto as you are stretching and sewing.

How do you join the circle of elastic at the end?  Simple:  you don't.  You don't need to.  The elastic is firmly fixed down and will NOT come out.

(Just try removing it if you don't believe me!)


Ruth also thinks the swimsuit patterns from Kwik Sew and Stretch and Sew have a great variety of styles for those looking for patterns.


 This is very timely advice from Ruth as we are all standing in front of our mirrors and saying "Oh, No!"

I agree with Ruth that we need to go with those nice bright colors if that is what we really want. Check our our swimsuit fabric before it is all sold out. Ruth, I love your style. I hope that we will hear from you again. If anyone has comments about anything we write, please contact us. We love to hear from all of you! You may contact us through the blog or fabric.maverick@fabric.com or victoria@fabric.com.




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After reading Ruth's comment I made another suit this past weekend. The tip about using swimsuit fabric for the lining is brilliant!!

I also like the KwikSew book of swimwear/activewear patterns and ideas. There's enough in there to keep me going for years making beautiful suits.

Thanks again to both of you!


I have a blog very similar to this one. You have some good information on the topic and I was wondering if I could reference your internet site on my blog?

I once used a special soap but it still messed everything up and i had to throw the suit away. But I cant say it for all the soaps.
Thx Guys

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This page contains a single entry by published on March 19, 2009 8:33 AM.

The Fabric Maverick says... Have you got the right stuff? was the previous entry in this blog.

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