Bombshell Swimsuit: Bra Cups & Nearly There!

I’m nearly finished the Bombshell Swimsuit! It’s a fast sew, and because you switch to a special stretch needle, it makes sense to sew just the suit and no other projects until it’s finished.

Here are the bra cups I’m using:

bra cups for swimsuit

They’re nice and padded and shaped similar to a bra. Pinned into the suit, they create a nice hourglass shape to balance out the weight on the bottom. I liked Lauren’s idea of buying a secondhand swimsuit and tearing out the cups, but I think the pricing is higher at our thrift stores. Nothing is 99 cents! These cups were $8 which felt kind of expensive, but I’d prefer the suit had them. It’s worth it to me to add $8 to the cost of the suit so it’s more comfortable to wear.

What the suit looks like so far:

bombshell swimsuit nearly complete!

I have tried it on, and it’s looking quite cute so far. Totally different from any other bathing suit I’ve ever worn. It’s curvy and womanly, and feels very retro, yet I wouldn’t feel at all costume-y wearing it at the beach.

One thing to think about if you do what I did, and cut different sizes for top and bottom, is that all of the suit needs to fit over your lower half. When I can’t step into a dress, no big deal, I slip it over my head. You can’t do that with a swimsuit, it has to go on from the bottom up. So it ends up getting stretched quite a lot to fit my bust size over the width of hips. Perhaps for #2 I might go back up a size on the bust to make it easier to get on and off, but I’ll decide once this one is finished.

I am surprised that I’m going to post a photo of myself in a swimsuit on the internet by choice. If I have to do it, this is the suit to do it in!

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19 Responses to Bombshell Swimsuit: Bra Cups & Nearly There!

  1. Jennifer August 6, 2013 at 6:22 am #

    It looks great so far. I also was surprised to post a photo of myself in a swimsuit. This is definitely the suit to do it in.

  2. Melanie August 6, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    I love it! I will remember about the grading, as I will need to do this when I (eventually) sew up this suit. My hold up right now is finding a fabric I want. I really want a medium green or dark green color with either mini polka dots or gingham, like yours. Alas, I haven’t found anything suitable yet, so I will keep looking.

  3. Leigh August 6, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    That’s so cute. I bet it would look great on. Are you going to model it with a cowboy hat and boots. ;-)

  4. Loretta August 6, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    I love the fabric! Where did you get it?

    • Tasia August 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      Fabricana in Richmond! There’s also a red version.

  5. Taru August 6, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    I have to comment here because I had just that problem this summer. I ordered Esther Williams swimsuit that looks like Bomshell. I ordered smaller size because it should have been the right size and when putting it on it was very hard to get the waist part of the suit over my hips. Then I ordered one size bigger and it was better. But then I went swimming and had the suit on and it got almost too big when it got wet.
    So if you are going to swim with the suit on you, you should try that before sewing a second one.

    Your swimsuit is beautiful and makes me want to sew Bomshell too. Maybe next summer.

    Thank you for your awesome blog and patterns!

    • LLBB August 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      I agree. When I made my bombshell I decided not to grade out at the hips to my measurement because I figured it should be a snug fit. (Granted, also, I have been a big swimmer my whole life and I am definitely used to and prefer tighter fitting suits.) Anyway, it just takes a little more care getting it on, but i think the tighter fit is better once you go in the water so you don’t get too much drooping!

  6. Pauline August 6, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    This is looking very good! I am very tempted to order that pattern after seeing it everywhere on the blogosphere this summer… Can’t wait to see your version!

  7. Laura August 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    I made the top and waist on mine smaller than the hips, and it was hard to get on at first. It has gotten easier as I’ve worn it, though.

  8. Linda August 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    I finished my red mini polka dot Bombshell this past weekend. I did the 8-10-12 size (BWT) and have similar issues getting it over my hips and will definitely consider doing 10-12 on my next one. I will change to 1/4in elastic around chest rather than 3/8in that I did. Since I don’t use a serger often, I didn’t know if I should 3 thread or 4 thread for side seams and ultimately used 4. The suit is adorable and I love the coverage. Oh, I will add power net to the front for my next one also for tummy control. I also added a Feminine Plus Stretch-bodice Sew-in Bra…connected to elastic and a mesh that reached sides and top of suit…It was in my stash and would love to know where I got it ….easy peasy…..on to the Saltspring!!

  9. June August 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I think this swimsuit has convinced a LOT of women to put their swimsuit-clad bodies on the internet. You’ll be in great company!

  10. Adele August 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    I love the look of this swimsuit, but I always end up with headaches after wearing halter necked anything. I think the weight of the girls is just too much for the particular vertebra where halters sit. Do you think the straps could easily be converted to two straps rather than a neck tie one? Your version is looking fabulous by the way, can’t wait to see it finished!

    • Tasia August 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      I think so, easily! You could just sew them to the back like a sundress. It would probably be more supportive that way.

      I know what you mean, I have some necklaces that are too heavy to wear all day, you wouldn’t think something like a necklace (or a halter strap) could hurt your neck but it is possible!

  11. Carolyn August 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Thanks very much for that note about cutting different sizes! I usually have to do that too, and imagine the bombshell will be no different. I probably would never have thought about the bust needing to accommodate my hips.

    I don’t have this pattern yet, but have been itching to try it, having seen so many great versions online. If do manage to make one before the end of the summer, I’ll post myself in it on my blog too – which is brand-new, so pretty scary as I have NO following or anything yet (hmmm…..maybe that will actually be a good thing, lol).

  12. Kathi Sorensen August 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Back in the olden days, when I was young and the “Bombshell” style was what we all wore, our suits had zippers up the back. Strong, stiff, metal zippers with a strong hook and eye up at the top. Once you wriggled it up over your hips, you usually needed help to get it zipped. They were tight and hard to really swim in- I much prefer my stretchy Speedo which I wear, along with my years, without shame.

  13. August 7, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    found some lovely navy blue fabric on the weekend and just got the elastic. since I didn’t see it in the instructions…are extra sew-in bra cups really needed?
    I wanted to make mine without, but now I see people sewing in cups everywhere and I’m getting concerned… :)

    • Tasia August 7, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      Depends on your comfort level. I’m small-busted and so I prefer the cups so that I have some shape and definition over the bust. (Otherwise, it can look pretty flat, as swimsuits are meant to fit tight and the bust can get squished down.) Or, if you are busty, you may want the cups for shape and support.
      You can make the suit up until the last step, try it on, and see if you think it needs them!

      • Ginger August 8, 2013 at 7:38 am #

        I used swim cups that are just very slim, flat inserts, and I wish that I had used cups like Tasia did. I look super flat, especially since the ruching adds a bit to your midsection and hips. But you may not need the support or definition!

  14. Jen August 7, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    I’ve noticed that the actual swimsuits (bathingsuits) from that era usually had zippers. Also, they weren’t always made out of stretch material, or it was something more akin to doubleknit. (The suits are also sometimes rather structured inside, with stays, for example). I would have thought that spandex would easily accommodate the lack of a zipper, but I guess it’s not necessary so. Good to know!