Bombshell Swimsuit: Fabric Ready and Waiting!

Remember this swimsuit? Of course! There were a ton of comments on this post where I pondered making the suit. This is one popular pattern in sewing blog world!

Here’s the pattern again. I’m thinking I will make the one on the right, the blue one:

bombshell swimsuit

and here is my fabric!

gingham swimsuit fabric for bombshell swimsuit

Isn’t it cute? And classic? Looks a lot like Lauren’s swimsuit fabric, hope you don’t mind a sort-of-copycat suit on the other side of the continent, Lauren! I didn’t want to commit to a colour and was hoping for a black-and-white print, but this blue is so cheerful. It will be perfect with a straw hat, and maybe a white eyelet skirt, and some wooden wedge sandals.

This will give you an idea of the scale hopefully, with my hand in the photo:

gingham swimsuit fabric for bombshell swimsuit

The fabric is swimsuit fabric from Fabricana, 80% polyester 20% spandex. Swimsuit fabrics are expensive, $20/metre, except that’s not too bad when you only need 1 metre, and compare that to the average price of a swimsuit! (Old Navy swimsuits excepted. All this swim talk reminded me of a black Old Navy two-piece that I wore for years and years. It was cheap, I was able to buy a small top and a medium bottom, and I think it eventually got tossed when the elastic wore out.)

If you compare the materials costs of making your own swimsuit, $20 for the fabric + $5 for the lining + a couple of dollars for elastic, that’s way cheaper than the average $100 swimsuit! Plus our time, of course. But I prefer to think of it as ‘we get the enjoyment and challenge of making a swimsuit!’ rather than considering it as hours of labour.

gingham swimsuit fabric for bombshell swimsuit and swimsuit lining fabric

I also got a cream swimsuit lining with a very nice hand feel. It feels just as nice as the main swimsuit fabric, it’s soft and resilient and thick.  Only $9/metre too. (I wrote this down right away after leaving the store so I wouldn’t forget. I have already forgotten the content of the lining fabric but I think it was 80% nylon, 20% spandex.) It was labelled as Swimsuit Lining Fabric on the bolt so I knew it was the right thing.

gingham swimsuit fabric for bombshell swimsuit and swimsuit lining fabric

Close up of the lining fabric:

P1060286

Just for fun, and for Caroline, who wanted to know what the swimsuit fabric selection at Fabricana was like, I took photos of the swim fabric section. (For the locals, this is the Richmond location.)

swimsuit fabric in vancouver at fabricana

(I just noticed those are camouflage-style skulls!)

swimsuit fabric in vancouver at fabricana

(those red dots are cute!)

swimsuit fabric in vancouver at fabricana(pink plaid is nice although you’d lose the stripes in the ruching)

swimsuit fabric in vancouver at fabricana(a whole rainbow of solids)

swimsuit fabric in vancouver at fabricana(there’s my blue gingham!)

Photo 201swimsuit fabric in vancouver at fabricana3-06-20 12 11 55 PM(crochet look without having to actually crochet)

swimsuit fabric in vancouver at fabricana(every kind of animal you could want!)

swimsuit fabric in vancouver at fabricana

(the gingham also comes in red)

swimsuit fabric in vancouver at fabricana(oops, blurry shot but you can see more of the solids. I missed part of the rainbow I think, but there are plenty of options.)

You can see they have a nice range of solids, all colours of the rainbow, from shiny to matte. It’s the prints where the selection isn’t as deep. Or rather, there are prints, but there’s a lot of very extreme prints, loud animal prints and bold stripes and pink skulls. The gingham I bought is really nice quality, and I pondered the raspberry and white dots as well but decided I should make one suit first before committing to a second.

I skipped past the disco sequin prints that I imagine are more for dancewear than for swimming. Anyways, if you are from the Vancouver area, you can see what their selection is like before making the trip! (They do take phone orders, if you like something you see, as they don’t have an online shop.) I saw several cute fabrics online, but being in Canada means that the shipping is usually out of this world (like, $30 shipping for $30 worth of swimsuit fabric) and there’s a chance the post office will also charge duty and tax on top of that. I was happy to find a fabric I liked locally!

For more about swimsuit fabrics, check out these posts:

As I type this post, it’s pouring rain and about fifteen degrees outside – that’s 59 degrees Fahrenheit for you in the USA! Deep down I know that a bathing suit is not a priority for our Vancouver weather. If I make one though, at least I’m prepared for my next holiday or the rare sunny day where I’m also not working! I’d rather be prepared than have to worry about finding a suit to wear at the last minute. (Or have that feeling of doom surface when the opportunity comes up. If this suit works out, instead of worrying over what to wear, I’ll be so happy to have a reason to show off my new handmade swimsuit!)

So as soon as I get a bit of spare time, I’m going to try my hand at making this suit!

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33 Responses to Bombshell Swimsuit: Fabric Ready and Waiting!

  1. Sewing Princess June 21, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    So I won’t be seeing you in your swimsuit at the pajama party tonight, I guess. you’re lucky to have so much choice of fabric nearby. It will look great on you!

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      Haha, nope! Too cold for swimsuits anyways. See you tonight!

  2. CGCouture June 21, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    That’s a pretty incredible selection of fabrics, I’m so jealous! We have a small store that sells swim fabric in the city, but that store only carries about as much as what’s in one of your pictures. And I totally would have went for the pink plaid, but the gingham is really cute too! Cant’ wait to see your suit!!

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      It’s a pretty good selection, I was happy to see so many options! The pink plaid is really cute too.

  3. Therese June 21, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Fabricana Richmond is always my go to store. They have nearly everything I need. Staff are wonderful helpers too. I hear they are having another sale next Friday.

    Great choice with your swimsuit fabric choice. Don’t be intimidated sewing knit swimsuit fabric. I have been sewing swimsuits for my kids. I sewed my three kids swim togs from toddlerhood to adulthood. Even sewed myself a couple over the years. They are lots of fun. And comparatively you could have many suits for the price of just one store bought suit.

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      Great to hear you’ve had good experiences at Fabricana! It’s been my most-visited fabric store since I was a teen. Yup, next long weekend is always half-price notions, interfacings and sometimes (but not always) lining fabrics.

  4. Lauren June 21, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Haha of course I don’t mind! Yayy we are gonna be swimmy twins!

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Sweet! I was excited to see gingham prints!

  5. Seattlerain June 21, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Next time I go up to Richmond, I’ll grab a meter of that camo skulls as a lark. Maybe when my toddler is a pre-teen it will become a coveted fabric.

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Haha! It’s pretty interesting eh? Perhaps a pre-teen would love it, there has to be a market for pink camo skulls somewhere! (Although, in a ruched suit, you wouldn’t see the skulls as obviously, so perhaps it’s not that bad after all..)

  6. Alison June 21, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Thanks for the post! I’ve been having trouble finding swimwear fabric over here in Victoria. I’ll have to stop there on my next trip through town. Do you know what Dressew carries in terms of swimwear fabrics?

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      Caroline was just there and said there wasn’t anything there! Between the two of us we have your fabric stores covered :)

  7. Carol June 21, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    So many great fabrics. I like the red and white polka dot, or the blue habiscus on white background, or there’s the one with the white and black with red flowers. If I wore a swim suit, I think I’d pick one of those. This suit might even be age appropriate for me once I lose a few. Can you wear a suit to mow the lawn? lol

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 11:08 am #

      Of course you can wear a suit to mow the lawn! I’m picturing a fabulous sun hat and some heels. (Probably not the heels actually as they’d sink into the lawn, but definitely a wide-brimmed hat!)

  8. Jane June 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    I love your fabric choice! I’m so envious of those who have awesome fabric stores locally. That red poka dot is so cute. And I hear you about the weather too. We Oregonians are anxiously awaiting some hot, sunny bathing suit weather. Go away rain! Can’t wait to see your suit!

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      I hope you get hot bathing suit weather soon! I was in Oregon last July and it was hot and sunny, hopefully it’s just around the corner!

  9. Rachael-Lynn June 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Sew jealous of your fabric store!! I live near Seattle (on the western Puget Sound) and the best fashion store I have is Jo-Ann’s! Which has a pretty lame selection. But like you I won’t be needing a swimsuit for quite sometime! It’s 65 and overcast on this lovely first day of summer!

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      Yup, pretty much the same weather here! Ah well. We can dream and we can go on holidays to warmer places right?

      • Rachael-Lynn June 21, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

        Exactly!! I bought my fabric today!! Just p
        Win navy blue but it will be classic! Excited!!

  10. Holly June 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    They do have some swimwear fabric at dressew. It is mixed in with the knits and you have to look through them carefully to find the swimsuit fabric. All i saw were solids, no prints though I did pick up an awesome reversible one that is very matte deep purple on one side and a very matte black on the other on sale for $5.99/metre.

    I seriously fell in love with the charcoal grey slightly shimmery swimsuit fabric at fabricana but had already bought a few printed ones online and didn’t need more just lining. Let me know how that lining works out. I loved the opaqueness of it but was Worried about how thick it was so chose the thinner nude nylon lining instead, I’m worried though that it is still too thin a lining for the white fabric I bought. Can’t wait to see how your suit turns out!

    • Tasia June 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      Oh good, I will tell Caroline! Some solids, no prints, mixed in with the rest of the knits. Thanks for the update!

      I will certainly let you know how the lining works out. It’s seriously thick and soft and substantial, so I’ll report back and let you all know what it’s like to sew with and to wear. (Once we get summer and swimsuit weather, that is!)

      • Dressew June 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

        Hi Tasia

        Just to clarify, we do have swimwear fabric in both plain and prints. At the moment, the prints are on rolls so they are in a different row. We even have some of the prints in your pictures above. We also have a few in our clearance room downstairs.

        Can’t wait to hear how your swimsuit turns out! :)

        • Tasia June 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

          Wow, thanks for clarifying for us! That’s great to know for readers & fabric-shoppers in the downtown area. Thanks so much for the comment!

  11. Sally June 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Holy cow, that is a huge selection! I really like your fabric – also, I’m digging the light pink fabric with turtles – that would be a super cute bikini :) My fabric is arriving Monday and I can’t wait to get started! Good luck with your swimsuit!

  12. Ash June 21, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Very jealous of your swimwear fabric selection! We have nothing out here in Winnipeg so I had to go online to get fabric for my Bombshell. And you know what shipping is like to Canada… even worse than IN Canada! But at the end of the day, still cheaper and 100x better than storebought (I hope!!).

  13. Kelly June 22, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    What a lovely selection of fabric! You chose a great print – it’s going to be such a sweet swimsuit. Have fun sewing it up!

  14. Lizzy June 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    very pretty fabrics! If I wanto to find many choices of lycra or any kind of fabric; I have to travel 385km :( , AND find the specialized fabric store, I have gone before, but as it is very far from home I can’t go very often, but the good news for me is that I’m almost sure I’ll go next month!!

  15. Sune Samuel June 24, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    Hi everyone!
    I’m actually from Hedemyra, Sweden and I just love sewing.
    Great to see how enthused you all are about summer, I’m making some shorts at the moment…although the are not blue and white check I am hoping they will turn out okay.
    I wish we had a fabric store near us :( I live out in the forest and am about 1½ hrs away from any shops…But one day we may move…hopefully near a store somewhere!!

  16. PepperToast July 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Love your fabric choice! Did you also get your elastic at Fabricana for your suit? If yes, which kind? I’m closer to the Coquitlam store and will be heading that way in the next day or two.

    • Tasia July 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      Yes! I got the cottony beige elastic, 1/4″, forget what they call it there but it’s different than the regular bright-white elastic. (Ask the staff if you can’t tell which is the right stuff!) I was at the Richmond one but I’m pretty sure they’d have it at both locations.

      • PepperToast July 3, 2013 at 10:53 am #

        Thank you, thank you, thank you. And thanks for your prompt reply too!

        • Tasia July 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

          No problem, happy to help!

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