Under the Sea

September 18, 2014

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Under the sea, under the sea…When the sardine begin the beguine it’s music to meee (it’s music to me!) What do they got? A lot of sand, we got a hot crustacean band! Each little clam here know how to jam here, under the sea…

After my first successful attempt at making swimwear (with the Bombshell swimsuit), I dived straight into my dream project: a two-piece swimsuit inspired by the outfit of Ariel, the Little Mermaid!

Everything started last year, I don’t remember when exactly, I was browsing Pinterest when I stumpled upon this picture:

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Ariel-themed swimsuit! I got a HUGE crush on the idea, given that I’m a very big fan of the movie and its songs… Back in college, my friend Elise and I we were presidents of the Disney club, and for my PhD defense my lovely colleagues got me tickets to see the Little Mermaid musical (and it was AMAZING). I coudln’t find the source of the image, the suit looks homemade but the page it was from didn’t exist anymore… I saved it and quickly promised myself that one day, when I would finally be brave enough to tackle swimwear, I would make the exact same one (but better).

Since then I was planning and scheming, selecting patterns carefully… And then in June, I was browsing on Harts Fabric, and I found this:

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It was THE fabric! I bought it right away, and after trying the Bombshell and convincing myself that swimwear wasn’t that hard after all, I finally made my mermaid suit!

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For the bottom, I used Ooh Lulu’s Ava panties, as I wanted a high-waisted bottom without any piecing (unlike the inspiration picture). I made a muslin that stopped right in the middle of my belly button, which wasn’t super pretty, so I added half an inch or so. I also recut the leg openings, because the Ava’s cut is very boxy and I didn’t find this flattering in the front. Surprisingly enough, I sewed a straight S: I lost some weight recently and the muslin that I graded from a S at the waist to a M at the hips was noticeably too big.

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Instead of following instructions, I chose to line it entirely with swimwear lining. While looking for a tutorial, I discovered that Sarah from Ooh Lulu had recently made the exact same one! An Ava swimsuit bottom, in a scale-print fabric (but in a slightly different and less sparkly fabric). You can see on her pictures how low the leg openings are.

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For the top, I originally had planned to make the one from Burda 05/2013, in an ultra-violet nylon from Fabric.com. At the last minute I changed my mind and decided to go full cosplay, and chose McCall’s M6569 that I had in my pattern stash and whose gathers reminded me of Ariel’s seashell bra.

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Making this top was an interesting process, with boning and swimwear interfacing. At first I didn’t really get the instructions and started using regular interfacing (duh!) but I quickly realized that the pattern called for polylaminate foam instead (I bought some here). And boy does it make a difference! It looks very professional, just like a store-bought one. However, it still lacks straps and doesn’t stay up that well, especially when wet because the foam becomes really heavy. I doubt it’ll get worn a lot, especially not for jumping around in the Atlantic ocean’s waves.

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However, if I need to sing along Disney songs, it’s perfect!

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Ariel Swimsuit Bottom
Ava Panties, Ooh Lulu
Size S
Scales Foil Spandex – Harts Fabric

Ariel Swimsuit Top
McCall’s M6569
Size 10C
Nylon Lycra – Fabric.com
Polyylaminate Foam – Sew Sassy

Comments

  1. Nicola Crawford

    - September 18, 2014

    That’s fantastic and you look stunning! We, too, are a household ofThe Little Mermaid lovers

    • Camille

      - October 11, 2014

      Thanks! I’m glad to see I’m not the only Disney-obsessed out there in the sewing world 😉

  2. Stevie

    - September 18, 2014

    Such a beautiful swimsuit! You look stunning! I love that you took Ariel as Inspiration and I’m so in love with the bottom fabric! Brilliant job!

    • Camille

      - October 11, 2014

      Thanks a lot Stevie!

  3. Helen // Grosgrain Green

    - September 18, 2014

    Wow! This is fantastic and you look amazing. The bottoms are so flattering on you. Just perfect!

    • Camille

      - October 11, 2014

      Thank you! I’m so happy with the result, those times when the final outfit is just the way I had pictured it are so rare!

  4. mokosha

    - September 18, 2014

    both you and your new swimsuit look amazing!

    • Camille

      - October 11, 2014

      Thanks a lot! 🙂

  5. MadebyMeg

    - September 19, 2014

    Wow I love it! I can’t believe you got all the right patterns. Things like this make me so happy we can sew!

    • Camille

      - October 11, 2014

      Thank you! It’s making me so happy too, learning to sew really brings endless potential for fun things!

  6. Sally

    - September 29, 2014

    OMGGGG this is AMAZING! I love this swimsuit, and the pictures, and the fact that you were president of the Disney club in college. My college didn’t have a Disney club, so now I feel jipped – lol 😉

    • Camille

      - October 11, 2014

      Thanks Sally! I have to say… my college didn’t have one either, until we arrived! Sometimes you just got to make the magic happen yourself :p We showed Disney movies on a big videoprojector and everyone brought their pillows and blankets… Good times 🙂

  7. Adey

    - October 11, 2014

    This is absolutely adorable!

    • Camille

      - October 11, 2014

      Thank you!

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