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:
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
However, if I need to sing along Disney songs, it’s perfect!
Ariel Swimsuit Bottom
Ava Panties, Ooh Lulu
Scales Foil Spandex – Harts Fabric
Ariel Swimsuit Top
Nylon Lycra – Fabric.com
Polyylaminate Foam – Sew Sassy
That’s fantastic and you look stunning! We, too, are a household ofThe Little Mermaid lovers
Thanks! I’m glad to see I’m not the only Disney-obsessed out there in the sewing world 😉
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!
Thanks a lot Stevie!
Wow! This is fantastic and you look amazing. The bottoms are so flattering on you. Just perfect!
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!
both you and your new swimsuit look amazing!
Thanks a lot! 🙂
Wow I love it! I can’t believe you got all the right patterns. Things like this make me so happy we can sew!
Thank you! It’s making me so happy too, learning to sew really brings endless potential for fun things!
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 😉
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 🙂
This is absolutely adorable!
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