Friday, May 12, 2017

Retro Swim Suit to Sew: Vogue 9255

Clockwise, from top left: Vintage Shaheen pattern, Tiki print, blue hibiscus

Finding a good vintage swimsuit pattern is hard to do. How to sew a retro style swim suit has just been made easier with modern sized Vogue 9255.  It seems to offer just the right style for sewing up a two piece bathing suit in a retro style. This vintage reprint sewing pattern is perfect for cottons and quilting fabrics too.

I've done the work and found some gorgeous vintage Hawaiian fabrics for inspiration too. These are sourced from easy to find Etsy shops so you can order where every you live.  This suit would also be great in any tiny gingham check to look like a Lanz vintage swim suit, or in a more mid-century modern abstract Pucci print.

Clockwise from top left: Orange Tiki, Golden hibiscus, Brown Tiki, Brown floral

This close up look at the pattern shows how it is darted and the actual cut of the pattern. First thing to notice is that this style does not have any elastic or stretch areas. It means there may be some fitting issues if the suit is going to fit smoothly.

Background fabric: Black and White floral


BRA BACK: Make the back adjustable, and add extra room

Create a tie back: it is be possible to change the button back to a tie back by adding long 1/4" ties.  Insert these at the back where the button panel narrows down, about 4" to 6" from the side seam.

BRA FRONT:  For stretch in the banding under the bust

Create a stretch band: it's possible to add about 1/2" to 1" to the length across the front.  Add 1/8" to 1/4" to seam allowance on the lower bustline seam in each cup.  Tunnel elastic through this band across front between side seams and it will now have a stretch fit in the chest.

BOTTOMS BACK: Leg room stretch

Create back leg stretch:  remove the lower leg darts, create a tunnel using the leg facing, and run elastic through that in back.

BOTTOMS WAISTLINE: More room in the waistline

Create stretch in the waistline: narrow the back waistline darts to about half the pattern's dart depth.  Sew casing using the waistline facing and fun elastic run through this across the back.

BOTTOMS WAISTLINE: 'Straight' waistline fix

Create a looser waistline: add 1/4" to 1/2" to the side seam allowance from waist down about 8" tapering into hips.  Sew the waistline facing all the way around to create a casing and insert elastic into this tunnel.

Front Darts: Some slender or straight waistlines will fit better without the front darts and don't need to have the side seams adjusted.

DRESSES: use the bra top with a dress pattern

This bra top is also an excellent 'bustline piece' to use as the top in a vintage Shaheen style sarong or 50s style dress. Below this bra, add a midriff panel much like the McCalls 6019 fitted dress has.

So if this pattern captures your imagination, try it first in a muslin or 1" gingham check to work out the fit issues first. That will create a pattern that's a keeper!

This post features fabrics from the following shops on Etsy, drop by and see what they have.

Carlas Hope
Cute Bright Fun
Jubliee Street
Neon Pony Fabric
Ranch Queen Vintage
Vintage Inspiration


Michelle Braverman said...

Thanks so much for posting this. Reminded me of the mother-daughter matching swimsuits (and cover ups) my mother and I sewed, and I was 15!!!! We thought we were the cat's pajamas. And may have looked like them too. May have to blog on this myself if okay.

Jen O said...

It is an important sewing pattern that is finally available. You bring back my own memories of shopping at the Elizabeth Stewart fabric outlet in Los Angeles, then going home and sewing up our own swim suits too!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. I have been thinking about making this pattern, but have hesitated when contemplating the fit issues. This makes it seem doable!

Jen O said...

Thanks for letting me know you liked this post, I hope that you were able to sew this suit for yourself, it's a great look!