Way back at the beginning of January we had a run of insanely hot weather in Melbourne. The evening before a predicted 44 degree day, Clare asked me to sew up the Tuesday Stitches Nautilus Swimsuit top that was in pieces in my sewing room, so that she could wear it with the Vernazza two piece pants I sewed a couple of months prior.
This actually took me much less time to sew than I had anticipated. The instructions were excellent. The pattern description from the website is as follows: The Nautilus swimsuit has an elegant twist center front, like the shell of its namesake cephalopod. The pattern is fully lined and comes with 4 different cup size options (AA cup, A/B cup, C/D cup, or DD+ cup) to make fitting a breeze. Available as a one-piece suit (View A) with a cute little peek-a-boo under the twist or a bikini (View B/C). The bikini comes with twists on the bottom that echo the bodice twist (View B) or plain (View C). Instructions are included for optional cup insertion and side boning for coverage and support. The straps can be tied around the neck halter style or can be attached to the back.
I sewed the bikini top, view B/C, in the smallest size with the AA cup. The fabric is from Rathdowne Fabrics, and I think that the lining also came from them. I had to nip out to Spotlight at the last minute to find the clasp to close the back – fortunately I got there just in time!
Sometimes photos give you a better idea of construction than I can put into words! This was completely assembled on the sewing machine – no overlocker got anywhere near this. I adjusted the back after she’d tried it on so that we knew the clasp would be in the correct position for a snug fit.
There is a sewalong for the Nautilus bathers over on the Tuesday Stitches blog. As with most sewing, bathers get easier and easier to sew the more often you do it. The sewalongs are very useful when you start off. I find that the biggest problems are to do with how much to stretch the elastic when applying it. The basic answer – don’t stretch it much at all! Bathers are designed with negative ease, to cling to your body. As soon as they are worn the elastic stretches out further. If you cut the elastic much smaller than the bathers pieces they are likely to cut in to you when you wear them. On flatter parts of the body I don’t stretch the elastic at all. On curvier ones, like on the back legline, I stretch it a little more. I use a simple zig-zag to apply the elastic – first to apply it to the wrong side, then again after I turn it to the wrong side to secure it. Once again, you can see that in the photos.
This top pairs beautifully with the Vernazza bottoms, and Clare was extremely happy wearing this in the backyard pool with her friends on that absurdly hot day!