Vintage Simplicity 5644 ~ Super Jiffy BikiniTuesday, June 24, 2014
I hope you all remember this little hidden gem I found thrifting several weeks ago. If not you can revisit my post here. I'm going to Florida in a few weeks so I was in a mad rush to get this cutie sewn up in time. I have about 4 other items in my sewing queue for the trip. We leave July 11th..do you think I can get it all done!?
Simplicity 5644 released in 1973. Misses Super Jiffy bikini and wrap and tie skirt. I always have to laugh when I see "super jiffy" because I know for me it's going to be anything but. I had several "Doh" moments when sewing this mainly because I was in a rush trying to make the jiffy part ring true. If I can offer up any advice when making a swimsuit...breathe and take your time!
I purchased my fabric online at The Fabric Fairy. I should note: You can purchase fabric in increments of .50 yards but the pricing listed is for a yard. I was confused and thought I was paying $10.49 for a half yard. yikes! Totally not the case. Fabric Fairy has to be my new favorite place for swimsuit fabric.
Ok first I wanna talk about the one thing that irks me with this pattern...the front and back crotch seams THAT are not apparent on the models bikini....
Yes I went there and blew up a crotch but I wanted you to see it for yourselves. Do you see any sort of seam on the front of her bottoms?? Me neither. Do you see the front and back seams on the line drawing? Yea me too. Why did they do that? I would of much rather had side seams like the model's as I would of liked to have had a continuous pattern across my ass instead of a half a flower that looks like my crack got hungry and ate the other half. Ah well, no one should be staring that hard to notice.
I fiddled with the sizing quite a bit. For the bottoms I sacrificed an old swimsuit (I needed the bra cups anyways) that I've had since college...Esprit brand...is that brand still around?? I cut the bottoms up and used as a template to gauge how much to grade my pattern down. On the pattern I sliced down the middle between the front and back seams and overlaped the pattern about 4 inches. This helped but I still had a lot of tweaking to do. This included a lot of basting and a lot of trying on about a bazillion times. The back seam had no curve to it, completely straight which if you take it in too much you risk exposing your butt cheeks. To avoid this I sewed a curve into the seam.
I didn't follow the directions at all when assembling the bottoms. For the leg and waist elastic the directions have you make a casing. I hate casings and ain't nobody got time for that. I simply sewed my elastic on the right side then flipped into the wrong side and sewed again, much like you do underwear elastic.
I must tell you of my first Doh' moment. I cut my elastic about 30% shorter than my leg opening (that's how it's done with the Bombshell). It was too tight but I thought Eh, I can mange it. No one would notice anyway (well until my legs start to turn blue) and I wasn't about to rip out all those zig zag stitches! So I'm modeling my new bikini for the hubs and I say, "What do you think?" He says, "Welllll it looks a little tight around your legs. Does that hurt?" "Well hell yes it hurts" I say, "But I didn't think anyone would notice." So off with the seam ripper I went for the next hour. I re-cut my elastic to only an inch and a half shorter than the opening for this next go around and here comes my next Doh' moment. When installing the elastic on the second leg I went to flip it under to sew a second time. I don't know what or how but I got in a hurry and didn't realize I flipped under the leg that was already finished and started sewing it for a third time. I wondered how come my sewing machine was skipping stitches and acting like a punk all of a sudden. At this point I knew I need a break because I was rushing and making totally stupid mistakes.
Fitting the top was a lot easier than the bottoms. I added the bra cups sacrificed from my old Esprit bikini. I also added the elastic after the fact when I noticed all the gaping. I don't have much but I still don't want it flying out. You'll notice the model casually strolling in the water. I really think that's all they intended for you to do in this bikini. No you don't want to grab your surf board and catch some rad waves...I don't think it would hold up for all that awesomeness.
I think this turned out well and is perfect for Florida beach lounging. After looking at the pictures I may go back and lower the waist just a tad more...what do you think?
Are you planning any swimwear this season? Take your time and have fun with it. For me it's a chance to step out of my comfort zone and play with fun, bold prints.
Oh and have you ever came across a pattern like this where what was modeled on the cover was different from the actual pattern?