(Clare) Well after 2 hours, writing 700 words and trying to publish 8 images and having the blog freeze twice on me I’m not a happy chap.. but I think I’ve got this.

 

 

So here is one of my original tech drawings, I had to change it from the very first one as I designed it so that the whole swimsuit  was linked together and just was not viable for the nature of stretch fabric.

 

Swimsuit front tech

Swimsuit front tech

 

back tech

back tech

After discussing how to put the swimsuit together, we came to the solution of creating a base, which the twist/knot would then be attached. This simplified the design immensely but still with much thought going into the construction. Here is the front base (the back really just looks like a two piece (before the twist and rope go on).

 

Swimsuit base tech

Swimsuit base tech

 

First of all I made the knot shape up in some stretch fabric (first creating a pattern). This is the quick one I made up.

 

 

quick dodgy knot I made up to get the physical idea of it

quick dodgy knot I made up to get the physical idea of it

 

 

I decided it was much too big, for a more elegant knot which sits in a more appealing spot on the body it had to be much smaller. But before I go into the designing of the twist I’ll race through the base pattern.

 

Breast cups/panels

First of all I experimented with a breast cup which had a seam over the breast line, I created the shape I wanted but decided that the seam was unnecessary. I chose a breast cup block that was closer to the shape I was after and which I manipulated to produce the gathering I wanted. I developed a back piece the desired shape so it matched up with the front at the side seams.

Body

Because I had to make my front with this cross over bind I first had to pinpoint, on the block, where the two were to cross (ie. CF between the breasts). After this point was mapped I could then draw the shape of the stomach/front panel. Using the high hip block I brought the hip line down, and corresponded it over to the back also.

A binding around the neck holds it up there.

 

 

toile before toile, not the best quality but illustrates cross over and I played around with making rope.

toile before toile, not the best quality but illustrates cross over and I played around with making rope.

 

 

So to the twist.  I’m proud to say I came up with a solution for the actual twist myself, which is far more complex than just two straight strips. It had to follow the contours of the body to get a fit that would lie nicely against the skin. To an extent this was trial and error but I started by lying my front block down and matching the bottoms with the side seam (as the twist runs from centre front, all the way around and down to the opposite side of the bottom) in such a way that I would get some sort of measurement to start with, and the right shape for the bottom. (I hope I’m explaining this okay). I then experimented with the curve of the pattern piece, lying it onto the mannequin to get the somewhat right fit. And then of course I cut it out in fabric and:

 

 

getting the twist to lie flat on the body

getting the twist to lie flat on the body

 

 

Once I was happy with the way it was sitting, I then made up the twist, which (bodge job that it was– hey it’s experimentation) I was reeeally happy with. The bottom sit really nicely considering first go, but the actual CF twist was being pulled. I let out the pattern to make less tension and allow a larger hole for the knot. (And in case you were interested: twist is stuffed with wadding as I was binding – learnt that I should sew stuffing in separate then bind much more easily, also allows me to focus on the curves when binding).

 

 

front twist tension too tight but great start

front twist tension too tight but great start

 

 

back is fitting smoothly along body and seat

back is fitting smoothly along body and seat

 

 

Wow this is getting really loooong… (so you can imagine how long it took me to actually do!)

I’ll give you a break and blog again soon! Sample review not far awaaaay!

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