Treading water

Inner support, or lack of.

The first idea I had about the insides of the top was to follow this method. I haven’t been able to buy swimwear cups locally, but hauled an old bra out of the pile kept for cloning/transplanting to use as a test. I decided to keep the underwires in.

I tried on the top, pushed the bra cups in to approximately the right position and pinned through in several places, and then marked the position on the lining with tailors chalk.

Then I tacked these in position and tried it on again. Cups theoretically in the right position, but they were not held there by the lining alone. Any movement had them popping off or sliding sideways. Next, I tried putting a band of elastic under the cups in the front only. This also didn’t work with my lining, which is free at the side seams.

Third attempt was to elasticate all round at undercup level. This held things in place but the underwires weren’t a good idea after all, they jabbed and showed through.  I pulled those out, and took the cups out to try to steam a bit more shape into them. That was going pretty well, until I moved the hot iron too close and touched the nylon covering, and instantly welded it to the iron in a black sticky mess .

The cups are usable if I hide them inside the lining,  but I’ll wait for the real thing. I’m going to finish the costume with the temporary ones just tacked in place, and buy some better ones in London the week after next.

I would be more upset, but we went to the coast today – it was beautifully sunny in short bursts between clouds and very cold. Not actually freezing but too cold for even the most determined to get a swimsuit wet. I spotted two ladies in thick sweaters and shorts, briefly wading out to mid calf level. Everyone else was in woolly hats and anoraks, taking the cliff walk. There’s no rapid rise in temperature forecast for the next week, I might as well be zen about the storm in a bra cup.

Not zen enough to resist sewing the skirt part on to the top to get an idea how its all going to look though.


Still to do – tack in cups, fold hem over undercup elastic and stitch, tidy up, press, take some unfuzzy photos.




About jay

I design and draft patterns
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