The sun is shining, and the heat is on (in most places). It's definitely feeling like spring across the country. With this in mind, it seems like the ideal time to finally feature some warm weather patterns. And you can't get more warm weather than swimsuits.
While we've done standalone swimsuit boxes before, this is the first time we're doing them for subscribers. My hesitation was always the idea that not everyone may want to make their own swimwear. At first blush, it seems so daunting and complicated. But having made some swimsuits myself, I can firmly attest that it's really not as hard as it looks, especially with the amazing patterns we've chosen for you.
The complicated part really is finding the right fabric and notions, but as subscribers, you're in luck. We've done all that hard work for you! We've found some truly amazing swimsuit fabric that is chlorine resistant, UPF rated, and absolutely gorgeous. So if you've thought about dipping your toe into the swimwear pool, now is the perfect opportunity!
So, without further ado, let's dig in!
Sew Essential Box: Vernazza Two Piece from Friday Pattern Co
The Vernazza Two-Piece is designed for confident beginners in mind, which makes it a no-brainer for our Sew Essential Box. The pattern is "simple with a lot of style" as Friday Pattern Company puts it, and I find it hard to disagree. The bottoms are flattering, with full coverage and the ability to make adjustments. Plus the twist tie-front top adds an element of flirty fun. It's easy to sew and easy to wear, which is always what we look for in a good pattern.
For fabrics, I wanted to options that really showed off the cut and shape of the swimsuit, which led me to deeper tones and large-scale patterns. So here they are!
- Mangrove Green Matte Spandex - If you've been following our boxes for a while, you know I love a good green. And when I saw this one, I swooned. The depth of color in this fabric and the true green tone, without much yellow or blue in it, felt modern and classic. Verdant and lush, it works so well with the matte finish of this spandex for a look that feels effortless and chic. Seriously, I love it so much! *UPF 50
- Coral Tropical Leaves Nylon Spandex - The fun of swimwear is that you can go bigger and bolder with prints and colors than you would with everyday clothes. Take this tropical print spandex. This bright coral color is vibrant and summery, and it contrasts so nicely with the tropical leaves and birds of paradise flowers printed on its face. The fabric itself has a slight sheen and oodles of stretch and will look truly amazing with this pattern! *no UPF rating
- Chokeberry Red Matte Spandex - The same substrate as the green option, this fabric is all about the color. A rich, jammy red, it falls somewhere between an eggplant and a cranberry, and it feels timeless and elegant. It's also not a color you often see in swimwear, which tends to veer towards blues, greens, and reds, so you can create a swimsuit that is truly unique. Just like you! *UPF 50
Sew Select Box: Cottesloe Swimsuit from Megan Nielsen
If you're looking for the most adaptable swimsuit you can find, the Cottesloe Swimsuit is probably it. It has so many options and so many possibilities to customize that you can turn this one pattern into a wardrobe full of swimwear (and underwear if you use different fabric!). You can make a simple one-piece, a low-back one piece, a bikini with briefs and a longer line crop top, or a bikini with a low-rise bottom and shorter crop top. Plus, you can color-block to your heart's content!
Because there are so many variations possible, we're giving you fabrics to help you play. A mix of prints and solids, in different color combos, will help you create a bathing suit that is truly a reflection of your style. So let's take a look!
- Neon Palms/Navy Blue Spandex - Just like tie-dye, neon seems to be making a comeback, so this printed spandex, featuring pink, green, and pale blue fronds, is very "on trend". It also happens to be gorgeous! The dark blue background (and matching solid spandex) helps the colors pop, and it gives us visions of bioluminescent pools and Avatar jungles. A stunning choice! *UPF 50
- Romantic Flowers Pink Floral Spandex - If you're not into colorblocking this swimsuit, this fabric will really let the pattern shine. A paler, softer print than the first option, this spandex is bright and romantic, with pink, purple, and blush flowers on a cream background. It will look simply stunning as a one-piece, where the print can truly shine, but it also will be fun and flirty as a bikini. The choice is up to you! *UPF 50
- Golden Yellow/Leaf Green Matte Spandex - This color combination, gold and green, has a wonderfully retro feel, which is all the rage right now. Evoking old school basketball uniforms – you know, the kind with the short shorts from the 70s – this mix will become a swimsuit that defies decades. The two colors contrast so nicely, and you can use one for the top and one for the bottom, or get crazy with some style lines to create a pattern all your own! *UPF 50
Sew Curvy Box: Ipswich Swimsuit from Cashmerette Patterns
When I think about my perfect swimsuit, it often looks like the Ipswich Swimsuit. It has all the elements I love: color blocking, intricate details, cool closures, full butt coverage (who knew this was so rare!?). It's basically the platonic ideal for a bathing suit, and I am here for it. And the fact that it celebrates our curvy bodies makes it just that much better.
My favorite parts of the pattern are the center panel and waist stripe, which lend themselves so well to playing with color and pattern. That's why we're giving you options with up to three fabrics so you can mix and match the fabrics to create the look you want. Let's dig in!
- Happy Hibiscus Floral/Hot Pink/Black Spandex - I'm not sure why I associate hot pink with swimsuits, but I do. Probably the 80s kid in me. But it's hard to deny how fun the color is! The trio of fabrics for this option shows off the hot pink color between a vibrant hibiscus print and a matching solid color. Countered with a simple black that you can either use for the side panels or the straps, and you have a set of fabrics that will help you create a bathing suit that people will swear came from a fancy store! *UPF 50
- Navy Matte Nylon Spandex - While I talked up the color blocking possibilities of this swim pattern, I also cannot deny how classic and timeless a solid-colored swimsuit can be. This fabric, a classic navy slightly brighter than a traditional hue, is simple, clean, and stunning. The matte finish will allow the style lines of the pattern to be the highlight, and the UPF rating will keep you protected from the sun. A gorgeous fabric! *UPF 50
- Pesca Orange/Seafoam Green/Sapphire Spandex - In researching swimsuits for these boxes, I fell in love with the color-blocked styles of Summersalt, where they use simple solid colors to create unique swimwear. This box is my take on their aesthetic, but a little bit brighter. I'm loving orange this month, so a combo of a peachy orange, a bright sapphire blue, and a cool, minty seafoam green is unexpected but delightful. It feels tropical, like the brightly colored houses you find in Florida, and it will be perfect for your new summer bathing suit. A beautiful combo! *UPF 50
Sew Indulgent Box: Seabright Swimmer from Friday Pattern Co
As someone who burns by merely thinking about the sun, I knew I wanted a full coverage, long-sleeved option in our boxes. A combination of both a swimsuit and a rash guard, the Seabright Swimmer is a beautiful hybrid of a swimsuit. The simple gathered front mimics a draped dress top for a look that is as elegant as it is functional. The brief cut bottom gives great coverage and the option for long or no sleeves allows you to customize your look. A stunning pattern for those who want a bit more coverage in their swimwear.
For fabrics, I really wanted to let the style of the top shine, so I leaned towards solid colors and standout patterns. These options are all about the color, so let's take a look!
- Pesca Orange/Chokeberry Red Spandex - During an art class last summer, I discovered how great peachy orange went with dark, purply red. So I jumped at the chance to use the color combination with these swimsuits. The orange brightens the deep red and the balance is modern and unexpected. Play with the color blocking for this swimsuit, or, heck, make two no-sleeved versions in solid colors. You're in control of your style! *UPF 50
- Tropical Bloom Floral Print Spandex - Tropical prints are a classic for swimwear, and this print has all the elements. Bright florals, deep blues and purples, and a large scale print that will look like you're ready to surf the big waves off the Big Island. Bright, playful, and deeply saturated, this print is a sight to behold and will be a cut above anything you can find in ready to wear stores. *UPF 50
- Deep Teal/Watercolor Fronds Spandex - If you can't live in the tropics, the least you can do is dress like you do. With a lovely and light botanical print, this swimwear has got you covered. A slight sheen and silky hand make it perfect for your next swimsuit and paired with a matching minty, teal green, you have a look all your own. A gorgeous option! *UPF 50
In addition to the swimwear fabric, you will also receive two yards of a woven fabric, which you can use to make a cover-up, robe, skirt, sarong, or any summery layer you want. These fabrics are lightweight, soft, and perfect for so many projects!
- Red Papaya Tropical Rayon Poplin - Our favorite rayon poplin offers so many great prints, and this red botanical print is no exception. A jammy red background plays host to yellow, salmon, and white leaves, all on a silky smooth and completely opaque fabric. A soft, semi-fluid drape makes it ideal for dresses, skirts, and tops, and whatever you make out of this fabric will keep you cool and stylish all summer long!
- Azure Blue Viscose Linen Slub - If you want a summer linen with a little bit of sheen, this is the fabric for you. A slub weave adds texture to this brilliant blue woven and a medium weight gives it enough heft for all sorts of applications from tops to elastic waist shorts. Easy to care for and easy to sew, this fabric is sure to become your new favorite!
- Lemon Lime Printed Ecovero Twill - What's summer without a little citrus? A few years ago, lemon prints were everywhere and I'm so happy to see them making a comeback. This lemon print, on a silky smooth, medium-bodied ecovero twill features bright yellow fruit on a kelly green background for a look that is full of life. Create dress, culottes, and summer tops with this gorgeous woven!
As I said earlier, I'm well aware that not everyone may want to sew a swimsuit, which is why we're featuring some lovely woven dresses in our Tried and True boxes. Reprising the tiered dresses from last August, these boxes will help you create some floaty, airy dresses for the summer months ahead. Or, if you're really ambitious, you could get both boxes and have the perfect cover-up dress for your awesome handmade swimsuit! Now the question is, what will you choose to sew?
Until next time. . .