Princess line bathers

The prospect of celebrating Christmas by the water made me realise I needed something festive so I’ve used the last piece of my red marakesh fabric from Pitt Trading for a new pair of bathers.



Kwik Sew’s Swim and Action Wear book has a classic princess line swimsuit that I tested using a possible Christmas colour – green.The green test version is wearable and this version gave me the tweaks I needed to make the marakesh bathers work.

This test version is not lined and uses three lycra remnants of varying weights.The green wave print is a lighter-weight knit to the solid colour fabrics so it should have had a second layer underlining it to balance its weight against the other fabrics. Live and learn.

On swimwear, I also exaggerate the derriere curve as you can see on the test pair above. I added the bust cups to the soft bust shelf.

I joined the crotch piece to the front to eliminate this seam.

On this test version 

– I realised that cutting the medium size was a tad too big, so I sewed in the centre back and side seams. 
– the princess line seam at the armhole was loose so I sewed this seam in closer
– I shortened the straps but then had to lower the armhole curve.

These changes were added to the pattern pieces.

The things I couldn’t fix on the green test version:

– angle in the straps so they don’t slip off my shoulders
– fully line this next version. I don’t like unpicking lots of overlocking so the test version remained unlined but is usable.

Testing swimwear:
Before adding the elastic finishing, I try on my bathers.

The derriere curve is lower on this pair too. It’s now a standard adjustment I do on the paper pattern at the start of the project. 

Here are the finished pattern pieces with all the elastic lengths noted and the stitch lengths for future reference.


I love the lycra print fabrics Pitt Trading bought this year. They brought in a stack a medium weight lycra prints and they’re perfect for supportive bathers.

zebra print – m5752

View A is the cap sleeve version and I’ve used this zebra print in a poly knit fabric.

The key pieces to get this pattern to sit right are the midriff panels.

Before I attempted making this dress I had to face up to the my actually sizing, take a deep breath of reality and adjust the midriff. The adjustment lines are on the pattern with an additional instruction sheet to help adjust the pattern to fit your shape.

The midriff facing is a nude colour knit and I think if you really want to have some support, use a power knit that you would use for swimwear, as an option. I’ve also used seams great on the shoulder seams for long term stability.

This is definitely going to be a social dress and not one that I wear to work, although I’m tempted to put the zebra amongst the pidgeons 🙂