Ipswich Swimsuit Part 1: Gathering Materials

A few months ago, some gorgeous designer swim fabrics came across our radar, and because good swim fabrics are rare finds, we snatched them up. After gazing at them for a few weeks, I decided to make myself a Cashmerette Ipswich Swimsuit primarily using our Swim Knit in Navy with the Abstract Arc Design in Navy and White to contrast. I had selected my fabrics and I was ready to get started!

Bait and Ipswich

Or, so I thought. It turns out, you need more than fabric to make the Ipswich Swimsuit!

Notions I never knew I needed!

Turning to page 3 of the instruction booklet, I found a long list of swimsuit specific notions, none of which we have in the store. I kept reading, and realized that because I have never made an underwire bra before, I would need some extra assistance. 

Jenny Rushmore to the Rescue!

Jenny Rushmore, founder of Cashmerette Patterns.

Thank goodness Jenny Rushmore, the owner of Cashmerette, has made an instructional video to accompany the Ipswich Swimsuit. I purchased the Cashmerette “Swimsuit Making for Curves” workshop, which is worth every penny! Jenny is a clear, calm, well-organized instructor, and her swim bra section is 45 minutes long. Phew! I’m saved.

Jenny’s intro video section is also (a thoroughly enjoyable) 45 minutes long. During the intro, she talks about all the extra notions you need to make the swim bra. I had purchased my extra notions from Sew Sassy before I bought the video workshop. Even though I tried to read the list of notions really carefully, I missed a few important things that Jenny reminded me of. Luckily, I had an old unused bra kit tucked in a cubby! I was able to raid it for underwire channeling and “stable bra lining,” the two things I had initially overlooked.

20 Pattern Pieces Later...

Pattern Pieces for the Ipswich’s built-in bra!

The built-in swim bra is optional, but I’m going to make it because I want to bring you along while I learn a new skill. By committing to the built-in bra, I also committed to cutting out 20 pieces of fabric, foam, lining, power mesh, etc. As you can see in the photo, there are a lot of pieces to this swimsuit!

I prefer to cut out knits without folding the fabric. Therefore, I needed to – using my handy dandy Swedish Tracing Paper – double all my “on the fold” pieces. Jenny suggests tracing one half of the “on the fold” pattern piece on the flat fabric, flipping the pattern piece, and then tracing the other half, but I was feeling ambitious and made all new pattern pieces. 

I have cut out all the pattern pieces, and I’m ready to start sewing. Next week, I’ll update you on my progress here on the blog. See you then!

Read Part 2 of this series here!

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