This post is pretty delayed, like all of them are really, considering I made these bathers in June for our family vacation in July/August when I was about 31 weeks pregnant and now we have our 5 week old baby girl safely home with us.
I decided to make some bathers, as maternity ones are really expensive and considering the short wearing capabilities I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I searched online for patterns or tutorials but eventually forged ahead to make my own.
I ended up using the Lovesick Bra, which is actually a free pattern by George and Ginger Patterns if you join their Facebook page, plus they have lot’s of other patterns there too. Because these would be strictly vacation bathers, I didn’t bother with inserting too much support but if I were to make the pattern again for everyday use as a bra, I would definitely consider adding cups.
I made the recommended size and used some not ideal swimwear fabric (probably not chlorine resistant and definitely not UV protective). My first top was made from some 100% dance dot nylon spandex in black and white stripes (80% nylon/20% spandex) and the second top was using some poly spandex knit in red aztec print (95% poly/ 5% spandex) and some white knit fabric for the lining (not sure what type or composition, I had it in my stash). I made the bra as instructed but did omit the bottom band and cut the bottom part of the bathers using the maternity pattern piece from the Women’s Easy Tee by 5 Out of 4 Patterns (of which I did the testing for the maternity option – hopefully with a blog post to follow). I essentially measured down from the bralette underarm to determine the length I wanted the top and cut it to that length on the maternity pattern. The maternity top had a larger circumference around the “waist” than the bra so I just gathered it to fit.
For the stripe version I winged a bow to add as some detail at the front. After wearing both of these, well not really, the weather ended up being too cold to go swimming other than the hotel pool which wasn’t even really heated to my liking. I can say the black and white top was a much better fit. The fabric was firmer with better recovery. The aztec version was quite flimsy and thin and hung loser on the body.
I didn’t make any bottoms to pair with the top as my existing ones as well as my swim shorts still fit ok although I clearly didn’t wear them for the photos. So after minimal wear, they have been retired for now but I may be able to take in the side seams and make them a normal fitting bather top someday.