Bombshell Bikini

purple shimmer gathered bikini

I am a total bombshell in this swimsuit. The first time I sewed the Bombshell Bikini by Closet Case Files I made a few design decisions that left me feeling like an almost. But this time? Total Bombshell.

bombshell bikini back

So, what did I learn that made this one a rockin’ success? Better color choice, for sure. Instead of a pale pink the color of my skin, I picked an iridescent purple that I bought at Britex Fabrics that actually compliments my skin tone. I left off the halter top that (although I like halters sometimes) made me feel like a line-backer, emphasizing my strong shoulders in the wrong way. And, I made the bikini bottom version of the Bombshell Swimsuit pattern and drafted my own bikini top. I love the full coverage of the bottom and the slip of skin showing at my waist, an asset that I like to highlight.

bikini side purple shimmer

For the bikini top, I added some small gathers to side and center to coordinate with the strong gathering in the Bombshell bottoms. For a fun detail, I put a twist in the center front. [NOTE: This bikini top turned out to be a first draft of my Nautilus Swimsuit, so if you’re interested in making your own, check out my Nautilus Swimsuit pattern!]

knotted bikini top inside

So that no lining fabric would show through at the twist, I put in a fashion fabric facing on the inside. For the construction on the bikini top and Bombshell bottom, I used my stretch zig-zag to sew the elastic to the swimsuit fabric and then used my straight stretch stitch for the final top-stitching. I wasn’t super thrilled with how visible the zig-zagging was on the outside of my suit the first time around and my machine has a really stretchy straight stretch stitch. I’m much happier with the topstitching this time around, but I recommend following my example only if you have a great straight stretch stitch on your machine, otherwise stick to zig-zags.

boned bikini side

I inserted swimsuit bra cups that I cannibalized from a thrift-store bikini (so that they were cheap and I knew they could handle being in a swimsuit) and also cannibalized the rear clasp. I put a piece of boning in the sides of the bikini so that it would better hold its open shape.

enclosed crotch seam on swimsuit

I sewed the Bombshell bikini bottom exactly according to the instructions other than encasing the crotch seam (which Heather mentions as an option in the sewalong on her site). I did it all with my sewing machine, no serger, as you can see by the little ruffle of interior seam, because I don’t trust my serger to hold a construction seam, only to clean finish edges.

purple shimmer bikini

I’m sure you’ve seen tons of other lovely ladies out there rockin’ the Bombshell, but if you haven’t picked up a copy for yourself yet, you have 3 days left to get it as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel #3 – a package of patterns from indie designers that benefits children’s education through Donor’s Choose. I already had the pattern from before the parcel, but seeing a new round of Bombshells pop up in the blogosphere definitely spurred me to finally sew it a second time!

purple shimmer gathered bikini britex fabrics

I have a bit of this awesome fabric left over and I think I’m going to have to make a second bikini bottom (a skimpier one, gasp!) to match the top and if I can eke it out a different top as well so that I have options to wear on my upcoming honeymoon. It’s rare that I spend much time in a swimsuit (usually only if in mixed company in a hot tub) since I’m pale and need to stay out of the sun. But I’m looking forward to tropical beaches in this swimsuit, even if I’m under a big beach umbrella!

retro style purple shimmer bikini

I planned to go to the park this morning to take photos of this swimsuit since it was supposed to be 72 degrees. Well, it may have been that nice in the sunnier half of the city, but it certainly wasn’t on the top of diamond heights. The fog was out and the wind came up and all the people there bundled in sweaters with their kids and dogs were staring at me like you would stare at a crazy lady taking pictures of herself in her bikini in the middle of  park in winter-like weather!

bombshell bikini botton and twist top

Comments 22

  1. That bikini looks amazing! I am in awe of sewists who sew swimwear (I am totally spooked by lycra).

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      If you’re interested in sewing a swimsuit, I say go for it! The only “secret” is to make sure that you are using a stretch needle and a stretch stitch on your machine, but otherwise it’s not that difficult. The sewalong that Heather has for the bombshell on her website is a great step-by-step walkthrough, so you could easily take the lycra plunge with a bombshell of your own!

  2. Your Bombshell, is amazing! I love it! I never really considered making the bombshell bikini before, but I totally love yours. The bikini top totally makes it! I love, love this color on you much more! Great, fantastic job! :)

  3. Awesome! This is a GREAT color on you, and I was ROFL about your photos in the winter park in a bikini episode – the things we do for a good blog post ;)

  4. The suit is epic! Great color selection for sure. I love your awesome photoshoot story! If I would have seen you I would have been yelling, “You GO girl!!!”

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      I think your yells would have made me blush even harder, but I appreciate the sentiment!! Maybe you could have done something equally ridiculous next to me to draft away some of the stares :)

  5. This looks awesome, and you look even awesomer! I especially like how the top looks like The Little Mermaids bikini top so I’m hoping one day you may decide to make bottoms in a fish scale fabric (which I will do, one day, if I can find any).

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      Ooh, that’s a really creative idea. That would make a fun costume! (Of course it would have to be for a summer costume party because there’s no way I’m wearing a bikini on Halloween!)

  6. Erin, I will NOT let my husband look at these photos…it’s like a WWII calendar around here!

    Great job, love the color & you look ab fab!!

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  7. You look fabulous! love the colour :o) just wondering where you got the pattern for the top from? love what you’ve with the twist x

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  8. That color really flatters your (gorgeous) pale skin! I love that twist you put into the top too.

    I totally know what you mean about the fog in Diamond Heights! I felt that way a lot growing up in the Sunset…

  9. I so so so want to make my swim suit exactly the same this year! If theres any way that I can get my hands on that pattern please let me know, p.s. I just signed up for your email listing! I’m so excited to make some awesome things with your help!

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