I love mix and match patterns. When Amy over at Peek a Boo Pattern Shop put up a testing call for another new swimsuit top called the Blouson to add to her Bahama Mama line, I jumped at the chance to test it. I had never sewn a swimsuit or athletic material before, but I wanted to challenge my sewing skills. Plus us ladies here at Sew and Tell Project have challenged each other to a swimsuit sewing challenge this summer.
The Bahama Mama Blouson Top was originally meant to be a swimsuit tankini top, but it can also be made with performance fabric as well as regular knit for an everyday top. I was chosen to test the athletic version. The fabric I used was from my local Joanns. I love the fun burst of color, and I think it will work well as an exercise top as well as a swimsuit.
I tested the first version of the top. In the second version, the yoke and gathering were changed just a bit, but the finished product is similar to mine. Hop on over to the Peek a Boo Pattern Shop group on Facebook to see some of the other testers’ versions!
This was the first time I’ve used athletic material but Amy’s directions, as always, were easy to follow. The included pictures are clear and easily understandable. Even if you haven’t sewn a swimsuit before, you could conquer this! I chose to omit the shelf bra and instead used Eleri’s tutorial on how to add a real bra to your swimsuit. The support is fantastic, and I can see myself wearing this over and over when the weather finally warms up here!
While sewing the Blouson (even though I used performance fabric), I learned many basic swimsuit sewing techniques such as adding support to a swim top, sewing straps with swim elastic, and sewing with slippery fabric. I have decided that while sewing swimsuits that Wash Away Wonder Tape and Wonder Clips are my best friends! It is very important to use more clips or pins than you think you need! Check out this post for more tips on sewing with swim fabric!
If you’re interested in joining us in the Swimsuit Sewing Challenge of 2016, the Bahama Mama Blouson is a perfect swim top to start with. Plus if you need swim bottoms, Amy at Peek a Boo is offering $3 off either pair of her bottom (Bikini Bottoms or Boy Shorts) when you purchase a swimsuit top pattern from her shop! Use the code “BAHAMA” at checkout. Stay tuned for more swimsuits as summer gets closer!
(I received a free copy of the pattern in testing. This post also contains affiliate links which support Sew and Tell Project so we can continue to bring quality content to you. All reviews and opinions are my own.)