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Last summer I finally started sewing something that tends to terrify sewists: bathing suits. (You can check out my 10 tips on sewing swimsuit fabric perfectly here!) I purchased various fabrics and two Jalie patterns, one for a racerback one-piece and another for two-pieces. Jalie is a Canadian company and something I love about their patterns is that they include LOTS of sizes from small girls to large women sizes. Which means that I could use the Jalie 2446 bikini pattern for women and girls for both my daughter and myself. Score!
That said, girls and women don’t have exactly the same clothing needs and this became a problem when I sewed my own bikinis, but I LOVED this pattern for my then 10-year-old daughter. I was able to get a perfect fit with a few tweaks and use fabrics that she chose, and she said that these were the most comfortable bathing suits she’d ever worn. What a compliment!
The Jalie 2446 bikini pattern for women and girls is called “Mix n’ Match Bikinis” because it includes 3 styles of top and bottom that you can mix up between each other to get a total of 9 different styles. And actually, I found that you can even make more than that because I mixed pieces from two different bottom styles for Sofia’s bottoms. But more about that in a minute.
I sewed size K tops of View B and size N bottoms of View B with the top band of the View A bottom. The backs of the tops are closed with a clasp and the tops get tied with a bow. Both the top cups and the bottom front have a lining.
It took a little bit of fiddling to get the bottoms right for Sofia. According to her measurements, she should’ve have a size L bottom (seen on the top in the picture above), but those ended up being too small for her. We also noticed that the waist was pretty low in this style and Sofia preferred a higher waist so that she could goof around at the beach without worrying about her bum sticking out.
We also agreed that the one color was a bit boring and seemed to be missing something when paired with the two-tone top. So I went up two sizes for the bottom, to a size N, and added a contrast band of the view A bottom of the same size (seen at the bottom in the picture above), which fit on perfectly and added just the right amount of extra height.
The one thing we noticed was that the back strap stretched out over time, so after a while I unpicked the stitches so that I could remove the clasp and leave the straps like that to be knotted at the back.
So the next time I make these for her, the one change I would make in addition to those I already made would be to make longer back and neck straps for easier tying and omitting the clasp.
She wore them in pools…
These are the two bikinis that I made for myself. On the left is View A size U and on the right View B size U. You can see that at this point I didn’t even bother sewing in the clasp and just left the straps loose to tie.
Here’s View A. I like the idea of the boy shorts style bottom, but I have a feeling that it actually accentuated my wide-ish thighs. But what I really didn’t like was that this bottom has no lining and the seam is right down the center front and back, which feels a little… odd. The top was pretty comfortable.
And then I sewed a View B bikini to match Sofia’s. Which in hindsight I wish I hadn’t, because then we had to coordinate during beach trips to wear different bathing suits. I’m not exactly a fan of the mother-daughter matching thing.
I wish I had added the View A band to my View B bottom as I had for Sofia’s because, as you can see here, the waist is pretty darn low.
I am far from being large-chested, however my ladies have little resistance to gravity and need support. I also am not a fan of the nipple-sticking-out look, so I took advantage of this pattern’s option to add little “pockets” to slip bra/bathing suit cups or padding in. I tried all three types of padding as seen above, and they were all disastrous. They slipped out of place all the time because in theory they would need to be sewn into place. But even when they were in position, you could see the outline of them through the fabric, which didn’t look very nice. You can see this in the pictures of me here, but it was much more noticeable when wet. In the end, I just wore the tops without padding and just tried to make peace with people being able to see my nipples through the fabric and usually wore the View A top, which is more supportive.
What I couldn’t make peace with, though, was people being able to see my nipples OUTSIDE of the fabric. Yeah.
I’m not one to just sit on a beach or at the poolside and look pretty. I like to swim. I like to play and run and swim with my kids. And so my boobs just kept slipping out of the tops and every so often I’d realize I had a nipple showing or, even better, someone would politely inform me that I was flashing the general public.
I tried modifying the position of the top triangles. As you can see above, they are supposed to just meet in the center. I unpicked numerous layers of stitches and overlocking to overlap the two triangles as you can see in the “after” picture, and resew everything together. But alas, it didn’t really do much good and I kept showing everyone on the beach my goods.
So, my conclusion? The Jalie 2446 bikini pattern for women and girls is really great for any female with a small or non-existent chest. The design is relatively simple to put together or modify and I love that there are so many styles to mix and match. It’s also so simple to get the fit perfect because you can sew totally different sizes for top and bottom, rather than having to worry about grading a one-piece suit. And if you don’t have to worry about your boobies flopping around, it’s perfect for running and playing and swimming as much as you want!
But I honestly suggest that any gal with a bit of boobs avoid this pattern. Its simple, flat structure without any real gathering or darts or piecing just isn’t optimal for a lady with even a small amount of curvature. So I am currently in the process of looking for another bikini pattern that has good support. Any suggestions?
If you plan on sewing your own swimwear this summer, don’t forget to check out my 10 tips on sewing swimsuit fabric perfectly. It’s actually a whole lot easier than most people think!
And, if you plan on using your new swimsuit at a public pool, you’re probably going to need a swim cap, so why not sew your own with scraps of matching fabric? Go check out my FREE swim cap pattern for kids and adults in 4 sizes here!
Are you keeping track of different bathing suit patterns for your future reference, like I am? Then make sure you Pin this post here!