This pattern was one of several by this company, which I had not run into before, in the haul of old patterns Ra pulled from the dumpster for Stylish. It appears to be another in the radiation of knit-specializing indie pattern companies that appeared in the late 60s and 70s as the big 4 failed to fill that niche adequately. It claims to be produced by a professional knitting mill, so they should know what they’re talking about, right? The most interesting thing about the pattern, of course, is the front-shifted side-seam on the bottoms, although the top is cute as well.
I made the bikini bottoms, although of course I made them up as underwear, excited by this unusual seaming feature.
Well, of course as soon as I traced the pattern, I was wondering how that was going to happen. The width of back and front pieces was pretty comparable and there was no recognizable “shifting” of the seam toward the front. Nonetheless I soldiered on.
The pattern instructions weren’t great, but they were interestingly patchy—a lot on different ways to sew knits, quite a bit on fitting (maybe if I’d followed that part more closely I’d have had more of that front-shift to the side-seam), but then the actual instruction was along the lines of “sew this seam. Now hem this.”. There was no crotch-liner piece, but it was pretty easy to improv one. There’s no information on the sizing on the pattern or envelope itself, although I THINK it’s the same sizing Kwik Sew uses for underwear—but fortunately (?) for me, the helpful previous owner had written most of the sizes and measurements out from the front. As you can maybe see in that first photo, the pattern sizes are, um, small. 32″ hip for a size 7 (I guess that’s about the same as the standard Miss’s size 8.) Even more fortunately for me (I do not have a 32″ hip. My 13-year-old does not have a 32″ hip.), the pattern is drafted for “fabric with very little stretch;” I’m thinking the “True Measure” thing means it’s drafted with 0 ease. My fabric, while a nice, stable cotton-lycra, has a very decent amount of stretch. I used comparison with my McCall’s 4471 pattern to verify that the size 8 should be just fine. (Actually, in terms of overall width and length, AKA rise, the two patterns were reassuringly similar.)
And when sewn up, they did end up being pretty much fine, ordinary underwear (I lowered the rise a teeny bit, especially in front, but that’s typical for me), but, as suspected, that promised shifted side seam is not at all evident.
My biggest hold-back on making underwear usually ends up being the elastic. I have zillions of little scraps of knits I could use, but I tend to only buy elastic in small quantities as I need it. And then use it up pretty efficiently. So for this pair I tried something I had read about on someone’s blog (but damned if I can find where)—just using a self-fabric band. I’ll report back on how it works when I’ve road-tested them for more than five minutes, but initial fitting seems promising. As with Kwik Sew 2100, the crotch is a bit wide, but now that I’m actually paying attention that’s super-common in my storebought underwears as well. It’s not uncomfortable, just something to maybe be trimmed down in the future (and it’s worth noting that I added a band, while typical swimwear finishing would fold over at least 1/4″ on each side while attaching the elastic.
In conclusion, seems like a decent basic bikini pattern, but that shifted side-seam is nowhere to be found.
There’s an obvious solution, of course. I’ll have to draft one for myself.