17 Jun 2013 • • by Heather Lou

Bombshell Sewalong Pt 2: Prepping Pattern Pieces

Bombshell Swimsuit Pattern // Technical flats

Hello Sewalongers!

Hopefully you have been able to gather the necessary supplies I outlined here. Your fabric should be pre-washed and ready to go while we begin to prepare the pattern for assembly. Have you decided which view to go with yet? View B may be the best option if you need some lift for the girls and are concerned that just adding cups to View A will not be sufficient (or don’t want to insert additional structure). If you go with View C, I will be covering some options for self drafting a matching bikini top (or follow my lead and just make a simple black bottom to mix and match with bikini tops already in the arsenal).

The Bombshell pattern comes in 2 formats: letter/A4 and one sheet of 36×68 paper for printing at a copy shop with a large scale printer. I prefer to have it copied professionally but it is definitely more convenient to print from home. The easiest way to assemble your letter pages is to cut along two edges of each page and overlap your paper seams. When your pattern is assembled, you can certainly cut out your pattern pieces, but I highly suggest tracing them instead. Some pieces for View B are nested in pieces for View A, and if you cut one out and not the other, you will have to reprint the entire pattern if you decide to make the other view down the road.

Using a ruler, a french curve or a steady hand, trace you pattern with your chosen size, transferring all markings and notes. If you are different sizes on top and bottom, simply draw a smooth curve to grade between sizes, making sure you make the same curve on the front and back pieces.

The Bombshell only comes in 8 sizes. If you are outside the range, don’t sweat it! This is a very forgiving pattern to grade up because it is so stretchy. You can simply add what you need to the seam allowances, but I would strongly suggest making a muslin of the lining pieces to ensure a good fit.


If you are of the long or short waisted variety and are used to having to modify your patterns, I highly suggest you make a muslin of the lining pieces. Any stretch fabric will do the trick. This will give you an idea of how much you need to lengthen or shorten it.

Ed.: A note about muslin making… when you sew your lining pieces together make sure you line up the TOP edges of the front and pieces, not the bottom (while also matching the two notches on your side seam). The back lining is much lower cut than the front front lining, since the front lining is eventually covered up by your ruched fabric “skirt” panel.

For the sewalong, I made View B for my pal Izzy. She is 5′-10″ and based on comments from a pattern tester who is the same height, I lengthened the bodice by 3 inches. On each pattern piece there are 2 cut lines. It is better to stretch your pattern at 2 places rather than juts one since it runs the entire length of your torso and you don’t want to distort it too much at only one place.

Ed: The pattern was drafted using my bod as the standard, so I would say the average height it is meant to fit would be around 5′-6″. This may be irrelevant to you if you are long or short-waisted however.

For the lining pieces, I inserted 1 1/2″ at each lengthen/shorten line and then drew a gentle curve to connect the lines. For the ruched fabric pattern pieces (A&B), you want to follow the same method but you will be increasing the amount you lengthen it. There is a ratio of 1:1.6 between the lining and ruched fabric pieces. Therefore, you want to multiply the amount of inches you are lengthening the suit overall by 1.6 to get the amount you need to lengthen the ruched pieces. For example, I lengthened my lining pieces 3 inches and the ruched pieces 4 3/4 inches.

If you are shortening your pattern pieces, I wouldn’t worry about reducing the length of your ruched pieces unless it is a significant amount. You will simply have a touch more ruching which ain’t no thang.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow we will be cutting our fabric and gathering our ruched fabric pieces. See you then!

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