Thursday, July 30, 2020

Sewing the Diane Swimsuit (Jalie 3893+)

Pattern Review

Pattern Description Jalie 3893 - One-piece swimsuit with scoop neck. The keyhole back holds the straps in place and a fun inset that makes adjustments a breeze! Instructions to sew in supportive soft cups are included. The front is fully lined and lining in the back is optional (recommended for adults, not needed for kids). The optional mesh waist tie can be attached in the front or back for a feminine look. 

Jalie 3893+ : A 3 front variations pack is available as a separate purchase : A) cross over front, B) tie front with front cutout and C) tie front. I bought both the pattern and the variations pack add-on.

Pattern Size : Jalie patterns offer both children and adult sizes in most of their patterns. Instructions are available in both French and English. Made in Québec since the 80's!!
Girl sizes : F to Q = 2-13 US / 92-155 EU (heights in cm).
Women sizes : (R to FF = 4-22 US / 34-52 EU (bust in cm).

My daughter's measurements : July 20 2020, 11 years old, 100 lbs, 31-25-33 in.
I chose the Girl size P (12 US / 152 EU) - view C (with the ties but without the front cutout.

Fabric Used : Swim lycra from Stretch text in Montréal and polyester lycra lining in pink from Fabricville.

Alterations or design changes : 

  • I omitted the pocket for the removable bust cups in foam. 
  • I made sure the side seams were not raw inside the swimsuit by modifying the order of construction a bit (see my sewing notes below).
  • I top stitched more than asked for. 
  • I sew every seams using the lightening bolt stitch and sewn the elastic and top stitched using the standard zigzag.
  • I only had 3/8 in elastic, so I used it everywhere, even in the neckline.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes and the colour blocking was the same as our inspiration colouring on the line drawing!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but I had to reread steps 47 and 48 to better understand them - mostly it's just sewing the side seams.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? 

  • I found there were a lot of unnecessary notches and they are a bother to cut using a rotary cutter, so I might omit them next time around.
  • I wish the pattern add-on came with a 2 pieces front bottom so the back waist band continued in the front too. For my own swimsuit, I plan to modify the pattern to have a continuous waist band.
  • Maybe the keyhole and waist elastic need to be more snug than the pattern calls for ; since the waist elastic has a tendency to flip out in the back...

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I have planed to make one for myself in view B (with the ties and front cutout).

Sewing Notes

I change the construction a bit because I did not want raw edge inside at the side seams - mostly just leaving the raw edge at waist as the last steps before applying the waist elastic so the side seams could be enclosed. I bet this suit could be reversible by removing the seam allowance where the elastics goes and using FOE. I would need to think a bit more about how to treat the waist seam for this to be truly reversible.

Sewing the bottom

  1. Sew back waist band to back bottom twice (in fabric, in lining)
  2. Sew crotch seam twice (in fabric, in lining)
  3. Baste leg holes, but leave 3/4 in toward all side seams.
  4. Sew side seams  twice (in fabric, in lining).
  5. Baste the waist seams for the bottom (lining and fabric together, zigzag).

Sewing the Top (view B and C)

  1. Sew shoulder seams twice (in fabric, in lining) + Top stitch the seam allowances twice (in lining toward front, in fabric toward back).
  2. Mark seam allowances at the pivot point and the tie point + Pin right side on right side the lining and fabric layers from the pivot point to the pivot point on the other side.
  3. Sew under the ties from pivot point to tie point on both sides. Then sew between both tie points.
  4. Sew the neckline elastic (size P : 30.75 in) to the seam allowances between both neckline marks. + Understitch the elastic to the lining only. If the ties do not lay flat, I may go back and top stitch the whole neckline and ties later on... I want to check first if it's OK when worn tied, since the top stitching might add bulk.
  5. Baste armholes and back keyhole with a zigzag stitch up to 3/4 in from the side and waist seams, leaving the Side and Waist seams free.
  6. Gather the side front between marks at the bust front (lining and fabric) + Sew the side seams 4x (in lining and in fabric, right and left) + Topstitch 2x (lining toward front and fabric toward back). I did not gather the front : I just pinned the front and back flat around the marks while I let the front be longer (bubbling up) between the marks and just pulled it flat as I sewed. It worked since I was sewing a girl size P. I will see if the difference is too pronounced with my woman version (size BB) to take that shortcut...
  7. Baste the waist seams for the top (lining and fabric together, zigzag). It is a prerequisite to sewing the back keyhole elastic.

Sewing the elastics

  1. Pin the elastic by quarter on the lining side. + Sew the elastic on the lining side using a zigzag stitch. + Then fold toward the lining and top stitch with a zigzag for :
    • the leg holes (size P : 16.5 in)
    • the armholes (size P : 17 in)
    • the back keyhole (size P : 15.5 in)
    • the front keyhole (view B only).
  2. Sew the waist seam at 3/8 in
  3. Sew the waist elastic (size P : 23.25 in) on the seam allowance only, on the lining side. + Fold toward the bottom and top stitch trough all layers.


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  4. Lovely swimsuit and very informative review. I'm unclear though, about what you mean when you say you sew "in fabric and in lining". Could you elaborate?