Off the Rack ~ Introducing Alisa Nicole Swimwear

This week I’m reviewing a start-up swimwear brand called Alisa Nicole Swimwear. Founder Alisa recently reached out to Darlene and me, only to realize that we all live in New York City, making it super easy and convenient for Darlene and me to try a few pieces of her swim collection without dealing with postage or shipping things back-and-forth. The three of us had brunch last weekend, followed by a try-on session.

Darlene, Alisa, and me.

Darlene, Alisa, and me.

First, some background on Alisa Nicole Swimwear: Alisa used to live in Sydney, Australia. As a busty woman and avid surfer, she couldn’t find any swimwear that suited her shape and gave the right support—so naturally she started making her own!

Here’s Alisa surfing in Australia while wearing her “Aphrodite” one-piece.

Here’s Alisa surfing in Australia while wearing her “Aphrodite” one-piece.

While Alisa reached out to us with the pitch of a busty swim brand, during our meetup she explained that she actually wants to avoid pigeon-holing her company into that niche. Rather, she designed her product to fit a range of bust sizes. I was a little skeptical of this claim at first (aren’t we all?), but check out this photo of Alisa (left) and her much less busty model (right) rocking the exact same swimsuit: [Read more…]

More Sewing, Coming Soon!

Hello dear readers! I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. But I have some excellent news….

I unearthed my long-lost Mandarin shirt pattern pieces!!!

We stayed in over Memorial Day weekend and deep-cleaned our house, and that’s when I finally found them. Buried in a box. In my husband’s office. Why?? Who knows!

In case you’ve forgotten what the Mandarin looks like, here is the photo from the Jailyn website! I haven’t quite finished mine up yet. Stay tuned 🙂

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I am so thrilled to be back on track for finishing that top. If you want to join me – check out the Mandarin Shirt Sew-a-long post for all of the pattern and fabric details, as well as the first 3 tutorials (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3). I’ll have the 4th tutorial posted next week, all about the completed muslin and adjustments to make for the final pattern.

I also have some more sewing to show you soon…I want to tell you all about my favorite Indie Pattern Company, Patterns for Pirates! Judy Hale, the pattern designer, has a gorgeous hourglass figure and drafts her patterns to accommodate curves. I haven’t had to do a full-bust adjustment yet! Stay tuned for my reviews of their Slim-Fit Raglan and Sweet Tee tops. They are both fantastic beginner patterns, with gratifying fit results!

Judy is also releasing a new swimwear pattern this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited….just look at these sneak peeks for the Take The Plunge one-piece that Judy posted to the P4P Facebook group:

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Wrap front, nipped in waist, low rise bottoms, multiple strap options…It is literally everything I have been longing for in a one piece. And since Judy made the pattern, I’m confident it will have room for my breasts, too! Can’t wait to try it out and let you know how it goes 🙂

ETA: The swimsuit pattern has been released! They had SO MANY testers of all shapes and sizes, and I am in AWE of how fabulous it looks on all body types! You seriously need to scroll through the image gallery. Look at how well the swim bra supports some of the larger-busted testers (and that Wonder Woman suit!! All the heart eyes):

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It’s on sale through Monday, no coupon code needed. Buy it here (not an affiliate link, I just love it)! I got mine printed and taped yesterday and am soooooo excited.

Happy summer, and happy sewing! Do you have any exciting projects planned? What curve-friendly patterns do you love?

Big Bust Swimsuits: Taking the Empreinte TZ Out for a Swim

You already know how much I admire Empreinte bras, but I had never tried their swimwear until the company sent me a review sample for my trip to Hawaii. Since we’re entering spring break season, now is the perfect time to tell you all about a suit that I expect to wear for many years to come. Please note that all opinions are my own.

Empreinte gave me a one-piece in the TZ style, which is extremely popular with their large-busted customers. One reason is the high back which, while it isn’t adjustable, acts like a firm bra band and contributes to the suit’s support.

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Since I was wearing a 32F in their bras at the time, that’s the size they sent me. However, since I slightly pillowed over the top of their Erin in 32F at the time, I was very nervous that the cups of the swimsuit would be too small and I’d have to leave it behind. Not to worry–the cups fit perfectly! [Read more…]

DIY Swimwear with a Built-in Big Bust Bra that Fits!

I bought swimsuit spandex on a whim a couple of years ago, when I was in a very ambitious mood and thought I could make my own cup-sized swimwear. But once I had it at home in my sewing room, I panicked. Spandex scares me!

Then in May of this year, I came across this awesome tutorial about how to sew a built-in shelf bra. The bra shown in the tutorial is definitely not supportive enough for larger busts, but I figured I could make some adjustments and get it to work. There are some things I would definitely improve next time, but overall I am happy with the final result!

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I’m not going to do a full tutorial, since the Burda Style tutorial is really great at explaining how to make the built-in bra. I will tell you the supplies you need in order to do this yourself and provide photos of the full-bust adjustments I made! [Read more…]