I spent most of Thursday working on my final project using the Danglez pattern and the dark plum Milliskin Matte spandex. I’m going to try to go through my process step by step. This way I have a reminder for myself for the future when I want to make this suit again and maybe some of my modifications will come in handy to anyone else that wants to attempt this pattern. It really is a great pattern, it just needs some help for the average sewist and maybe a few “translations” for the American audience.
The first step is to assemble the V-insert into the front bodice and doing the gathers on the body front and the bra cups. For the most part this is pretty straight forward. But I definitely recommend that you baste the seams with the gathering together before the final sewing, especially if you are using a serger. I had to rip out a couple of time because the gathered areas kept popping out of the seam.
The biggest modification I made was how the V-insert was assembled. The instructions have you sandwich the insert between the cups and the lining and then after turning everything right side out you are to apply elastic to the neckline and then turn that under and topstitch. I did that on my muslin and didn’t like the way it looked. I referred back to my Lands’ End suit and saw that it was seamed right sides together from the bottom of the V all the way up the neck line and strap. I chose to do it this way and to apply the elastic all the way from the bottom of the V instead of starting the elastic at the top of the insert. When I make this again I will cut my cup/strap lining pieces as long as the outer cups so I can continue this seam all the way to the end of the strap and also will do the underarm/strap seam the same way and then turn each cup back right side out.
I also under-stitched the lining to the elastic along the neckline edge to keep it from curling out. Next time I make this pattern I will cut my seam allowances 3/8” instead of 1/4” so that the seam allowance was the same width as the elastic.
For the under-bust seam I again sandwiched the cups between the lining and the front piece and serged this seam. This is where I really wished I had basted everything together first. I had 4 layers of slippery fabric with one being tightly gathered and they didn’t want to go together smoothly. I picked and restitched the one cup a couple times and finally got an acceptable result. I then applied elastic to this seam for extra support and better fit. If I had basted these 4 layers together first I probably could have sewed this with the serger and apply the elastic all in one step.
The rest of the suit went together very quickly and easily. I learned my lesson on the cups and basted the side seams before serging them. The crotch assembly can be a little confusing but is simple once you understand how it all goes together. The writing instructions in the pattern are very confusing. If you have access to the Kwik Sew book I recommend using it as a reference for this step. Basically I used the “burrito method” of putting it together and hiding the seam inside between the front and lining pieces. Match the front and back crotch seam right sides together and then wrap the lining around over everything and match that seam right side of lining to wrong side of back piece and stitch. When you untwist everything it will all be right side out with the seam hidden between the lining and front piece.
On Monday I completed the last steps; the leg elastic and the back/armhole elastic. If you do the entire front bodice right sides together with the full lining you will only have to put elastic along the top of the back piece. After putting all the elastic in, turn and top or coverstitch it in place.
The back doesn’t have a center back seam but my Land’s End suit does. I may add one next time with a little waist curve for better fit. But all in all I don’t think it will be a big deal. I also didn’t line the back but might in the future just for better coverage and bulge control.