Pattern Name: Maison Fleur 8101 Halter Neck Swim Suit
Size range: Accommodates up to a 50” bust, 43.5” waist, and 52.5” hip, though I found the pattern to run large.
What size did you make? XXL B-C for the top, XXL for the bottoms. I did not grade up though my hip measurements were slightly out of the size range.
What are your measurements, height, and body type?
At the time of sewing, my measurements were: Bust: 46”, Underbust: 42”, Waist” 42”, Hips: 53-54”
At the time of the photos, my measurements are: Bust: 44”, Underbust: 41”, Waist: 41”, Hips” 50-51”
Body Type: Appley-pear (fruit salad?)
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
I made no adjustments to the flat pattern, though I did plan to insert the optional swim cups using the tutorial on the Maison Fleur blog and use the optional elastic inserted into the straps.
Bottom alterations: After sewing up the suit, I found the bottoms to be too low waisted for my taste and the waist band to be too long/loose to hold the swimsuit up once wet. I ripped it off twice and finally settled on doubling the height of the waist band, then shortening the length to be tighter around my waist. To accommodate the sharp angle between my back high hip and my back waist, I angled the center back seam as seen below.
I also had to rip out the leg elastic once and pull it much tighter while sewing it on the second time. I think this would have been less of a problem if I had sized down one size. If it wasn’t for the side seam channels, I would have taken the suit in at the side seams as well. Keep in mind that my measurements were about 1 inch larger than the size chart at that time. I didn’t use a particularly firm swim suit fabric, and I think the bottoms ended up running about a size too large.Top alterations: After finishing the suit, when I tried on the top, the two sides almost met in the middle. I ended up shortening each side back piece by about 3 inches each (so 6 inches total). Though I think the front cups may fit a little wider than they are supposed to, I like the extra coverage so I don’t think I would necessarily size down next time, but just adjust the back again. You can see in the photo below that I haven’t yet finalized the length of the back side pieces, so they are hanging out below the suit. Whoops! I need to cut that off before the next time I wear it.I think it is now fitting pretty much how it was intended. I also slightly overlapped the two cups at the center front seam and tacked them together at the center front for about 0.25 inches because I felt they were sitting very wide and that the center front was a stress point that could fail. What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
I had made one swim suit before (the Closet Case Files Bombshell, with poor results) and some bras and undies, so you can take that into account, but I thought the construction process was very well explained and illustrated! The directions had some of the most thorough and well designed diagrams I have seen in indie patterns and there are a few helpful tutorials on the Maison Fleur blog.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
As I said, I do think the pattern runs a little big, but that is easy to adjust and will be completely dependent on your fabric choices.
I really like the fit of the bottoms, they worked well for my body shape. I know they look similar in style to the Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files, but I can attest that the shape is fairly different and fit much better for me. I have a large dent between my lower belly and where my upper thigh strongly projects forward, which means bottoms that ride low and have a more “boy short” fit don’t work on me at all. I really like the leg curve on this in the front and the great coverage in the back. I can’t say enough good things about the fit of the bottoms!I like the fit of the top on myself, but I’m not very busty for a curvy lady, so I can’t really speak to the level of support. I LOVE the shaping on the upper bust, which isn’t just the typical triangle shaped halter top, which I have always found to be very unflattering on me. I have a short and narrow upper chest (above the bust) and the halter tops with wide straps just overwhelm me and look horrible. This top is about as flattering as it gets for me! I also like that straps cross in the back so that they aren’t tied around the neck like your typical halter top.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I will definitely make the pattern again, I’ve already printed out the one piece with the low back!
Other than the changes mentioned above, next time I think I will use a power mesh to line the suit instead of the swimsuit lining fabric from Joann’s. The lining fabric is fine quality, but I think a power mesh would have been a firmer hold, resulting in everything fitting better and staying in place better! The pattern specifies it has approximately 10% negative ease, which indicates to me that I probably should have used something with a firmer stretch.
One other small change I would make would be to line the top band in self fabric. As you can see in the seated photo above, it keeps flipping over (especially in the water) and exposing the lining side.Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources that helped you sew this piece up?
The PDF is awesome and allows you to only print the pages you need for the version you are making and your cup size. Also, nothing is cut on the fold!
If you make this pattern, I would recommend basting the fit of the bottoms/one piece before sewing in the channels, then it will be easy to adjust the side seams if needed.Be sure to check out the great tutorials and pattern hacks on the Maison Fleur blog (here, here and here), though the instructions really are sufficient on their own. Also, check out Meg’s one piece version of the Maison Fleur 8101 for another curvy perspective on this swimsuit pattern.
I sewed this up a couple of months ago, so I hope I’m not forgetting anything important! I do recall that sewing up all the strapping was a bit of a bummer, but I think the end result was worth it. The Maison Fleur blog has a video to walk you through sewing the rouleau straps.
I think you ladies will love this suit and it will be flattering on many body types!
Size Range: 4.5
Construction Process: 5
Final Fit: 3
Overall Rating: 4.4
I think this is one of the larger indie swim suits available, accommodating a bust up to 50” and hips up to 52.5”, and possibly more since it does run large. I think the design is super cute and well thought out and I love the different options. I highly recommend this pattern!