Today I am sharing with you my version of the Papercut Patterns Soma Swimsuit. After my first successful fatkini, I couldn’t wait to MAKE ALL THE SWIMSUITS and dove headfirst into a pattern search. I really liked the style lines of version two of the Soma Swimsuit, but was a bit worried about sizing because Papercut doesn’t have a great size range (at least not at first glance). However, other experiences with this pattern company lead me to believe that their patterns run a couple of sizes bigger than the size chart suggests, so I decided to give it a try. Spoiler alert: it worked for me with minimal grading!
Pattern Name: Papercut Patterns Soma Swimsuit Version 2
Size range: Accommodates up to a 44” (112 cm) bust, 36.25” (92 cm) waist , and 46.5” (118 cm) hip, though I found the pattern to run at least one to two sizes big.
What size did you make? I made the XL for the top and graded up one size to an XXL for the bottoms. This was one size smaller than I measured for the tops and two to three sizes smaller than I measured for the bottoms.
What are your measurements, height, and body type?
Bust: 46″, bra size 40C
Shape: All pear, baby!
What adjustments did you make?
As I mentioned above, I graded the bottoms up to an XXL. I also added a band to the top of the bottoms to give a little more coverage and help them stay up.
After I was nearly finished sewing, I tried it on and felt like the back didn’t look quite right. My upper back is fairly broad and I felt like the proportions looked off with just the single band cutting across the center of my back. I decided to add a peplum by tacking a self drafted circle skirt onto the bottom of the bust pieces. While I don’t think it could be described as “flattering”, it sure is fun to wear! No regrets!
I added swim cups to the bust pieces, which required modifying the lining techniques. The pattern directions call for a “flip and stitch” technique, but I just sewed the fashion fabric and the lining separately and sandwiched the cup in between before I turned and sewed the elastic at the top of the cups.
I also used a halter strap instead of the bra straps as designed. I made this a year or two ago, so I honestly can’t remember why I decided to do that, but I think it was to incorporate more of the awesome galaxy print fabric!
What fabric did you use?
I’ve had this galaxy print swim fabric for so long that this is actually the second swimsuit I used it for. The first was a failed bombshell swimsuit, but fortunately the pieces from that pattern were so big that I was able to give them a second life in this suit! The black is they nylon lycra from Joann Fabrics.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
I made this suit a couple of years ago, but as I recall it was quite straight forward and I learned some new swimwear techniques. I am typically a fan of Papercut’s construction, the patterns I have sewn have been straightforward and resulted in a clean finish. Everything is serged and everything but the cups is lined in power mesh.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
As you can probably tell from my modifications above, the pattern as designed didn’t have quite enough coverage for me. However, with my modifications, I am REALLY pleased with the suit. I think the design of the bust pieces is really fun and works well for a pear shaped lady like myself. As I recall, the pattern offers a few different options for adding some bust support, but it won’t be nearly as support as something with a built in bra.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
If/when this swimsuit wears out, I will certainly make another like it. I really LOVE wearing it! However, new swimsuit patterns are always calling my name, so I’m not sure it will get revisited for a while. When I do come back to it, I may just lengthen the top pieces instead of adding the peplum.
The bottoms pattern has become my go-to underwear pattern and I use it all the time. It goes to show that a good bathing suit pattern can be substituted for lingerie, or vis versa!
Pattern Rating (1-5, 1 is the lowest, 5 is the highest)
Size Range: 3– I had to subtract points because the size chart isn’t accurate, but I added points back in because it fits a larger size range than advertised
Construction Process: 5
Final Fit: 3 – While it required some “hacking” for me to get there, I ended up with a suit that I LOVE
Overall Rating: 4