Real talk? I much prefer Gidget to the Beach Blanket movies, but I will really do anything for alliteration, so…. besides, I don’t know that Gidget ever even wears a bikini in the movie, even if that’s what Moon Doggie would have liked to see, because Gidget is a GOOD GIRL and a SERIOUS SURFER and that’s what’s most important and, more than that, what gets pinned! The ultimate goal of all things!
You don’t know what I’m talking about? What’s Gidget, you say? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? It’s only one of the best movies (worst movies) ever made, all about surfing and attracting men and being yourself and attracting men and the dangers of parties and did I mention it’s actually 100% about attracting men? Through surfing? And being yourself? But mostly changing yourself completely to attract some guy you barely know. Which, you know, feels like the right thing, doesn’t it? Basically the plot goes a little something like this, Gidget, aka Francie, a young lady on the verge of womanhood, has no interest in boys, or doing her hair, or anything the girls around her are into. Instead, she gets into surfing, and boy, does she have a fun time of it! But most of it is about attracting this young surfer who only has eyes for more conventional girls, which, as soon as Gidget (that’s girl plus midget, duh, because she’s like 5’5″, practically Thumbelina, and making fun of midgets was socially acceptable then, I suppose) imitates, he can appreciate. But she almost gets sexually assaulted because it’s the 50’s and it’s a party and I guess that was less threatening than, and then, silver lining, she gets Moon Doggie’s pin. So, you know, it’s pretty much the surfing version of Citizen Kane.
What does this have to do with sewing? Very little, honestly, but I’m pretty into this franchise because of how weird I think it is and also I secretly deeply love it and it’s 1950’s purity and bizareness and the costumes are fun and the music is awesome and her name is FRANCIS, who can turn away from that? and the fact that I have watched Gidget every March since I was 15, so, you know, it had to all be said. But also, this swimsuit I recently made put me in mind of Gidget, so there you go.
Of course, this might be a bit too daring for Sandra Dee. After all, a faint amount of midriff is showing!
This was actually supposed to be a one-piece suit, but I think I put it together incorrectly because when I tried on my creation it was adorable, and far too short, like, it only came up to the edge of my bosom. So I’m pretty sure I might have over-gathered the sides because I lined it all up with the length of the back, but really I shouldn’t have done that, because the back of this amazing pattern (The Bombshell, duh!) is shorter than the front, it’s supposed to hit right at the waist, so if you gather the front to that length….well, you get the idea, sort of only works on a topless beach. And I really didn’t think Gidget would approve of that sort of thing, so I had to figure something else out.
I was a little panicked initially, because I wanted to finish this and another suit for my mom (which went fine, don’t worry, everyone just CALM DOWN OKAY!) before coming to San Juan, because I’m not going to use a swimsuit in New York any time soon, so I was rushing and it was late at night on Tuesday and I had to leave Thursday night and I was like, ahhhhhh what do I do! So I decided to go to bed and figure it out in the morning, and then I tossed and turned, because sewing anxiety keeps me up at night, and finally thought, what if I make a top? So I did!
I used the Bombshell pattern top and just sort of cut it off below the bust line, and then I stitched it to the lining, put in bra cups, put a double line of elastic at the bottom band for support because those things don’t just hold themselves up in the air, added side ties, gathered the front down, and called it a day! Ninja-stitching. Like a boss.
There is the bottom. I like it a lot, I really like the high-waisted thing. It feels fun like a bikini, but gives a lot of coverage, which honestly, is nice! I’m just not a teeny-bikini person, and now that I can make my own I don’t have to suffer under the oppressive yoke of small spandex ever again! Bahahahaha! Freedom!
I didn’t get any photos of this on the beach but I did swim in it and it survived, which is important, for a swimsuit, don’t you think? I bought the fabric online at Girl Charlee and I have to say, mistakes and all, it kind of worked out that it’s a bikini because I think its just so cute!
So there you go, my second suit! I did manage to make one for my mother, too, and I left it in San Juan for her, and spoiler alert, she loves it! How could she not, this pattern is the best! I am filled to the brim with gratitude to Heather who made this pattern, because honestly, it’s just the damn best. Heather is so nice to us, don’t you think? Of course, she has to be, she lives in Canada. Man, you could hate Canada if it wasn’t so nice!
The irony is, I honestly feel more covered up in this suit then I did in my last one, and this is a two piece! What a world.
Okay, I promise, no more summery stuff for a while. Let the fall festivity begin! Flannel ahead, I promise you.