Friday, February 10, 2017

Modesty for the Active Woman : Swimming, Part 2

Hey y'all,

This is the second half of the Swimming post for my Modesty for the Active Woman series. In this post, I'll be outlining how to "modest-ify" a one-piece swimsuit. Any suggestion by me is purely from my personal experience, which is fallible. 

Ok, we've all been swimsuit shopping, looking for that one that covers the most. Most will be ok in the front, but almost nothing in the back. Yet, it fits and looks so well on you…….
I know I've been in that situation. I had just embraced modesty when I realized that all of my old suits were simply too small for me. I went shopping in SteinMart and picked up a pretty black one-piece with a blue design on the front. 
Here is one that was very similar in style :

For years afterward, I was wearing a rash shirt over it to cover my back, and later leggings to cover my legs (I get cold in the water). But I felt it still wasn't enough, and my family was getting a little exasperated because I kept covering up my suit.
Finally, I said enough's enough. I had to find a way to make this darn thing more modest without changing the suit itself.

How did I do it? 

1. I looked at my suit to see what the dominant color was. The idea was that I wanted the rest of the outfit to look like it belonged with the suit. In my case it was black. Easy peasy. If your suit is a pattern, such as a floral, stripe, or art deco, it may be harder to spot a dominant color. If that is the case, look for the background color or see if you can match an accenting color or choose a complementary color.   
2. I picked up matching black swimsuit fabric at Joann's. For a small woman (5'3"), I would pick up 1.5-2 yards of 45” fabric. For a taller woman, I would pick up at least 2-3 yards. I made a simple straight skirt (see my note below). For this style, I wouldn't recommend going much longer than the Vatican-approved standards, simply because of the fact that this skirt will have the tendency to stick. All skirts will do it, unfortunately. Circle skirt patterns have also been used for swim skirts, but I've not tried it yet. 

Note: The way that my fabric measured out, I was able to cut the fabric lengthwise along the fold line and have enough length for a Vatican-approved length skirt, and have plenty of width. If you are between 5'4” - 5'8", I would recommend that you add a ruffle to the bottom if you do it this way, which will call for extra fabric. 

4. For the skirt, make a narrow hem and a ½-1” casing. Gather till the skirt fits you rather snugly, and then sew in elastic. Sew sides together.
5. Make a raglan-sleeved shirt out of the swimsuit fabric, long enough to cover most of your rear. This style is what most rash shirts are. In fact, I copied my own rash shirt in order to make this. The reason I say to make it that long is so that it has less of a chance of 'popping out' and exposing your back when swimming. This style of shirt has no shaping in the bust area, so it is safe to wear under swimsuits with built in support (like mine!).
6. Use any extra fabric to make a pair of shorts, if you so desire.
When putting this outfit together, put the shirt first. Then put your one-piece on. Put on your shorts/leggings (if applicable) and then your skirt last.

Some things that I have learned from experience: 

1. Swim fabric is still clingy. It will stick to your body as you come out of the water. This is why I made my skirt very wide and full.
2. Swim skirts tend to soak up water (a LOT of water). You will soak multiple towels. If the sun is hot, I would honestly recommend drip drying 😁 
3. Remember in my last post when I said to add leggings/shorts? Here is the reason: air bubbles can become trapped by your skirt, causing it to lift/balloon. Sure, try to avoid that, but maintain your dignity at the same time. Because of ease of movement, the skirt mostly pull away by your movements too. Might as well have your bases covered (including accidents involving separation, not that I think that will happen....). I would recommend going to at least right above the knee. I swim with full length leggings only because I get very cold in the water rather quickly. 

In the future, I will post pictures of my suit to the blog. Unfortunately, due to it being winter, it's hibernating.....

Old-fashionably yours, 

Farm Lassie

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How are you, dear friend? Come closer to the fire, and make yourself comfortable! I'd love to hear what you've been thinking about! I only ask that proper decorum be observed.

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