Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kwik Sew 3696

Pattern Review

Pattern: Kwik Sew 3696

Description: View A bikini has lined bra with ties in casings, gathering cups at
armhole edges and center front. Bra ties at center back and at
back neck. Panty has front lining, elastic at waist and leg openings,
and ties in casings at sides. View B tankini has lined cups, ties in
casings at armhole edges, gathering cups, and tie at center front.
Top ties at back neck. Panty has front lining, and elastic at waist
and leg openings. Skirt has elastic at waist and fits at high hip.

Sizing: Women’s XS to XL. I made this up in some older swimsuit fabric using a Small in the top and bottom. One twin needs this sizing and the other needs a XS top and small bottoms. I was so happy I used the older fabric the first time. Meredith would have been very disappointed if her cute red, white and blue fabric didn’t fit her!

Instructions: As always, the instructions in Kwik Sew patterns are excellent. They are easy to follow and the swimsuit is easy to sew.

Likes/Dislikes: A big like is several variations in this pattern. You can mix and match the bottoms and tops, plus the skirt is available for a coverup. The sizing is another plus, a nice range of sizes to make a custom fit swimsuit.

Changes: One change is I lined the front and the back of the bottoms. Also, Anne St. Clair is a dear friend and was a guest on Episode 5 of my podcast. This was all about swimsuits. If you click on the link, you will find a wide array of information for making swimsuits. My girls have a problem with the legs of the bottoms of a RTW suit being to big. Especially, the back not staying in place. Anne has a great tip for elastic:
ELASTICS—It is important to use an elastic that is designed for swimwear. 3/8” is the most common width. It is BASICALLY put on in a 1:1 ratio except for the back leg of the garment. The formula that I use for a basic one piece suit is: ARMHOLES—less 1”, NECKLINE—less 2”, LEGS - Front less 1” and Back less 3”. You should always measure your pattern pieces and not your garment. Be sure to deduct any seam allowances from your measurement and then deduct the appropriate amount for each area. The elastics are designed to keep your suit in place and not to pull the fabrics to the body to make it fit you.

The bottoms stay in place perfectly, Anne’s tip is a great one and I have always had success with it.

One thing I need to do to this suit, is stitch the strap in place at the top of the suit. The tie strap is inserted into a casing at the side of the bra top. When, swimming the bra top wants to go down a bit. A simple line of stitching will keep the top higher on the strap.

Fabric: Very cute fabric from Anne’s store, Needle Nook Fabrics I send Anne an email with the fabric I am looking for, she sends me a picture of a few bolts. The girls and I then pick the ones we like.

Conclusion: A very cute swimsuit. My daughters are thrilled and so am I. I am always amazed how quick it is to sew a swimsuit.

Front view:

Back View:

I have one more to make for Kaitlyn from some purple and blue plaid fabric. Then they want a couple of one-piece suits.


  1. that is a very cute suit. will have to keep that pattern in mind the next time i need a suit.

    just think about how much money you are saving by sewing your own!

  2. a really cute suit, Lori!..and exceptionally sewn, as usual...:)

  3. Your daughter looks great in her new suit!
    Thanks for the tips on elastic.

  4. I think its soooo kewl that you make these suits! And isn't Ann wonderful!!!

  5. Anonymous12:46 PM

    Love the suit. You do a great job and with a pool you need lots of suits. g

  6. Nice suit! I imagine having a pool, your family would need a lot of swimwear.

  7. Really cute suit and great fit! Lucky girls to have a mom who sews!

  8. Lori,
    It looks fantastic. I've got a swimsuit cut out for my daughter I need to get put together. Yours looks great.

  9. Fabulous. I was going to make bikinis for DD last summer and just sort of lost enthusiasm for it.

  10. Michelle5:28 PM

    Very cute!!

  11. Very cute, it looks great!

  12. Wonderful suits! You have inspired me!
    I have managed to conquer a "bra" this summer and I want to tackle a suit for my girls.I will put it on my list for next summer and refer to your great reviews. Thank you!