McCalls 8329, One panel, two swimsuits under $15

African American Woman in a pool in McCalls 8329 one-piece swimsuit

McCalls 8329 is on the table because I make a swimsuit or two every year.  I made an Ankara-inspired swimsuit, Vogue 9192, a few years back and the Mimi G Style pattern Simplicity 1116 last year.  Sewing swimwear may seem intimidating, but I promise it’s not too bad once you get the hang of it and understand knits (click here) and elastic.

African American Woman in a pool in McCalls 8329 one-piece swimsuit

This swimwear sewing pattern quickly became my favorite.  Why?  It’s extremely versatile.   The instructions are easy to follow, and it’s inclusive.

Let’s dig into the pattern details below.

Pattern details and features:

This swimwear pattern features two bikinis with high-waisted modest briefs and two styles of bikini tops. 

A single view features a 1-piece suit with a single left shoulder strap.  All views require a decorative ring notion, purchased separately.  I purchased mine at Gail K Fabrics in Atlanta.

Fabric for McCalls 8329

Gail K always has an awesome selection of lycra and fabrics for activewear.  Miami is the only place I’ve seen with more fabrics in the Lycra family.

Gail K Fabrics in Atlanta GA signage

Swimwear.  Any kind of swimwear with lining.  I like mine a little tight for a skimming effect, but essentially it’s a knit.  You’ll need to be able to work with knits and elastic so that I would categorize this pattern in the advanced beginner’s realm.    I would also recommend swimwear elastic, even if you have to order it from Amazon.  

McCalls 8329 swimwear pattern on top of ombre blue lycra

Petite adjustments for McCalls 8329

As I mentioned in the Vogue 9192 pattern adjustments, you may need to make crotch length and depth adjustments. Carefully measuring your seat and hips will help you achieve a comfortable fit for swimming and lounging in McCalls 8329.

The two swimsuits for $15

My sewing journeys are full of cut table stories.  During this adventure and challenge, I was at Gail K Fabrics on Cheshire Bridge Road on my usual quarterly fabric run this time.  I was purposefully buying for summer in the cooler months to give me time to negotiate my creative madness—this time I chose an ombre blue with dark sprinkles and speckles.  

I love the 3D, almost granular appearing texture.  Immediately,  I thought of creating a 1-piece swimsuit, namely McCalls 8329, or maybe a two-piece bikini. And then that’s when it happened. 

Gail K fabric selection of knits

I got to the cut table, and as the clerk opened the fabric, she said two panels, right? Wrong. I will not buy two panels at $15.99 per panel, ma’am.  So here we go.  Her response was, “You will need two panels.”  Me, “Nah, I’ll just take the one.”  The clerk said, “It will not be enough.”  Me (sigh), ” I’ll take the one, thank you.”  

Lycra only lives in my fabric stash to die or be donated, so I didn’t want any extra, even for a cute pattern like McCalls 8329.  Unlike cotton, it’s hard to save for scraps.  You can’t make a quilt out of it.  

 Lycra is in my fabric stash for three purposes–1) swimwear, 2) activewear 3) the recycle bin.  Even scraps of lycra come to my stash to die. I wasn’t taking that chance.  

Back home at my personal cut table

Bikini top for McCalls 8329

The top doesn’t require much fabric, but I wanted it to be white and not dark blue.

Here we go.  I came home and got greedy.  I wanted two swimsuits.  Certainly, there was more than enough fabric for at least one view of the 1-piece for McCalls 8329, but could I squeeze two swimsuits?  That would be a challenge, but I was somehow up for it.  I cut a 16 for the 1-piece and a 14 top for the bikini view.

African American Woman in a pool in McCalls 8329 one-piece swimsuit

I love this swimsuit and the bikini. They are perfect for lounging by the pool, fun-in-the-sun, a beach day, or actual swimming. I’m planning on making the other bikini just for fun and practice.

African American Woman in a pool in McCalls 8329 one-piece swimsuit

The bikini is a jewel also; sometimes you feel like a 1-piece, sometimes you feel like a bikini; that’s the beauty of McCalls 8329; you get it all in one pattern envelope.

African American Woman in a pool in McCalls 8329 bikini swimsuit

Are you up to sewing your own swimwear? Do you have a favorite swimsuit sewing pattern or one that you like better than McCalls 8329? Drop me a comment below.

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