In  Swimwear

Sewing Adventures – Alison Swimsuit

By Susan | Comments: 3 | August 4, 2015


Wow just wow, I almost don’t have words for how bad the instructions and pattern for these BurdaStyle Alison swimmers are. I expect Burda instructions to be brief and I’m fine with that as I rarely read pattern instructions to begin with. But when the pattern pieces themselves are mislabeled, missing information, have spelling mistakes and in some cases have no label at all. Well I was skeptical.

That skepticism was warranted. So I threw out the instructions, labelled the pattern pieces correctly and got cutting. These swimmers are going to be an instore sample for Pitt Trading. I work there a few days a week and they just took delivery of the most amazing collection of designer lycra.

front view

This floral is beautiful, has a beautiful thick handfeel but with good drape and stretch. The print is on the oversize side so grab a little extra to ensure you can centre your print for maximum impact. I matched it with a contrast colour to emphasise the bust gathers and wide straps.

front gathers

My lovely model here is a few sizes smaller than what I made so she isn’t filling out the bust or bottom quite right. I’m not happy at all with the wide band at the lower back gaping. I think I perhaps I need to stretch it some more or possibly it flattens out on someone with more curves?

back view

back gape

The way I’ve added the band to the swimsuit and then up into the neck ties is not great. It looks clean but it just felt overly complex to sew. It’s one of the areas I’ll take a look at to improve construction of the next time.

side gathersI overlocked the leg opening with elastic then turned it under and added a 3 step zig zag topstitch. It was so neat and easy that I’m using it as my go to swimwear finish.

leg finishing

Despite the pattern dramas I think it’s a really cute swimsuit. I’m hoping I get some time to write down my method of assembly so I can remember what I did when I make another pair.


  • Catherine
    August 4, 2015

    i attempted to sew that swimsuit many moons ago and threw it out! i made so many mistakes with the shonky instructions and the same thing with the band gaping at the back also happened to me…
    On the other hand, ive been seeing tid-bits of these lycras around the internet, im going to have to get down there soon

  • Jillian - SewUnravelled
    August 5, 2015

    Nightmare! It does look like the drafting is off somewhere. The piece in the centre of the bust/bodice looks too long but maybe it’s good on a bigger bust size (unlike mine LOL). It all just sounds too hard. I might have a look elsewhere for mine, but it is a really lovely design… Perfect lycra though, just gorgeous!

  • Bec
    August 6, 2015

    I hear you about BurdaStyle patterns! I’ve had to steer clear of them because the pattern pieces don’t add up. I bought one pattern for a top that seemed to contain pattern pieces for a skirt! Your suit turned out great though, so kudos for continuing with it. 🙂

Comments are closed.




Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



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