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Barbara I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life.

A friend of mine from my sewing world has put me in touch with a book called Designing your life. To boil it down to its essence the idea is that rather than working towards the one right thing for you, and being dismayed when something doesn't work out, you should work with the idea of prototypes, build a trial model and if it works move forward, and if it doesn't learn what you can and then toss that one aside, no hard feelings. To translate this - think of your life as a series of muslins.

Test garments that may help you refine the fit or might alert you to a dud pattern before you ruin the good fabric. Who beats themselves up because the muslin wasn't wearable? Don't most of us accept that it is part of the process? Imagine if you thought of your life in terms of muslins. That degree you never used when you should have studied something else. That dumb relationship that used up years of your life. The dead end job you stayed in too long. What if you just shrugged and figured, well that's was just a muslin.

I could never have figured it out if I hadn't made that one first? That's how I got it right. Fairly liberating and helps remove the fear of trying new things, because you accept that not everything will work out, and you don't get a good fit without a few trials.

The idea of sew-alongs has been like that for me. I had this idea that because I was doing a lot of one thing that it would be logical to organize my thoughts around a garment type.

Other people call these sew-alongs so I did too. The thing is that this sort of thing doesn't suit my random style or my hard to schedule life. I write flypaper thoughts I realize because I have a flypaper mind with highly random sewing ideas fitting themselves into the rest of living.

So with that said I have decided to write a big honest post with all my thoughts on swimwear and if any of you have any questions please leave them in the comments. I will see what I can do to fill in any blanks. Does this make sense? The thing is that swimwear and water have been in my mind all week. Do you have time for a dream I had that has been haunting me? Sort of connects a lot of things. Well this is was my dream three nights ago. I was standing on the bank of a river watching a herd?

I know golden retrievers, I never said my dreams were heavy. Any way they were all doing well and everyone was happy until I noticed one dog under the water. My heart stopped and I looked closer. What had happened was this one dog had put its four feet down and touched bottom. If you have ever swum in unfamiliar waters you would know the feeling of how good it feels to touch bottom and I guess this dog felt like that.

The problem was that by touching bottom this dog had its head about a foot below the surface of the water, which of course survival-wise would be a problem. There I was on the bank shouting at this dog saying - it's OK just let go and kick up and you will be able to breathe and move ahead and be safe. But of course I knew that the surface of the water was only a little way up and the dog couldn't know that.

What the dog knew was that the bottom was familiar and felt safe. Well you don't need a Phd in psychology to figure this out but when I woke up, in a panic, I started to wonder about how many of us keep reaching to feel bottom. I told my husband about this dream right away and he said "Why are all your dreams about dogs?

Mine are about cars. This is what I deal with. So on the subject of moving water let's talk about swimsuits. The last we left it we were talking about lining. To my mind there is only one way to attach a lining and that is to zig zag most pieces, back lining excepted, to the main body fabric with a medium zig zag.

To make everything look very pretty try to let the swing of the needle go just off the edge of the fabric. This will make a sort of vague scallop edge finish. Here is how I pinned the lining to the inside of the Fabric Crush maternity suit before I stitched it in place: Different types may be worn by men, women, and children. Swimwear is described by a number of names, some of which are used only in particular locations, including swimsuit , bathing suit , swimming costume , bathing costume , swimming suit , swimmers , swimming togs , bathers , cossie short for "costume" , or swimming trunks for men, besides others.

A swimsuit can be worn as an undergarment in sports that require a wetsuit such as water skiing , scuba diving , surfing , and wakeboarding. Swimsuits may also be worn to display the wearer's physical attributes , as in the case of beauty pageants or bodybuilding contests, and glamour photography and magazines like the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue feature models and sports personalities in swimsuits.

There is a very wide range of styles of modern swimsuits available, which vary as to body coverage and materials. The choice of style may depend on community standards of modesty , as well as current fashions , and personal preferences.

The choice will also consider the occasion, for example whether it is to be worn for a passive occasion such as sunbathing or for an activity such as surfing or swimsuit competition.

Swimwear for men usually exposes the chest, while suits for women usually cover at least the breasts. Rayon was used in the s in the manufacture of tight-fitting swimsuits, [1] but its durability, especially when wet, proved problematic, [2] with jersey and silk also sometimes being used. In the s, new materials were being developed and use in swimwear, particularly latex and nylon , and swimsuits gradually began hugging the body, [4] especially women's swimsuits.

In western culture, men's swimsuit styles include boardshorts , jammers , swim trunks , briefs or " speedos ", thongs , and g-strings , in order of decreasing lower body coverage, and Women's swimsuits include one-piece , bikinis , or thongs. While they go through many trends in pattern, length and cut there is not much modification to the original variety of suit. A recent innovation is the burqini , favored by some Muslim women, which covers the whole body and head but not face in a manner similar to a diver's wetsuit.

These are an updated version of full-body swimwear, which has been available for centuries , but conforms with Islam 's traditional emphasis on modest dress. In Egypt , the term " Sharia swimsuit" is used to describe full-body swimwear. One piece swimsuit covers the crotch and buttocks, available in stylistic variations and generally refers to a bikini bottom or thong worn alone without a top. In other cultures particularly the UK the term 'trunks' is used to describe swim briefs, although it has been increasingly common for any men's swimwear to be generically described as 'trunks'.

Swimsuits can be skin-tight or loose-fitting. They are often lined with another layer of fabric if the outer fabric becomes transparent when wet. Swimsuits range from designs that almost completely cover the body to designs that expose almost all of the body.

The choice of swimsuit will depend on personal and community standards of modesty and on considerations such as how much or how little sun protection is desired, and prevailing fashions. Almost all swimsuits cover the genitals and pubic hair , while most except thongs or G-string cover much or all of the buttocks.

Most swimsuits in western culture leave at least the head, shoulders, arms, and lower part of the leg below the knee exposed. Women's swimsuits generally cover at least the areola and bottom half of the breasts , but some are designed for the top part of the swimsuit to be removed.

In many countries, young girls and sometimes women choose not to wear a swimsuit top, and this can vary with the occasion, location, age, etc. Both men and women may sometimes wear swimsuits covering more of the body when swimming in cold water see also wetsuit and dry suit. In colder temperatures, the swimwear is needed to conserve body heat and protect the body core from hypothermia. Competitive swimwear refers to the swimsuit , clothing, equipment and accessories used in the aquatic sports of swimming , diving , synchronized swimming , triathlon and water polo.

Some swimsuits are designed specifically for swimming competitions where they may be constructed of a special low resistance fabric that reduces skin drag. For some kinds of swimming and diving, special bodysuits called "diveskins" are worn. These suits are made from spandex and provide little thermal protection, but they do protect the skin from stings and abrasion. Most competitive swimmers also wear special swimsuits including partial bodysuits , racerback styles, jammers and racing briefs to assist their glide through the water thus gaining a speed advantage.

Unlike regular swimsuits, which are designed mainly for the aesthetic appearances, swimsuits designed to be worn during competitions are manufactured to assist the athlete in swim competitions. They reduce friction and drag in the water, increasing the efficiency of the swimmer's forward motion. The tight fits allow for easy movement and are said to reduce muscle vibration, [9] thus reducing drag.

This also reduces the possibility that a high forwards dive will remove a divers swimwear. Starting around , in an effort to improve the effectiveness of the swimsuits, engineers have taken to designing them to replicate the skin of sea-based animals, sharks in particular. The new policy was implemented to combat the issues associated with performance enhancing swimsuits, hindering the ability to accurately measure the performance of swimmers [10].

Subsequently, the new ruling states that men's swimsuits may maximally cover the area from the navel to the knee, and women's counterparts from the shoulder to the knee. Some swimmers use a specialized training suit called drag suits to artificially increase drag during practice. Drag suits are swimwear with an outer layer of looser fabric — often mesh or nylon — to increase resistance against the water and build up the swimmer's endurance.

They come in a variety of styles, but most resemble a looser fitting square-cut or swim brief. Germs, bacteria, and mold can grow very quickly on wet bathing suits.

Medical professionals warn that wearing damp swimwear for long periods of time can cause a number of infections and rashes in children and adults, and warn against sharing bathing suits with others.

In public swimming pools in France for reasons of hygiene, it is only permitted to wear closer fitting styles of swimwear. Men, for instance, must wear "Speedo" style bathing suits and not baggy shorts or trunks. In classical antiquity swimming and bathing were done naked. There are Roman murals which show women playing sports and exercising wearing two-piece suits covering the areas around their breasts and hips in a fashion remarkably similar to the present-day bikini.

However, there is no evidence that they were used for swimming. All classical pictures of swimming show nude swimmers. In various cultural traditions one swims, if not in the nude, in a version in suitable material of a garment or undergarment commonly worn on land, e. In the United Kingdom until the midth century there was no law against nude swimming, and each town was free to make its own laws.

For example, the Bath Corporation official bathing dress code of prescribed, for men:. It is Ordered Established and Decreed by this Corporation that no Male person above the age of ten years shall at any time hereafter go into any Bath or Baths within this City by day or by night without a Pair of Drawers and a Waistcoat on their bodies.

In rivers, lakes, streams and the sea men swam in the nude, where the practice was common. Those who didn't swim in the nude, stripped to their underwear. The English practice of men swimming in the nude was banned in the United Kingdom in Drawers, or caleçons as they were called, came into use in the s. Even then there were many who protested against them and wanted to remain in the nude.

Francis Kilvert described men's bathing suits coming into use in the s as "a pair of very short red and white striped drawers". Female bathing costumes were derived from those worn at Bath and other spas. It would appear that until the s nude female bathing in the spas was the norm and that after that time women bathed clothed. Celia Fiennes gave a detailed description of the standard ladies' bathing costume in The Gentlemen have drawers and wastcoates of the same sort of canvas, this is the best linning, for the bath water will Change any other yellow.

No Female person shall at any time hereafter go into a Bath or Baths within this City by day or by night without a decent Shift on their bodies. The ladies wear jackets and petticoats of brown linen, with chip hats, in which they fix their handkerchiefs to wipe the sweat from their faces; but, truly, whether it is owing to the steam that surrounds them, or the heat of the water, or the nature of the dress, or to all these causes together, they look so flushed, and so frightful, that I always turn my eyes another way.

The only difference is in the fabric the costumes are made of. Flannel, however, was a common fabric for sea bathing costumes as many believed the warmer fabric was necessary in cold water.

In the 18th century women wore "bathing gowns" in the water; these were long dresses of fabrics that would not become transparent when wet, with weights sewn into the hems so that they would not rise up in the water. The men's swim suit, a rather form-fitting wool garment with long sleeves and legs similar to long underwear , was developed and would change little for a century.

In the 19th century, the woman's double suit was common, comprising a gown from shoulder to knees plus a set of trousers with leggings going down to the ankles. In the Victorian era , popular beach resorts were commonly equipped with bathing machines designed to avoid the exposure of people in swimsuits, especially to people of the opposite sex. In the United States, beauty pageants of women in bathing costumes became popular from the s.

However, such events were not regarded as respectable. Beauty contests became more respectable with the first modern " Miss America " contest held in , though less respectable beauty contests continued to be held. In , the swimmer Annette Kellerman from Australia visited the United States as an "underwater ballerina", a version of synchronized swimming involving diving into glass tanks.

She was arrested for indecent exposure because her swimsuit showed arms, legs and the neck. Kellerman changed the suit to have long arms and legs and a collar, still keeping the close fit that revealed the shapes underneath. She later starred in several movies , including one about her life. She marketed a line of bathing suits and her style of one-piece suits came to be known as "the Annette Kellerman". The Annette Kellerman was considered the most offensive style of swimsuit in the s and became the focus of censorship efforts.

Despite opposition from some groups, the form-fitting style proved popular. It was not long before swimwear started to shrink further. At first arms were exposed and then legs up to mid-thigh. Necklines receded from around the neck down to around the top of the bosom. The development of new fabrics allowed for new varieties of more comfortable and practical swimwear.

Annette Kellerman in her one-piece bathing suit. Due to the figure-hugging nature of these garments, glamour photography since the s and s has often featured people wearing swimsuits. This type of glamour photography eventually evolved into swimsuit photography exemplified by the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Beauty contests also required contestants to wear form-fitting swimsuits. The first bikinis appeared just after World War II. Early examples were not very different from the women's two pieces common since the s, except that they had a gap below the breast line allowing for a section of bare midriff.

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