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Bathers at Bunker Bay

Megan Nielsen handmade swimsuits at Bunker Bay WA

Last year for my Dad’s 60th we went to Bunker Bay in Western Australia to celebrate and had the most wonderful magical time playing on the beach and exploring the sights. I made new swimsuits for Bunny, Birdie and myself, and now that I’ve released the Cottesloe swimsuit pattern I can finally show you a few family photos of us enjoying our swimsuits on holiday!

Megan Nielsen handmade swimsuits at Bunker Bay WA
Megan Nielsen handmade swimsuits at Bunker Bay WA

For myself I made the View D bikini – this is the high waisted bikini with wide waistband and wide underbust band. I actually didn’t include a waistband in this set initially, instead opting to use 1/4″ elastic at the waistline as you would do for View C. After a while of wearing it this way I found I didn’t really like it and much preferred my suits with the wide waistband, so I unpicked the waist and added the waistband. Super easy. Isn’t that the great thing about sewing? I love being able to alter my clothing whenever I want! I actually used an athletic fabric here from Sew Active Fabrics as a bit of an experiment (this one), and gosh it works well!

You probably recognise the fabric from our View C pattern sample. I loved this fabric so much I couldn’t help but use it again in our samples! I’ve worn this swimsuit swimming in the ocean and the pool and everywhere for two years and it still looks brand new. I even use the top as a sports bra! I’m pretty tempted to try more active wear fabrics for swimwear from now on. It feels so supportive and didn’t need any lining so that’s another win in my book.

Megan Nielsen handmade swimsuits at Bunker Bay WA
Megan Nielsen handmade swimsuits at Bunker Bay WA

For Bunny I made her a bikini crop top to go under her rashie, bikini bottoms and a matching rashie. The rashie was self drafted but for the bikini top and bikini bottoms I used the Peekaboo classic panties pattern and it worked really well! By the time I made Birdies i got a bit smarter and instead of drafting a whole new pattern for the rashie I just used the Mini Briar tee as my base and it sewed up like a dream! Her bikini bottoms are also the Peekaboo classic panties pattern. Poor Buddy missed out this time on a handmade suit as I honestly couldn’t find any good boys swimsuit fabric. It was so frustrating!

I bought swim lycra for both of these swim sets at Tessuti fabrics and though Birdie’s suit has lasted really well, Bunny’s is absolutely shredded. This is one of the ways that I learnt that swim lycra is fantastic but has it’s limitations. Bunny does weekly swim lessons year round, and I think that just sped up the natural rate of decay for swim lycra. Birdie’s set on the other hand is still perfect.

This year when I made my kids new rashies and swimmers for summer I ended up purchasing the rashie pattern from Peekaboo patterns. I would definitely recommend that rashie pattern – it’s fantastic!

Megan Nielsen handmade swimsuits at Bunker Bay WA
Megan Nielsen handmade swimsuits at Bunker Bay WA

So that’s a little run down of our handmade swimsuits! I haven’t got photos of me wearing my other Cottesloe swimsuits, so i’ll try and take some flat lays so i can show you what they look like! I may or may not have made Bunny and I matching swim sets…

Megan Nielsen handmade swimsuits at Bunker Bay WA
About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Jean Carnwell
Jean Carnwell
3 years ago

Ahh….. just saw the words bunker bay, happy memories. We enjoyed part of a big winter trip there almost 10 years ago when my partner retired. Making memories is what life is all about. Lovely to see your family pictures, and read your blog. Thanks for sharing .
72 yrs old brit, now some health issues, but am getting into dressmaking, simple shapes in nice fabrics, you indie designers are amazing . Thank you jeanx

Lia
Lia
3 years ago

What a lovely day! I don’t usually feel envious of children but as a fair-skinned lady my only choices as a kid on the beach were 1. reapply sunscreen hourly (rubbing sand in at the same time), 2. wear a big dorky t-shirt or 3. burn and peel. Rashguards are SO CUTE and functional and I want one and I want my childhood self to have had one! Ha!

Benerese
Benerese
2 years ago

Cute swimsuits! Pity you couldn’t have just made one for your son, it’s always so silly to me that girls can wear pretty much any colour, shade, or pattern, but only a certain narrow subset of things are acceptable for boys, lest their masculinity be tainted by a cute floral print, haha!