It's done! I have finally made that bathing suit I have been thinking about for two summers!
After my first attempt with the bad fabric, I didn't have the guts to cut into the new stuff straight away. This weekend, I turned to it again.
I could list quite a lot of flaws about it, but lets start with the positives:
First of all it's pin-up-tastic (there's a very interesting discussion over at Gertie's blog about whether men find vintage sexy and whether any girl should care about that. However, for a bathing suit, I think a fairly modest pin-up look is good). I just love how the skirt-bit over longish shorts turned out. And how curvy it looks. It would have been good without the waist belt as well, but it is an extra accent.
What I don't like is how the ruching on the cups ended up looking. It's just to baggy and sagging (that's the strange bulge you can see at my side in the back view). There's a fitted bust lining underneath, so it won't create trouble in wearing it, but it's not a look I was going for. I tried out the shape on my bad-fabric bathing suit and it seemed Ok but then again, that fabric behaved quite differently and I didn't have any of the edge elastic in. I guess the cups were a bit of an afterthought to me, I was focussing mainly on the bottom and waist treatment.
There are more flaws which can be blamed on making assumptions about an unreliable muslin. Like the hole in the back. It's fine, but actually a bit lower than I thought it would be. I lowered it after the first try because it looked so high there. In the end, that fabric was just way stretchier (although, of course, it didn't stretch back).
There's one last thing which annoys me a bit: the first attempt taught me I would need elastic at the top edge of the front shorts to keep it in place. I put elastic in, and it fits fine but it pulls at the side seam. I can't think of any way I could have avoided that, so I'm not going to worry about it.
Despite all the comments I made above: this is my first ever piece of swimwear, I know I didn't make things easy for myself with drafting my own pattern and coming up with a design like this and I'm very pleased with it!