Monday, October 11, 2010

Back in the swim

I was perusing the active wear section at the Magical Thrift last week and caught a glimpse of avocado fringe between a blue crocheted bikini and a pair of black bike shorts.  I moved the two garments aside and was excited to see this sweet vintage swimsuit trimmed in hip-swinging fringe! I checked inside and saw the DeWeese Originals label and, once again, let loose with that little shriek of joy.

It was marked a size 12/34 and I estimated its age circa late 60s/early 70s.  As I inspected its condition I began to think "Maybe this is wearable!" It was marked a beyond reasonable $2.95 so into the cart it went.

When I got home I inspected the suit more closely and found that the foam in the bra had hardened into little yellow crumbs. I decided to replace the bra liner and, luckily, found one in my repair bin o'tricks.  First, I trimmed away the thin, yellowed cotton and removed the hardened foam.

Then I hand laundered the suit and hung it to dry.  After it dried, I hand stitched the new bra on top of the original lining and then cut away the old bra cups underneath. 

Everything went perfectly except for one unfortunate accident. When I was trimming away the old bra my scissors caught the swimsuit fabric and I made a little v-shaped cut at the left side of the bust.   (Expletive deleted.)  I found some matching thread and handstitched it closed. It's noticeable but not awful. Lesson learned: be careful with those Ginghers! 

After repairing my repair, I steam-blocked the exterior of the swimsuit over an oversized lightbulb in an attempt to round out the bullet-shaped bustline. I had some success but it's still a bit pointy....suggesting sunbathing in cold weather.  Maybe I'll wear it when we go to Maui in the Spring. We'll see.


  1. Those DeWeese pieces are a dream! I've seen so many new maxi dresses in the past few years that are pretty much exact duplicates of their gorgeous vintage ones. And they are all made so well. Congratulations.

    And it's my favorite color!

  2. Fabulous find! Perhaps an applique over the expletive?

  3. all the blood rushed to my head when i saw the small thumbnail photo....THEN reading the whole are indeed the chosen one! excellent snag my friend, as we like to say here in TX!

  4. Thanks, Molly!
    Helen- You're right...the quality is amazing.This is the second DeWeese vintage swimsuit I've found. The first I gave to a flickr contact who I knew would love it.
    evolutionarycatalyst- That's a super idea! Thanks.
    karol ann- That's exactly how I felt when I found it in the store. :)


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