I'm a fan of Seamstress Erin's blog (here), and a long time ago I signed up with her to be a pattern tester. The call for testers for the Laminaria Swimsuit came at a time when I'd decided I needed to get out of my comfort zone, stretch myself, try new things, and maybe even do something scary. The timing wasn't convenient, I was busy, I had so many excuses... but I did it anyway.
I wouldn't have chosen to make a swimsuit on my own this summer. I've made swimwear before and it's not hard. In fact you can get really good results without a lot of effort, and the stretch factor makes fitting less of an issue. I really don't wear a swimsuit often though. We have a pool that is unused now that the kids are grown. We visit the beach about once a year but I don't usually get in the water. I'm not much of a swimmer and I'm not comfortable wearing only a little piece of spandex in public so the two ready-to-wear swimsuits I own will probably last another decade at least.
So why would I test a swimsuit pattern? Just to try something new and different. And it was an amazing experience! There was a private Facebook group where we could share our feedback and experiences. It reminded me of what book clubs must be like for people who enjoy them. (I love to read but it's a personal experience for me, not a social one. I guess I'm a solitary reader and a social sewist.) There was also a little bit of a fear factor involved - allowing a photo of me in a swimsuit to be posted online. Funny that should scare me. I don't have any major body image issues and I don't really care what people think of me, but there is this feeling that a swimsuit "model" should be young and/or thin. (As if mid-weight, middle-aged women don't wear swimsuits? Oh yeah, I don't. Haha.)
Well, I tried something new (pattern testing), got out of my comfort zone (by adding one more time commitment to my crazy busy life), and scared myself (being seen in public in a swimsuit). And I actually love this swimsuit and feel really comfortable in it. It has good leg coverage without feeling frumpy. The back shows skin but the straps hold everything securely in place.
This was such a good experience to start getting out of the creative rut I've been in. It's time to start sewing more things that aren't my normal style. It's time to try new things and look at things in a different way. It's time to find joy in the journey, not just the destination, and embrace all the adventure I can find in life.
Note: This is not an affiliate link, but I like the swimsuit and I'm really grateful to Erin for giving me this experience so I'm happy to send people her way. I did receive the pattern for free but the supplies, time and opinions are my own.