Let me start off by admitting that this project did not end up like I thought it would and my hack for the "bra" top part of the sweetheart dress bodice ended up looking like "a bra for a toddler" (my friend Crystal's description.) The unfortunate thing was that I didn't realize it until I had sewn the bodice together and put it on, which meant that I couldn't just replace the pieces. I was going to have to figure out another solution and topstitch it on the bodice.
Luckily, with running costumes, no one really looks all that close at your seamwork. And if they did, then my Sofia the First dress probably received a lot of judging looks, because my first regular pattern to running costume pattern hack was a complete structural fail.
Anyway, it three episodes of Fargo and an extreme amount of patience to figure out how to coverup my tiny toddler bra cups and mimic the sweetheart neckline. I ended up using the smallest zig zag setting on my machine to faux embroider the cups on. With the bodice figured out, I sewed on the skirt.
Here's where I parted from the inspiration. In the original Barbie, the bottom of the swimsuit is a stretched out seam making the bottom come together at a diagonal. That's all good and well for a doll dress, but the practicality of such a design doesn't really translate into a the real world. After all, Barbie's swimsuit is more or less a striped sock.
I ended up taking more of the 1920s swim dress approach and did a half circle a-line skirt that matched the stripes of the bodice. Since I'm going to be wearing this for a half marathon, it's more important that the structure be good, even if it departs from the original inspiration. After sewing the skirt to the bodice, I trimmed the seams and left the edges raw, since the spandex has a clean finish.
With the dress totally done, it was time to turn my attention to my Barbie legs. Since I'm not blessed with thighs that allow me to run in just a dress, I needed to make some bottoms. I turned to Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs. (I've previously reviewed that pattern here.) I went ahead and made full-length leggings because the weather forecast for my race Sunday keeps changing. With full leggings, I'll have the best chance at staying warm and/or dry depending on what Mother Nature throws at me. I forgot to add the gusset, so my promise for a step-by-step tutorial won't happen this time.
Ready for the full costume reveal? You can find it here.