Friday, August 23rd, 2013
Vintage Sutro Baths Swimsuit recreation
As a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, I grew up with stories of the long-gone Sutro Baths. The Sutro Baths were a huge swimming complex located along the ocean near to the Golden Gate Bridge. Pictures from that time make it look like a truly amazing and fun place to visit.
Some Sutro Baths swimsuits have survived and are in private collections. Once I saw a suit go up for auction on eBay and it sold for an impressive sum. Eitherway, it was unlikely I would ever come into ownership of a real Sutro Baths swimsuit.
I decided to recreate the Sutro Baths swimsuit using a vintage swimsuit and recreating the Sutro Baths logo from historical photos.
Here’s the process I went through:
Researching old Sutro Baths imagery to find a clear examples of the logo and placement.
Finding imagery of of the logo that was as straight-on as possible (This was the one that sold on eBay).
Rejigger the logo using Photoshop
Printing out the logo and hand tracing it to make a cleaner version.
Printing out the correctly scaled logo and spray-glueing it to some card stock to make the stencil. Cut out with an Xacto knife.
Darning holes in the swimsuit. There were quite a bit of these to take care of before applying the logo.
Pinning the stencil to the swimsuit and the cardboard frame I put inside the suit to keep everything stretched flat.
I applied basic acrylic paint with a brush and make-up sponge . Focus on multiple coats instead of just one thick one.
Let the suit fully dry and cut off any whiskers around the logo. I had a few that made the logo look a bit fuzzy and needed to be trimmed off.
Note the pins holding the suit to the cardboard while it dries.
Wear it and have fun with your friends!