August 27, 2017

An actual bikini!

So, I ended up waiting for pictures again. And last week I ended up being very busy. In fact, I already know the coming month will be a very busy one. I will still try to keep up the blogging but I don't expect I will be able to do more than one post a week. 
At least I now have pictures from two more things I made during the summer holiday from my teaching job.

In the swimsuit post, I told you I was inspired to try and make more swimwear, in different styles. And that I had to wait for new swimwear elastic to be delivered. This is what I made once I got my hands on that elastic. A bikini!

My sister bought this fabric, lycra with a print of reeds or leaves of grass on a background which is a gradient from black to white via turquoise, years ago. A year or so later, she gave it to me. The colours suit me, so I thought it would be nice to put it to good use now.

I used the darker parts of the gradient for the bottom and the lighter ones for the top. I didn't pay to much attention to the placement of the, very random, print. Maybe I could have made the cups look better if I had, but I'm not so sure about that.

For the bottoms, I used the same low-leg cut as one the swimsuit. I picked a nice height for the top by playing around with the top edge of high waisted underwear I had made before. Which didn't turn out well. I was too low and I cut off the top edge elastic and put on a wide-ish band of the fabric instead.

For the top, I used my tried-and-tested bra pattern with the horizontally seamed cup. This works as a strapless bra but here I added halter straps (which are not very supportive but they don't have to be). 

I made things more difficult for myself by using an alternative method to apply the elastic at the edges. For this, you sew the elastic to the edge on the inside and then under stitch only through lining and elastic. The good thing about this is that you avoid extra stitching on the outside of the garment. The downside is that it is fiddly, takes more careful planning and handling and even with that, it can still go horribly wrong if the amounts of stretch of fashion fabric and lining are too different. In this case, the lining had a lot more vertical stretch which caused all sorts of problems with the bottoms. Fortunately, I could fix those when I had to cut off the top edge anyway. To avoid more drama, I stitched the elastic on the top edge of the wings of the top in the normal way.

So, now I have a bikini! With a foam cupped top no less. I may still make another set of swimwear: the most practical one, a bikini which would work well under a wetsuit. In fact, I already tried to make bottoms for those but in that case, I had issues with a not sufficiently stretchy lining and I haven't tried again yet.

P.S. There's just nothing like trying to show off a bikini in pictures to make you feel REALY self-conscious! ;)


  1. great bikini - and brave photoshoot! Looks stunning on you. when my sis and I were 18/19 we went on our first sun holiday and I did a photo of her in her bikini for the fun.... finding it years later was a confidence boost for her.... so if ya got it, flaunt it!

  2. Nice! You have a beautiful figure and made a beautiful bikini. I started also making swimwear, but it's difficult I think.
    Regards from Martine of the DIY Diva

  3. You look great! I've been sewing a couple of bikinis but I'm not sure I'll dare to take pictures. Could you tell me where you got your elastic?

  4. I found this blog, you and your sewing ..; beautiful & perfect ... not like me !

  5. Hello,

    I have put on my site, a lot off old french sewing patterns and magazines.


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