Are you feeling that delightful 80’s|90’s vibe going over fashion? When I came across that colorful fabric, half Pollock half Katy Perry inspired, I finally fulfilled a longtime wish: to create my own lingerie. This week, I am teaching you how to create your own version of a home-made bathing suit using only an old version as a guide… Ready to jump in?
Mirror, mirror on the beach…
Hunting for new fabrics at my all time favorite shop in SF (Fabric Outlet), I was feeling quite unsatisfied until I stumbled on this “color stained” fabric. Not sure whether I liked it or hated it, this is what it made me think of:
Sure I could have posed on a beach with sand in my hair and waves over my feet. But first water is kind of cold in NorCal and second what would be the fun in that? Before telling you how I created the beast, let’s have a look at the finished product. Oh and I chose places I am least likely to wear a swimsuit again…
5 steps tutorial
On the left, the original bikini, washed out by too many trips to the water. On the right the almost finished new version.
Dissatisfied with the bikini patterns I came across, I decided to start simple. I had this swimsuit waiting for ages in the my drawer. It fitted me perfectly but had lost the bright colors of its youth. A little sacrifice later and it was reborn and ready to serve again. And I am pretty sure you keep one of those somewhere at home. The ones too good to throw away and too damaged to wear…
Step 1 – scavenge away
Patiently (very patiently) use your seam ripper to dismantle the layers composing the swimsuit.
While you do it, take notes or photos of how everything goes together because you will later do the same in reverse with the new fabric.
Step 2 – copy the pieces obtained
Copy the pieces on paper or directly on the new fabric if you feel confident enough. Don’t forget to add a bit of seam allowance.
Once you have your pattern, cut, cut, cut in the new fabric.
Step 3 – putting it back together
I only kept the cups from the original model as they were still in good condition. You can change those if you wish but be carefull to find the exact same fit.
I would recommend to try on the bathing suit as you sew to make sure the fit is still good. Plus if you’re like me working in your living room, it will make your direct neighbors very happy ^^.
Tips: on all zones that won’t move much (like cups) a discreet straight stitch will work well.
You then add the back straps:
Step 4 – sewing the panties
I was very much afraid of sewing elastic for the first time. It sounded quite dreary when I looked at tutorials. I am more used to sewing cotton and it was my first real elastic on elastic fabric test and… it went fine really! Best thing with sewing is just to test your limits by yourself. Nothing like field work to learn new trick!
Not that hard in the end. You can pink the raw edges if you want. I decided to add an extra strip of fabric at the top of the panties to give it a vintage flare. That’s also quite handy to refrain unwanted love handles from popping out…
Step 5 – 1,2,3 gloat
The most useful videos I found on the subject:
Total cost: 20$
- 1 yard (1/2 should work too) of swimming fabric
- 1 yard of stretch black lining fabric
- 1 old bathing suit
- pen + paper
- 2 times your high thigh measurement of swimming elastic (about 1/2 an inch wide or less)
- normal thread, scissors
Oh and by the way, the sunglass I am wearing on the photoshoot are from one of my clients (remember, PR person by day, Blogger\seamstress by night). They are a young french eyewear startup currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo. What I find appealing is that you can “build” different pairs by mix/matching different parts together. Being an aficionado of DIY projects of all stripes that’s a match made in heaven. They’re also super light and have quality lenses. Tried looking at a sunset through the brown tinted lenses and it had a nice “instagram filter” effect. If you want a box of 2 pairs with an extra discount, click here.
And no, I am not about to turn this blog into a giant ad for diverse accessories, I just really like those glasses, even if I work for them too. It’s not incompatible, it’s even a good thing most of the time ^^.
Since creating my very first bathing suit, I wore it 3 to 4 times and I am thrilled with it! The dark and bright colors works well with a pale skin like mine and the thickness of the fabric gives it a nice quality touch.
Do you want to create one too now?
Within the next weeks I’ll show you my other bathing suit, a sexy little black thing that made my hubby blush when he saw me in it ;-).
Sew you soon!
#WhatDoYouThink 2 swim suits, 2 summer tops: which one do you want to see first on the blog? And yes, the pictures are all crazy and 100% not serious. 🇫🇷 2 maillots de bain, 2 tops d'été : par quoi je commencer les gens ? Photo by @chinfray Fabric from @fabricoutlet Green fabric from @mondialtissus Black suim suit pattern is #vogue9192 or #V9192 from @mccallpatterncompany 🕶 from @nogs.fr #instacouture #shootinginSF #couture #swimsuit #stretch #beach #summer #silk #madebyme #imadethis #cestmoiquilaifait #sewing #summervibes #hot