How to Make a Swimsuit

How to Make a Swimsuit
Making your own swimsuit should be an easy project for experienced sewers and an achievable one for beginners. The benefit of a homemade swimsuit is the ability to entirely customize the pattern, fabric and fit to your own personal specifications and preferences. Choose a pattern that will suit your body type and a stretchy fabric. Elasticized edges finish the piece and stabilize the edges.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Swimsuit pattern Narrow swimwear elastic (treated to resist salt and chlorine) Two-way stretch fabric Sewing machine Thread Pins Scissors Iron Tailor's chalk Measuring tape
  • Swimsuit pattern
  • Narrow swimwear elastic (treated to resist salt and chlorine)
  • Two-way stretch fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Measuring tape
Step 1
Prewash your fabric, press it and determine the direction of the greatest stretch. Cut the pattern out to the correct size.
Step 2
Lay the pattern pieces onto the swimsuit fabric so that the direction of the greatest stretch goes around the body rather than up and down. Cut out the fabric pattern pieces.
Step 3
Stitch the center back seam first, then stitch the crotch seam and stitch the side seams last.
Step 4
Try the swimsuit on and pin the shoulder seams in place for a good fit. You may need to trim the top edges of the shoulder pieces.
Step 5
Examine the fit around the armpits, legs and side seams and mark any adjustments with chalk and pins. Cut away excess fabric under the armpits and around the legs, and re-stitch the side seams if necessary.
Step 6
Sew the shoulder seams.
Step 7
Cut lengths of elastic to fit the edges of the neckline, leg openings and armholes according to the directions on your pattern. Sew each length into a loop by overlapping the ends and zigzag stitching a few rows.
Step 8
Starting with the neckline, divide the circumference of the fabric edge into fourths and mark quarter sections with pins. Divide the elastic loop into fourths and mark it with pins.
Step 9
Matching up the pins on the fabric edge and elastic loop, stitch the outer edge of the elastic to the fabric neckline using a narrow zigzag stitch. Stretch the elastic as you work to fit the edge evenly.
Step 10
Fold the elastic edging toward the inside of the swimsuit so that it is encased in the swimsuit fabric. Top stitch around the folded edge of the neckline through the fabric and elastic using a narrow zigzag stitch.
Step 11
Repeat steps 8 to 10 to sew elasticized edging around the leg and arm openings.

Tips & Warnings

 
If you are using a light colored fabric, line the front of the swimsuit with a stretchy lining fabric.

Article Written By J.C. Lewis

J.C. Lewis is the editor and co-owner of a weekly newspaper, as well as a staffer and regular contributor to a group of three newspapers in Los Angeles, Calif. Her writing has appeared on USAToday.com, Hotels.com and various other websites. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Science in politics from the University of Bristol, England.

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