How to Make a Women's Swimsuit

How to Make a Women's Swimsuit
Making a women's swimsuit is a great sewing project for people who are just starting out in sewing and want to take on a challenge. Unlike working with cotton, the stretchy Lycra fabric used to make swimsuits can be hard to work with, even though a swimsuit is a fairly simple project. This project is a good way to learn how to work with more difficult fabrics and a cheap way to make exactly what you want in a bathing suit.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Measuring tape Scissors Swimsuit pattern 3/4 yard stretchy Lycra fabric Pins Sewing machine Thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Swimsuit pattern
  • 3/4 yard stretchy Lycra fabric
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
Step 1
Take measurements of the chest, waist and hips of the intended wearer.
Step 2
Find a pattern that fits the wearer's needs and style (see Resources below). If buying the pattern at the store, make sure to check the patterns against the bust, waist and hip measurements taken in Step 1. Size up by using the largest-listed pattern size.
Step 3
Make any necessary adjustments to the pattern pieces and cut them out. For example, if the bust measurement is 36 inches (or a size 8) but the waist measurement is 26 inches (or a size 6), cut out the bust pieces in a size 8 and the waist pieces in a size 6.
Step 4
Generously pin the pattern pieces to the fabric---making sure the fabric is on grain (see Resources)---and cut out the fabric
Step 5
Attach a sewing machine needle for stretch fabric.
Step 6
Set the seam length to the shortest setting.
Step 7
Pin and sew down the crotch lining for the swimsuit. The way to do this will depend on the pattern.
Step 8
Follow package instructions to attach any bra cups. You might have to build them into the suit and add them in as a lining.
Step 9
Pin together the bodice pieces, right sides together, according to the instructions. Pin generously becase the fabric might slip in your machine. Make sure to leave a 5/8-inch seam allowance on each seam.
Step 10
Fold over the edges of the bathing suit about 1/4 of an inch, and pin them down. Sew them down to create a hem.

Tips & Warnings

 
Snip away any extra threads. Make sure to slope the edges of the larger fabric pieces, so they fit better into the smaller ones.
 
Snip away any extra threads.
 
Make sure to slope the edges of the larger fabric pieces, so they fit better into the smaller ones.
 
Using a needle larger than a stretch needle will hurt your fabric.

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