Sewing Swimwear - Fabrics and Pattern

Sewing Inspiration: Swimwear

Sewing swimwear continues to grow in popularity, and we can totally see why! NO MORE embarrassing trips to the store to try on ill-fitting suits. NO MORE settling for a suit that “fits” but don’t fit your style or personality. Say YES! to a me-made—pick the fabric, customize the style, alter the fit, and create the custom suit you always dreamed about!

Swimwear Fabrics Pairing - Abstract Floral and Animal Print

To celebrate the upcoming summer season, and to welcome the arrival of our swimwear fabrics, we are excited to team up with some amazing sewists to share a bit of sewing inspiration! Each sewist selected a different fabric and pattern combination from our curated collection to create their unique look. We also asked them to share a bit about their make(s) and their favorite tips about sewing swimwear. We hope this is just what you need to inspire and help you plan your own look!

Sharon (@thesharonaguilar)

Details about Sharon’s LookFabrics: Sketch Floral Swim Knit with Tiny Polka Dot Swim Knit Patterns: Friday Pattern Co’s Vernazza Two Piece

Mixing and Matching Two Swimsuits for Three Looks

1. Tell us about your project! What pattern did you use? Did you make any changes?

I used the Friday Pattern Co. Vernazza Two Piece. I love how this one has a cute bow in the middle of the top and that the bottoms are high-waisted and so flattering.

I did not change anything about the pattern on my first swimsuit, but after sewing it, I realized I would prefer a smaller seam allowance so I adjusted my pattern so that I did not have to trim off excess after sewing a seam. This made it much easier when installing the elastic, and my second swimsuit was a breeze to sew after this small change.

Print Mixing Swimsuit Fabrics for Vernazzo Two Pies Swimsuit

2. What do you like most about sewing your own swimwear?

I really enjoy wearing the swimsuits I have made. They are very functional, have a great fit, and look great. I always find store bought swimwear is loose in the wrong places, or does not have the style or coverage that I am looking for.

When I sew my own, I can make sure the fit is just right on my elastic and bands. I also love how many cute prints there are available to sew your own swimsuits.

Two Vernazzo Swimsuits in Two Contrasting Swim Knit Fabrics

3. Do you have any tips and tricks others might find helpful?

When sewing swimwear, I make sure to test my seam on scraps before starting to make sure it has plenty of stretch and won’t pop or break when worn. I use a serger and often use nylon stretch thread in at least one of my loopers to give it that extra stretch. It is also a softer thread and makes the seam feel nicer on the skin.

I also make sure I have a fresh stretch needle in my machine. I have a coverstitch machine to topstitch when sewing swim, but I don’t find it is necessary. I often do my topstitching with a zigzag on my regular sewing machine.

Ksenija (@a_girlwithanaccent)

Details about Ksenija’s LookFabrics: Layered Tropical Swim Knit with Solid Swim Knit and Tonal Marble Rayon Crepe Patterns: Megan Nielsen’s Cottesloe Swimsuit and Allie Olson’s Highlands Wrap Dress

Ksenija's Swimwear Look - Suit and Cover-Up

1. Tell us about your project! What pattern did you use? Did you make any changes?

After getting the opportunity to choose swimwear fabric as a part of this collaboration, I decided to finally cross one thing off of my sewing wish list—a simple basic one-piece swimsuit. I was really happy that Style Maker Fabrics has Megan Nielsen’s Cottesloe in their library, so that was the logical choice for me. This pattern has a few options, so it is the perfect starting point for future hacks, but as I said, a simple one-piece was the goal! While I have a lot of ideas for this pattern, the only thing I had to change was to shorten the straps a bit for this version. This view was also the best to show off the beautifully patterned fabric and all the colors.

As a cover-up, I wanted something that could also be a summer dress, so I chose the Highlands Wrap Dress by Allie Olson. Since I wanted the dress to match my swimsuit, I trusted Michelle to choose the fabric, and I was not disappointed! I was so happy to get something that I probably wouldn’t choose myself, but it was so perfect for me.

I had my doubts if I would be able to pull it off, I usually only make underwear and swimwear, and garments are more of a challenge. I was so scared that I’d ruin the fabric 😊 I had to add half an inch to the bodice length, but that’s the only change, and it also helped by lowering the darts. I am so proud of the final product—a long, sleeveless, flowy summer dress that I already love and can’t wait to show off whenever possible.

Ksenija's Cotteslow One-Piece Swimsuit

2. What do you like most about sewing your own swimwear?

Sewing my own swimwear has so many pros! First, it’s unique, and no one else has the same one. I also love playing with sizes, which can sometimes be an issue with read-to-wear if your top and bottom sizes don’t match. Even though it might seem scary to people that have never tried it, sewing swimsuits is very fast, so you also get instant gratification!

I wish I lived somewhere where I could wear swimsuits all year long. I always want to make more, but I have to stop because I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to wear them all! And on top of everything, sewing is kind of therapy for me—it calms me down and makes me happy. 

Ksenija's Highlands Wrap Dress Cover-Up

3. Do you have any tips and tricks others might find helpful?

My best tip is to try it! It doesn’t require much fabric, so it won’t be a tragedy if you make mistakes.

For the best results my suggestions would be:

  1. Use a rotary cutter.
  2. Use the offcuts to try different stitches, lengths, widths, and adding elastic.
  3. Take your time at the beginning—it will be worth it. 

There are a lot of different swimwear elastics and fabrics; try different options and see what works best for you. And be sure to follow the instructions closely till you get the hang of it. Then, start making it your own—there is no limit to what you can achieve!

Nastasia (@poshpilar)

Details about Nastasia’s LookFabrics: Abstract Tropical Leaves Swim Knit with Solid Swim Knit and Cotton Double Gauze Patterns: Jalie’s Claudia Bikini and Friday Pattern Co’s Saguaro Set

Nastasia's Swim Fabrics and Claudia Bikini

1. Tell us about your project! What pattern did you use? Did you make any changes?

For the bikini I used the Jalie Claudia pattern. I altered the pattern so that the front is all one piece instead of having a side front piece. I also color blocked the back of the top to show both fabrics. The vibrant pink pairs perfectly with the tropical leaf print and I think this pattern really showcases the pair well.

The cover-up set is made from the super soft and fluffy double gauze. I used Friday Pattern Company’s Saguaro Set. I love that it works for a comfy cover-up, but also can be dressed up for an evening dinner. 

Nastasia's Double Gauze Saguaro Set

2. What do you like most about sewing your own swimwear?

I love being able to choose and combine fabrics I love and make a custom fit. 

Nastasia's Claudia Bikini Front and Back

3. Do you have any tips and tricks others might find helpful?

I always keep a washable fabric glue stick or wash away hem tape around when working with swimwear knits. The fabric can slide around sometimes while sewing layers together, so gluing the edge of seams or tricky areas before sewing makes things so much easier.

Be sure to check out our new swimwear collection available now in our shop! Find unique designer swim fabrics, along with all the sewing essentials—swim lining, swim elastic, and indie swim patterns. Find everything you need to create your own swimwear look in easy-to-shop place!

Looking for more info about sewing your own swimwear? Check out our resource article HERE for our recommendations and a few clever tips to help you sew with confidence and keep your me-made suit looking great for many seasons to come.

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