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PatternReview Blog > Making a Swimsuit - Constructing the Bottoms
Making a Swimsuit - Constructing the Bottoms By DianeSev on 6/21/13 11:22 AM

by heathertyfeatherty

Swimsuit Bottoms 1

Oh sweet jellybeans, the bottoms are done! And if you've survived making the top (which isn't so bad right?) then the bottoms will seem like a breeze.

When last I left you, I'd finished the tank portion of the tankini, and all that was left was to whip up the -ini. Well, we had an interesting weekend full of stomach flu and lovely weather, so when we weren't inside tending to illness, we were outside cleaning out garden beds and getting the yard ready for spring. Trust me when I say, the bottoms take 30 minutes or less to construct.

As a reminder, I used Kwik Sew 3608 for the bottoms, the same pattern I used in my first tankini. This time, I cut the Large because the Medium really liked to cut into my flesh, not an attractive look.

First, I serged the lining to the fashion fabric around the sides.

Swimsuit Bottoms 2

Serged the crotch seam together (pictured), then the side seams (not pictured).

Swimsuit Bottoms 3

Measured the clear elastic according to the Kwik-Sew instructions, and managed to finish with exactly the right amount of elastic! Whoo-hoo!

Swimsuit Bottoms 4

I followed the instructions to zig-zag the clear elastic to the leg openings, not stretching it along the front leg openings until you got down near the crotch, and then stretching all the way around the back. Essentially, you want stretch where you really want the bottoms to cup in and not flap loose, which is your crotch and bum. 

Zig-zagged clear elastic around the waistband. Sadly, I didn't get a picture of these steps, but they are the same as the technique used in making the bust cups.

Turned the waistband and used double-needle to top-stitch waistband and leg openings.

Voila! Try it on, see what you think.

Swimsuit Bottoms 5

You know what I think? The Large definitely fits better than the Medium I made for this suit, but there are a few minor adjustments I could make next time.

Swimsuit Bottoms 6

I think the crotch is a touch wide. There's a bit of adundance in fabric down there and frankly, that isn't an area that's flattering with extra fabric. So next time I'll shave off 1/8" on each side, that should take care of it.

Swimsuit Bottoms 7

Other than that, I am pretty happy with how they turned out! I forgot to add a second pantyliner (I was concerned about modesty with the giant white dots) but so far I think it's going to be ok. I can go back and stitch one in later if I think it needs it.

So there you have it, a swimsuit with the process documented.

Swimsuit Bottoms 8

Thanks for following along with me! Now, I must take a break from swimsuits. If I see another piece of lycra, I might want to hurt somebody. STEPPING AWAY FROM THE MACHINE.

Thanks to heathertyfeatherty for letting us publish this tutorial.

Visit her blog

See the other posts in this series:

Making a Swimsuit - Preparations

Making a Swimsuit - More About the Girls

Making a Swimsuit - Constructing the Top

See also:

Members' Tips on "How to sew bathing suits?? Advice please!" 

See more swimsuit tips.

See swimsuit patterns.

Read discussions about swimsuits.

8 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
rosanne1948 said... (6/25/13 2:47 PM) Reply
I was actually meaning this for a swim suit that only has the lining in the crotch area as the swimsuit fabric they sold was dense enough you didn't need the whole thing lined. Just another way of doing it.
rosanne1948 said... (6/25/13 2:45 PM) Reply
You sew the crotch area so there are not seams showing by stitching them together separately then sewing them rights sides together at the top and bottom leaving the leg area open. You then turn them out through the leg openings and apply the elastic so there is no inside seam for the lining showing. It is hard to describe but I used to work for Stretch n Sew years ago and that is how they taught you to do it. Looks very professional then.
DianeSev said... (6/25/13 10:11 AM) Reply
avatrx, here's the link! Jalie 2796
Steph A said... (6/25/13 9:21 AM) Reply
Thanks for the posts, they're great! I've been looking for an indepth view on making swimsuits, so I'll be bookmarking this one. I especially like your tips and humour! @avatrx: for athletic jogging shorts try Jalie 2796
avatrx said... (6/24/13 2:37 PM) Reply
I like to wear the athletic shorts for swimwear. I can't find a pattern. they look like jogging shorts. I'd like to make these in a swimsuit fabric. I can't find a pattern anywhere!
poplin said... (6/22/13 3:05 PM) Reply
Ditto on the PDF files. This is exactly what I needed. Thank you so much!
lakaribane said... (6/22/13 9:19 AM) Reply
Would it be possible to have these consolidated into one single PDF downloadable file? Thank you in advance!
Judy Kski said... (6/21/13 1:53 PM) Reply
That is a great looking suit you've made. The bottoms are the easiest part of any two-piece suit. It's the top I need to get around to..... Thanks for all the great pics!

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