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Tips & Techniques > How to Sew a Swimsuit

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Posted by: PrintedSilkFabric

About PrintedSilkFabric
Member since: 6/9/11
Reviews: 1 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 7/15/11 3:41 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 3 people   
Although swimsuits donít use very much fabric, theyíre one of the more challenging clothing items to sew, since they require stretchy fabric and a very close fit. However, sewing your own swimsuit will let you choose just the size and style you want to suit your body type. Many swimsuit patterns have multiple style options, such as a choice of one or two piece suits, different necklines or different hip heights. Some patterns also offer swimsuit accessories, such as cover-ups or skirts. Most fabric stores have a fairly limited selection of swimsuit patterns and fabric, so you if you canít find what you need locally, you may want to shop online.


1 Measure the fullest part of your bust, waist and hips using a soft, flexible measuring tape. (If you donít have a sewing measuring tape, you can cut a non-stretchy piece of ribbon or string to the right size, then measure it with a regular measuring tape or ruler.)

2 Choose a swimsuit pattern you like that comes in the size you need, following the guidelines on the pattern size chart.

3 Buy fabric for the swimsuit, following the guidelines on the pattern envelope for how much fabric you need and what type to use. Most swimsuits require slick, stretchy fabric made especially for swimsuits or active wear. Many fabric stores have an aisle of swimsuit or dance fabrics.

4 Buy fabric for the lining of the swimsuit, if needed. Many swimsuit patterns use the same fabric for the outside and the lining.

5 Buy matching thread, elastic and any other notions listed on the pattern envelope that you need to complete the swimsuit. You may also need or want to buy bra cups for the swimsuit, which are available in most fabric stores.

6 Cut out the pattern pieces for the swimsuit, using the cutting line for the size you need. Be sure to cut precisely so the swimsuit will be just the right size. If the swimsuit has several different style options, cut only the pieces you need.

7 Smooth out the patterns and press them with a cool (low-temperature) iron to get out the all the wrinkles. This will make the patterns more accurate, which is very important for close-fitting swimsuits.

8 Follow the cutting guide in the pattern directions to pin the patterns to the fabric and cut out the pieces.

9 Follow the directions that came with the pattern to sew the pieces of the swimsuit together. Make sure to use the exact seam allowance given in the directions, so that the swimsuit will come out the right size.

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Lilip1 said... (7/30/11 9:16 AM) Reply
I have sewn about 4or5 swimsuits & find the biggest issue I have is getting the elastic for the legs to fit well, the trick is to measure the elastic comfortably around the leg where it will be on the finshed garment then sew with no or minimal stretch on the front of the leg stretch under the bottom so that it will cup nicely for an attractive fit they are really good things to make, quick & no ridiculously high legs or overexposure anywhere
Deepika said... (7/19/11 9:28 AM) Reply
Just wanted to let you know that I've changed the title of this tip to How to sew a swimsuit.
solosmocker said... (7/16/11 10:43 PM) Reply
I was looking for "Printed silk fabric tips". Your very informative post will be hard to find since it is not about printed silk fabrics, the lead in words. You may want to change the title. Just trying to help.
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