Summer's approaching soon so it's time I start whipping up some new swimsuits! I love this bandeau top and high waisted bottom design because it was very quick and simple to make (once I made a sample one). There are no straps or stretching and sewing elastic involved, all you need is swimsuit fabric and your sewing machine to get started.
Swimsuit Fabric (Lycra/Spandex) - 1 Yard of fabric was a good amount for me to make the double sided green swimsuit. For my pink/purple reversible swimsuit I only needed half a yard of each color. The amount of fabric you need will depend on your size.
Polyester Thread - because its stronger in chlorine water
Serger - For the best results use a serger. It reduces the bulk inside and allows the most stretch.
Sewing Machine - If you don't have a serger you can use the "stretch stitch" or "zigzag stitch" on your sewing machine.
Ballpoint Needle - Change your needle to a ballpoint, if you're using a regular sewing machine.
I went shopping for my fabric in the Los Angeles Fashion District. If you're still confused on what swimsuit fabric is, you can always bring one you own from home so you can compare or you can always ask the sales person to help direct you to it. Some of my favorite stores in downtown LA that I found swim fabric in were: Journal Fabric, Mikey's Fabric, and Michael Levine. You can check out my fabric shopping video below for more tips and to see all the awesome fabric I bought to make swimsuits!
Once I knew the design I wanted to make, I attempted to sew the reversible bottoms and it was a huge FAIL. You can not just simply sew the two bikini bottoms right sides together and try to turn it inside out by leaving a hole (who else has tried doing the same before and failed? lol). Since I couldn't figure out how to do it on my own, I searched it up on YouTube and there were many wonderful sewing tutorials for me to follow. If I was able to make my own from watching a tutorial, I know the rest of you can as well and hopefully my tutorial will help clear up any confusions for you.
I made my bottoms more on the cheeky side and I realized that with this reversible design, the fabric just sags into your crack creating an unflattering look. On other swimsuit bottoms, you stretch and sew elastic around the leg hole so it stretches out all the wrinkles but since I didn't do that for the reversible bottoms, it looks a little loose in the back. To fix this issue, I decided to stretch and sew elastic down the center back for a ruched look and it looked so much better.
Heres a better example of what the "ruched" bikini bottom looks like:
If you decide to add the elastic down the center back just make sure you do it in the early steps to make your life a lot easer. Below is the part in my tutorial that I would go back to add the elastic (purple one):
The high waisted bikini bottoms are my fave and I will definitely be making more of them in other colors. I hope you make your own fun swimsuit this year and be sure to share a pic with me when you're done! xoxo April