I love sewing swimsuits and have been making my own for the past five years. I modified my first two swimsuits from this vintage-inspired pattern I found on BurdaStyle. (I still wear them!)
At the time we were on a tight budget and I was also getting back into sewing. Sewing my first two swimsuits was challenging, but a lot of fun and a great way to save money. The swimsuit I wanted at the time was around $100 and since I live in Ohio with very little access to pools … I couldn’t justify the cost. (And probably still couldn’t!)
Fast forward five years later – I wanted to make a couple more swimsuits. (Even though there are so many more affordable swimsuit options online and in-store)
I began researching swimsuit options once I knew I wanted to create two new swimsuit patterns. As soon as I saw this swimsuit on Anthropologie, I knew I wanted to try and replicate the design! The print was unique, fun and I loved the fit of the suit.
I spent hours looking at swimsuit fabric at local fabric stores and online, but I couldn’t find what I wanted. That is until I began to browse Spoonflower.com and I found this perfect cloud print material. The design of the fabric was beautiful and closely matched the on the Anthropologie website. I was in love! And I could order this custom fabric for $32 instead of splurging $300! The options are truly endless on this site. I love that you can purchase custom fabric designs in a variety of fabric options.
Materials for your Swimsuit
- 1 yard of swimsuit fabric (Sport Lycra)
- 1/2 yard of swimsuit lining or additional swimsuit fabric
Steps to Sew Your High-Waisted Swimsuit
Pictured below are the pattern pieces you will need for this swimsuit. If you’d like to learn how I create my own patterns, read my blog post here.
- Trace and cut out your sewing pattern.
- Next, lay your pattern pieces out on the fabric like I’ve shown in the sketch above and cut it out.
How to Sew High Waisted Swimsuit Bottoms
- Pin your swimsuit BOTTOM FABRIC together, with right sides of the fabric together and sew a stretch zigzag stitch along the side and the bottom.
- Next, pin the right sides of your swimsuit BOTTOM LINING and repeat the same steps.
- Place your swimsuit BOTTOM LINING inside your swimsuit BOTTOM FABRIC, with your seams facing together and pin together.
- Sew a zigzag stitch at the top of your waistband to attach the two pieces of material.
- Before you attach your WAISTBAND ELASTIC to your swimsuit, fold the ends of your elastic over and sew together with a wide zigzag stitch.
- Next, pin your WAIST ELASTIC to the inside of your swimsuit and attach with a wide zigzag stitch. To finish the top of your swimsuit BOTTOM, fold the outside fabric over the elastic band and sew together with a zigzag stitch.
- Pin the leg openings together and sew together with a wide zigzag stitch.
Before you attach your LEG OPENING ELASTIC to your swimsuit, fold the ends of your elastic over and sew together with a wide zigzag stitch.
- Attach your LEG OPENING ELASTIC to the inside of the swimsuit bottoms and attach with a zigzag stitch. Fold the fabric over the elastic and sew a final zigzag stitch to finish each leg opening.
How to Sew a Swimsuit Top
- Take the SWIMSUIT STRAP and fold right sides of the fabric together.
Once folded, sew along the edge of the fabric. Next, attach a safety pin to one end of the strap and push it through the fabric to help turn the material right side out. Repeat this step for the second strap.
- You can attach the SWIMSUIT STRAP directly to your swimsuit top or make it into an adjustable strap. I added an adjustable strap to this swimsuit. (To attach an adjustable strap, follow the instructions in this blog post.)
- Pin the STRAP to the right sides of your swimsuit back and add a zigzag stitch to attach.
- Next, pin the STRAP to the right side of the front of your suit and sew together. Repeat for both sides of your swimsuit top.
- Once your STRAPS are attached, finish sewing the front of your swimsuit by following the purple dots in the instructions sketch.
- Next, pin the front of your SWIMSUIT TOP to the back fabric with right sides facing together and sew together with a zigzag stitch.
- Pin and sew the ELASTIC BAND to the inside of the back of your SWIMSUIT BACK. (I cut mine 2 inches shorter than the back of my swimsuit to ensure the elastic would stretch.)
- Turn swimsuit right side out.
- The last step is to sew the bottom back stitch of your SWIMSUIT TOP. To hem, fold the edges inward and pin your material. Add a final zigzag stitch to finish your swimsuit top.
I absolutely loved making this swimsuit, the fabric was beautiful and the swimsuit is functional! 🙂
Making your own swimsuit can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! There are so many great resources to help you learn and online sewing patterns!
Swimsuit Sewing Help:
Before you begin to I recommend watching both of these videos by Mimi G. They’re very helpful, even if you aren’t sewing with one of the patterns in her videos.
Online Swimsuit Sewing Patterns:
If you’re not ready to create your own sewing pattern, that’s OK – purchase one! There are now so many great indie sewing patterns you can purchase online here. I personally have not made any of these patterns, but the designs are beautiful!