I can tell you're getting ready for summer--I got this Sewing Circle question from a reader the other day!
Q: I have been sewing off and on for a few years so I'm pretty comfortable doing complex things, but I don't draft my own patterns. Recently I have been looking for patterns for bathing suits and haven't been able to any. I was just wondering if you knew of any out there, or could give tips on drafting my own pattern (outside of using an existing suit).
A: Great question, Sarah! Most of the big pattern companies don't have many swimwear patterns. I did some searching and found some, but also keep in mind what you'll need to make a good swimsuit. The fabrics and materials you use really matter. You'll need:
- Ballpoint needle (size 11 is a good general-purpose size)--slides between the fibers rather than breaking them--important on knits
- Stretchy fabric (swimwear stretch or lightweight other)
- Nude tricot lining
- Thin swimwear elastic (usually 1/4" wide)
- Coordinating nylon thread
- Depending on the style, a bra hook closure set
- (Optional): Bra cup pads or underwires if applicable, also sold at JoAnn, etc.
BurdaStyle has several super cute ones, some of them free!
These are all Kwik Sew, from Fabric.Com (and all under $10!):
I also found these Kwik-Sew patterns on PatternReview, for under $12:
I also found this blog tutorial for a simple bikini! If you want to try your hand at sewing on swimsuit spandex without dealing with a pattern to start out with:
And of course, if you don't like any of the patterns that are meant for swimwear, you can always adapt an underwear pattern and bra pattern. Those aren't a walk in the park to find, either, but BurdaStyle has some of those too.
Hope that helps, Sarah!
Readers, what tips do you have for Sarah? Have you found any great swimsuit patterns? Have you had success or struggles making your own swimsuit??