+ The 3-in-1 DIY swimsuit sewing tutorial

Had to make make a swimsuit this summer! HAD TO. Luckily with this tutorial, I can change it into a non-maternity swimsuit after the baby comes. 

And how perfect is this…kate made a sweet little swimsuit coverup! head here for instructions.

Supplies:
1/2 yard of nylon lycra
1/2 yard of swimsuit lining
measuring tape
sewing machine
thread
ballpoint needle
scissors
pins
Instructions:
BOTTOMS:
1. Trace the fabric and lining with another pair of swim bottoms, then cut it out. Make sure the lining is a tad smaller so it won’t hang out when sewn. I made mine a little longer because I like it to gather a little on the sides.
2. Sew together the bottom of the lining and the fabric.
3. Fold the swim fabric under and over the end of the lining. Sew with a zig zag stitch or a straight stitch (but when doing this stitch, stretch the fabric/lining as much as possible when sewing it).
*Keep in mind that when you get in the water, your swimsuit will stretch, so the leg holes are an area that you may want to cut/sew a lot lighter or add elastic too. I made mine nice and snug, but may add elastic in the future when I am at my non-prego size. 
4. Sew up the sides of the swim suit, right sides together, RST.
5. Hem the top down by folding it as much as you want and sewing a  zig zag stitch or a straight stitch (but when doing this stitch, stretch the fabric/lining as much as possible when sewing it).
*Keep in mind that when you get in the water, your swimsuit will stretch, so your waist is an area that you may want to cut/sew a lot tighter or add elastic too. I made mine nice and snug, but may add elastic in the future when I am at my non-prego size. 
 BIKINI:
1. Measure around your chest area and take out 3 or more inches depending on the stretchiness of the fabric and how tight you want it and add seam allowance. Then measure the width you would like, keep in mind you are going to be ruching it too, add seam allowance. Make sure the lining is an inch smaller width wise. Take that measurement and cut out the lining and nylon lycra according.
2. sew the pieces together to make a long tube, RST.
3. Turn the tube right side out and pin the ends together. You can really pin one side because the other side will only touch once you start to sew.
4. Sew two openings together RST, making sure to match the side seams. Sew up the ends. How to sew up the ends – you will literally keep sewing until the opening of the tube gets smaller and smaller… until there is a little opening left. 
5. There will be a little opening.
5. Sew that opening closed with a top stitch through just the lining.
6. Gather the middle front and back (one down the seam exactly).
*optional: Cut a 1″- 2″ slit on the sides of the lining and slip in some padding or cups. You can buy these at Johanns. Tack them down in place if you want them to be permanent. You can keep the slits open because this material doesn’t fray.
*Optional – you can sew a strap here, to help prevent any slippage  :)
TANKINI:
1. Measure around you lower waist, natural waist and lower ribs area and subtract a good 2 to 5 inches depending on how tight you want it because you want it to stretch over you. Then cut out two pieces of the nylon lycra to match those measurements.
2. Pin the sides up very carefully so it doesn’t slip as you sew.
3. Looks like this.
4. Turn the nylon lycra right side out and gather along the sides seams on both sides.
5. Take the bikini top and pin it to the top front seam of this stomach piece. 
6. The back will look like the last picture on the right, if is istn’ sewn up together.

MATERNITY TANKINI:
1. Measure around just your back, your lower waist, natural waist and lower ribs area and subtract a good 2 to 5 inches depending on how tight you want it because you want it to stretch over you. Measure over just your front, your lower waist (top hips), belly and lower ribs area. Then cut out two pieces of the nylon lycra to match those measurements.
2. Pin the sides up very carefully so it doesn’t slip as you sew.
3. Looks like this.
4. Turn the nylon lycra right side out and gather along the sides seams on both sides.
5. Take the bikini top and pin it to the top front seam of this stomach piece. 
6. The back will look like the last picture on the right, if is istn’ sewn up together.

Comments

  1. WOW! That is great! Beautiful :)

  2. Love the peek-a-boo back on this swimsuit. So unexpected and adorable!

    Rebecca (hearts)…

  3. You are so cute and talented! I love the back detail. And the maternity and non-maternity options. But I don’t think I have the courage to sew a swimsuit…

  4. I made a swimsuit last summer. I was shocked at how well it turned out and how relatively easy it was to use. I used rubber elastic on the edges to make it fit snug (like a regular swimsuit)

  5. Oh, I just love your tutorials! If only I was a little better at sewing… I’d for sure be taking this one on! Perhaps it’s time to get out my sewing machine and take a class or something…

    Much Love,
    Trissta

  6. CUTE!

  7. c’est très chouette comme idée, bravo.

  8. Adorable! I’ve had issues lately with how itty-bitty bathing suit bottoms seem and this is a perfect way to make my own :)

  9. What a cute suit! Love the color, it’s really flattering :D

  10. what I love most about this is the hot pink lipstick you’re wearing in the photograph. So glamorous!

  11. Awesome! You are so beautiful, even in a swimsuit! That’s amazing! xo

  12. Super Cute Liz!!!

  13. your tutorials keep getting bigger and better! love this one–the color is gorgeous. would you mind giving a little more info for these steps? 4. Sew up the ends. 5. There will be a little opening. Having a little trouble visualizing where to sew up the ends to make it come out with just the small opening. I’m a newbie sewer but this is def. going on my long term to-do list!

    • I hate these steps because they can be so confusing…I tried to clarify, but I’m sure a video or more detailed pictures would be better. I asked my husband, and he said he will do a small video this weekend demonstrating those steps. :)

  14. looks AWESOME! wow. i dunno if i could sew this though – great job!

  15. This is super impressive! I don’t know if I’d have the guts to sew my own swimsuit…

  16. that is super cute, and i would love to know where you went to get swimsuit fabric and lining

  17. It looks so easy!!

  18. This is so amazing, you are so creative..Love it!!

  19. straight up amazing!! thanks!!!

  20. That is awesome! I love your blog :)

  21. this is awesome!! and so cute. you make me want to buy a sewing machine and jsut go for it :)

  22. This is BRILLIANT!!! Thank you sooo much! I’ve been looking for a swimsuit tutorial for a long time! :)

  23. Great job! :) Color is amazing :)

  24. You are amazing! I’m terrified of sewing stretchy fabric, I don’t think I could ever make a swimsuit that was so cute!

  25. Love it! Beautiful color choice as well.

  26. I’ve always wanted to try to make my own bikini because I can never find bottoms I like…Except it always seemed way too daunting! Thanks for this tutorial..I might actually attempt this! :)

  27. you look great :)

  28. You look amazing!! After wearing it, do you feel you need any elastic?

    • Not at all….but I am stretching it a bit when prego of course. I bet when It gets wet and I were a normal wieght, I bet it might need something around the waist and maybe a strap. That will be on my to do list when I make it non-prego.

  29. will you be so kind to let me know where you purchased your adorable fabric? thank you. you are an inspiration to me. love your creativity!

    • You are going to hate me, but I got the nylon lycra at a thrift store. But I will say that this fabric and the lining fabric are at any Joanns or Hancocks. Sometimes they have cute patterns too like polka dots and such.

  30. love it! great idea!

  31. please start your own shop!

  32. Great idea. I just finished sewing a suit today…it was a vintage pattern, and I really wish I’d made a muslin first. The leg openings have elastic and cut into my thighs like crazy. I’m going to try to save the suit, but I’m happy to see how you approached the bottoms. Thanks for sharing.

  33. This is sooo cute! Thank you soo much for sharing your creative, and modest ideas!

  34. This is great! I’m going to be heavily pregnant through Summer in Australia, and I don’t want to stretch out my nice swimmers, so this is definitely something I’ll come back to at that time!

  35. soooo cute! love it!

  36. So glad I found your site!

  37. you are so awesome …its RIDICULOUS!! my sister and i LOVE LOVE LOVE your site. we even bought a machine and have been using it non-stop ever since we’ve stumbled upon your site! your blog has been a constant source of sewing inspiration! thank you so much! having said that…YES please make a video tutorial on this…that would be AWESOME! ;)

  38. Fun! Definitely going to try a variation of this, thank you!

  39. Stunning! Your sewing skills are exceptional

  40. What?! I have to try this… have to. PS. you are the cutest little prego woman ever. Beautiful!

  41. I love this tutorial! The swimsuit looks flattering, is a fun beachy color and you make it look easy. Thank you!
    Jenny
    Seamingly Smitten

  42. i want to try this tutorial this weekend…the whole ‘tank top and shorts’ for the pool is getting old real quick. But, by any chance do you have any tips for making a boyshort style bottom instead? i’d love a little more coverage after having 6 kids and being 30wks pregnant with my 7th…

  43. Lizzy poo you are so very talented. We are so excited to see you guys so soon! And the new bebe!!! I’m looking forward to lots of laughs!

  44. i need one of these so bad! i am taking a family beach trip at 35 weeks, but i am way too scared to attempt… maybe i’ll try to find some clearance fabric to play with…

  45. At first, my wife thought that it would be impossible for her to swim but when she spotted your trendy maternity bathing suits, she realized that she should just go ahead and do it already.

  46. Just finished making my own tankini with this tutorial!! I’m seriously SO in love!! Went to my local fabric shoppe today- only to find that all of the lyrca/spandex was 50% off! I bought 3 different colors (mint, butter yellow and melon colored) for $10 :) I’ll now have 3 new suits for less than the price of one! Thank you SO MUCH!!!

  47. I love this idea, but I just can’t figure out how you did the gathering. I tried using elastic thread, and the normal thread broke, when I was pulling it on. Then I tried sewing elastic on the inside, but it just looks too bumpy. How did you do it?

  48. If I only I were an expert seamstress…this is so adorable and I love that it transitions back to a normal suit. Great work!

  49. This is adorable! I’m so impressed!

  50. This is gorgeous

    the-renaissance-of-inner-fashion.blogspot.co.uk

  51. This style of tankini can also double as a strapless mini. Simply untie the halter neck support and let it drop down.

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  52. So I’m trying to find the ruching step, and I can’t find it. How did you gather it? Just with a normal gathering technique?
    Thanks!

  53. Wow!! like your sHirt so much))
    great look)))
    adorable style))

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  54. I am confused how you did the rouching on the sides? THank you so much for the tutorial! Cute maternity suits are almost unheard of!!

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  57. Comfortably, the article is in reality the best on this valuable topic. I harmonise with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your coming updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the wonderful clarity in your writing.

  58. I made my own maternity bathing suit (pregnant with baby #5) following your tutorial! Thanks so much!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/meemsseams/9640107294/in/photostream/

  59. Jasmine Wong says:

    OMG I’m just surfing the web for sewing tutorials to see what I can do with my newfound skill and came across this! The 2 items are GORGEOUS!!! LOVE THE PEEKABOO AT THE BACK ESPECIALLY!! Might try and do the peekaboo in front or something. Not sure if that would work. If only I found this when I was pregnant! Just have to wait till I’m pregnant again! Haha!

  60. i really want 2 make this, but i don’t have swimsuit lining, or fabric.
    i wonder if it would work with another kind of fabric

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 6: One Piece Swimsuit // Bikini Top for the Well-Endowed 3// Practicalize Your Bikini Row 7: 3-in-1 Swimsuit // Gathered Bikini Top // Bandeau Knotted Tankini Row 8: Swimsuit Coverup // Swimsuit Coverup [...]

  2. [...] The 3-in-1 DIY swimsuit sewing tutorial from Cotton & Curls [...]

  3. […] DIY tutorial will teach you how to do that in your bathing suit fabric of choice. Make a pair of bottoms to match […]

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