One of my summer sewing goals was to sew a swimsuit. I not only checked it off my list, but hit it out of the park. My photos are once again indoors. I live in an apartment building (with no pool) so I wasn’t comfortable standing out there in a swimsuit. But once I take it out for a swim, I’ll for sure get some pics and put on insta.
Let’s start with the top. It’s the Sierra Bra from Madalynne. I’ve seen several posts about using this for a swimsuit, but not many that detailed the changes they did to make it work for a swimsuit, so I’m gonna try to break that down a bit for you.
Besides the obvious of using swimwear fabrics and swimwear elastic, I also lined up the swimwear hook (bought a Joanns) with the end of the front (which ends up being part of the back) and cut the pattern down to match, leaving room to fold elastic over.
I also added swimwear pads. I just ordered them off Amazon. Nobody seems to mention this when sewing swimwear, but I do not want my nipples showing at the pool. Modesty is important to me. So I sewed up the bra tops (serging elastic onto it, then folding over elastic), when I added elastic to the bottom, I slipped the pads in first, locking the pads inside the lining and main fabric.
I made my own straps using this tutorial from Evie la Luve. I used her second method, but I did a zig zag top stitch, because my machine started skipping stitches, I switched out the needle, rethreaded, not sure what was wrong, but it wasn’t holding together as secure as I wanted, so I secured it with a topstitch.
The bottoms are the Maxine Panties from Evie la Luve. These were super simple. I mostly used this tutorial which uses that pattern to do so. Otherwise I added 1/4″ to the back and front legs, just because I did sew up a practice version using fold over elastic, and it fit great, I was worried I would lose coverage with folding the elastic over when using swimwear elastic. I basically used that tutorial for sewing the Sierra bra elastics as well.
I sewed up a Medium in both the top and bottom. I got the fabric from FashionFabricsClub. Main Fabric and it seems they took the listing down for the lining but there are plenty of swimwear lining options on their site. The Sierra bra calls for 2 yards of lace fabric, keep in mind that normal fabric is a whole lot wider. I bought 2 yards and probably only used 1 1/4 yard for both the top and bottom.
Pattern: Sierra Bra and Maxine Panty
Fabric: Swimwear fabric and lining from fashionfabricsclub
Alterations: quite a bit, all for making it work for swimwear, really no fit adjustments. If I make it again, I might take 1/4″ out of the back piece.
Overall: I love it, I’m so proud of myself. I really feel like it looks store bought. I think the high waist is really flattering on me.