Friday, August 3, 2012

Endless Options Bikini Top

I know most bloggers out there are already thinking about Halloween and Christmas but around here summer is pretty fleeting so I'm living in the moment and enjoying the hot sunshine for as long as possible.

With that in we're going to make a bikini!  Before you say, oh no, that's not for me, let me just say, if you want to wear a bikini you go ahead and wear a bikini!  I've travelled to a lot of different countries and I think it's only in North America that we're so uptight about these things.

Today's project was inspired by the bathing suits I found in Thailand, and let me tell you, EVERYONE was wearing them.  It didn't matter how old, what size, or how many rolls people had, we were all wearing bikini's.  Sometimes you just need to let it all hang out.

All right, enough lecturing, let's get sewing!

I'm going to break it down for you in two parts, making the pattern, and then sewing it up.

Here's what you need to make your pattern.

- Craft or tissue paper
- Ruler or measuring tape
- pencil and paper scissors

1) Make a rectangle.  This will be the body of your top.

2) Make a long lopped off triangle.   This will be the straps of your top.

Here are all of your pattern pieces:

Now, here's what you need to make your bikini top.

- your pre-cut pattern pieces
- spandex fabric (something with two way stretch)
- scissors, pins, thread, and a sewing machine

Look at the glitter on my fabric!! hee hee!

1) Cut out your pattern pieces.  Fold your fabric, selvedges and wrong sides together.  Cut out the body once (you'll have two pieces) and cut the straps twice (you'll have four pieces).

2) With right sides together, sew your body pieces together by sewing the long edges.

3) You can finish the edges if you want and turn right side out.  (By 'finish the edges', I mean serging or zigzagging.  You don't have to do this though because the spandex won't fray.  You may want to trim a bit so there's no bulk though.)

4) Do the same with the strap pieces and only leave the wide bottom of your triangle open.  Sew all the other sides together (right sides together).

5) Trim the corners at the narrow end of your triangle and turn right side out.

6) Now, back to the body piece.  Run a long basting stitch along the short edges of your body piece and gather to the length of the open end of your strap.

7) Pin the body to one side of the strap and sew together.

8) Fold over the unsewn side, folding over the seam allowance, sew (by hand is best but you can do it with your machine if you need to) closed.

Tah dah!  That's it!  Easy peasy and it can be worn sooooo many ways.

Twist it!

Bandeau style!

Get fancy and add a brooch~
As for the bottoms, this you will need a pattern for.  I ended up using my trusty Kwik Sew undies pattern because I know it fits me perfectly.  I just made a few minor alterations to it and added some ties to make sure they don't look like undies.

I'm thrilled with the way this turned out.  Every other bathing suit I have ever made has never fit properly.  Usually the bottoms are way too big and the tops are way too small.  But guess what...this one fits just right!

Don't be shy.  Make your own suit and get out there and flaunt it girl!  And because I always like to practice what I preach, he's what it looks like in real life.

DIY Bikini, #bikini, Make your own bikini top, easy sewing, #free sewing
Have a great sunny weekend everyone!

This project was featured here:


Pam @Threading My Way said...

Aren't bikinis worn in North America? Bikinis are common place in Australia. You have made such a versatile bikini top!!! It's fabulous that it can be worn in several different ways. Great tutorial. I would love for you to share this at our ongoing linky that's just for Swimwear...

Etcetorize said...

Hi Pam...Bikini's are worn but people here are quite uptight about showing skin after a certain age or if you've had children. There's such a huge emphasis on youth in North America, that if you don't look like a teenager you're considered over the hill. I don't care though. I think tanlines are horribly tacky so the less fabric on my body the better ;)


Ana Love Craft said...

Hi Tamara,

In my sunny country people wear biquini in every ages, however there are several models adapted to each age. I really think this versatile top is going on you very well :)!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Hugs from Portugal

Ana Love Craft

WobiSobi said...

This is so amazing.. I have always wanted to make my own bathing suit.. Love this.. And you look amazing in it..Love you friend.

Jacinda said...

This bathing suit is SO adorable I want one! You are gorgeous! Well done!

Sew Can Do said...

This is fantastic Tamara! Really nice looking and so versatile too. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! We'd love to include the bikini top pattern on as a how-to. Interested? Feel free to email me at

Betsy said...

I love how the top is so versatile.

Jill said...

Good for you Tamara! Love your bikini - so versatile, just fabulous!!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Lee said...

I love it, ty for posting it. Question, on the sewing of the spandex fabric. Might be a stupid question, but, i'll ask anyhow. Is this one of them stretch and sew items? I mean on the sewing machine, do u need to stretch the material as you sew it? No laughing now, thanks for your time.

Etcetorize said...

Thanks Lee! That's not a silly question at all. There's a lot of long straight stitches in this piece so I would stretch it just a tiny bit while sewing. That way you'll reduce thread breakage if you stretch it when you put it on. Happy sewing~

Adorned From Above said...

I love the top, and I grew up in L.A. we love bikinis. Even a little over weight I will still wear one. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this post. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party.
I hope to see you there. Have a great Day.
Debi Bolocofsky
Adorned From Above

CC said...

Very cute and great job!

Anonymous said...

This is so cute...and it is so HOT right now that I want to make this. How long did you make your strap pattern pieces? I'm off to the fabric store tomorrow to buy some fabric!

Anonymous said...

how long are the straps you said, 2.25 wide and one end and 4.5 at the other end, but how long of a strap do I measure for

Chassidy said...

Hello! I stumbled on your blog from somewhere, pinterest probably. You have so many great tutorials. I can't wait make a few of the lace boot socks and the lacey top this weekend. Quick question on this bikini top though, I'm quite busty, (DD to be exact) how much more material would you add so the top covers my tata's? :)

Etcetorize said...

Chassidy...your account is set to 'no reply' so I can't send you an answer directly. Just think of my top as an XS and add about a half inch to all sides for each size you need to go up. So, if you think you'd fit a medium, add an inch, a large, add 1.5". I'm afraid this is a total guess as I've never been blessed with those kind of curves~

Anonymous said...

I'm working during about the double i ha e a 32 d o make I get the 1.5 for next size up UT what about width like up n down wise would I need to cut more as well it seems to make sense


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