Ever since college, I’ve mused about making a bikini. They are easy to make and require very little fabric (obviously), so I’m not really sure why it took me so long to make one. Perhaps it’s because of my taste for polyester swimsuits.
Growing up, my sisters and I went through so many lycra swimsuits, because they would fade in just a few weeks from the chlorine and sun. So when Speedo & TYR started offering longer lasting polyester suits, I never went back to the lycra suits.
Even with all the beautiful lycra fabrics available in my local stores, I was never inspired enough to make swim suits out of it. I just wasn’t convinced that it was durable enough to withstand the chlorine and sun.
Finally after my sister’s persuasion (and commission), I decided to give vintage bathing suit making a try! Neither of us are string bikini gals. We like more coverage/support. So we decided on a retro swimsuit design. This design requires much more work than your typical lycra swimsuit. Why? Because the fabric is polyerster/rayon (looks like linen) and not stretchy, so the fit must be exact. In addition, I’ve also added boning to the cups and side.
Shop fabric here:
Linen Look Polyester/Rayon Vintage Floral Red Fabric
Before beginning my sister’s suit, I decided to make one for myself first. I found a sewing pattern to help me pattern the cups, but the pattern’s directions were slim so I used it as a guide instead. I also changed it up by adding boning to the cups with elastic and snaps on the back, rather than hooks.
I LOVE this swimsuit! It’s extremely flattering & fun!
Good thing I made a practice suit because I have a few things I want to change to the design for my sister’s swimsuit! You’ll have to wait to see it, in the meantime…
Here’s a sneak peek!
One of the little girls we babysit for wanted to design her suit! I told her if she drew up different designs, I’d choose one of them! Here’s the drawing we are using for inspiration!
I made turquoise polyester bottoms to go with this top! I also plan on making a matching high-waisted skirt to go with this top too!