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Crafts for summer: Make a One-Piece Swimsuit

holiday craft, Sewing  |  July 21st 2011  |  0 Comment


Starting with a pattern for bikini bottoms, One Avian Daemon came up with a very snazzy, very flattering one-piece swimsuit. Head over to their website to check out the tutorial and their other cute bathing suit ideas!

These are the pieces of my pattern for high waisted bikini bottoms:

The pattern comes in two sizes: “small” (24-30″ waist, 33-38″ bottom) and “large” (28-36″ waist, 36-46″ bottom). I don’t think these sizes correspond very well to standard sizes, they’re just the two sizes I have my pattern in. Use the measurements above, or the more detailed measurements bellow to figure out which size is better for you. To use the pattern just click on each of these pictures and keep clicking until you get the full size image. Print it out, check that the 1″ mark really is 1″, tape the pieces together at the stars and dots, and cut out your swimsuit.

Swimsuits are stretchy, and these two standard sizes will fit a range of people pretty well, but I always adjust them to more closely fit the person they’re for. To do this you will need these measurements.

1. Waist. Measure where you want the top of the swimsuit to be. For this high waisted style that will be your natural waist, somewhere near your belly button.
2. Bottom. Measure around the largest part of your lower body.
3. Thigh. Measure around the top of your thigh.
4. Side height. The length you want the side to be, from the edge of the leg opening to the waist.
5. Front length. From the waist in front to crotch center.
6. Back length. From the waist in back to crotch center.

Next, scale those numbers for swimsuit fabric. Swimsuit fabric is stretchy, and you want the swimsuit to stretch a bit when you wear it. This will help it stay on and keep it from sagging in an unflattering way. Your swimsuit should be at 10% – 30% smaller than you. All of the swimsuits shown here are on the 10% end, because we’re not fans of the skin-tight slightly squished look a smaller swimsuit gives, but we’re also not serious swimmers. A tighter swimsuit is more secure. For a splashing around in the ocean swimsuit, multiply all your measurements by 0.9; for a looking-cute-while-swimming suit, multiply by 0.8; for a bikini you can dive in, multiply by 0.7 and take the elastic option whenever there’s a choice of how to finish an edge.

Using your adjusted measurements, make sure that the pattern measurements match your measurements. Modify the pattern as needed, keeping in mind that it will stretch more over your bottom, while the elastic or waist band can bring it in slightly at the waist (my measurements are waist 25″, bottom 36″ and the size small fits me perfectly).

The pattern measurements for the size small are approximately:

1. 27″
2. 33″
3. 16″
4. 8″
5. 10″
6. 11″

For the large:

1. 29″
2. 36″
3. 17″
4. 9″
5. 10″
6. 12″

Now that you have your fabric and your pattern, it’s time to make the swimsuit (or at least the bottoms – tops are next week).

Reminder: You will need less than 1 yard swimsuit fabric, a very small piece of lining fabric (can be replaced with more of the main fabric or left out entirely), 3 yards 1/8 inch elastic, and matching thread.

Cut out the front and back from the swimsuit fabric and the liner from lining fabric.

Pin the front and back pieces together, with the right sides facing in. Sew up both sides and along the crotch, using a slight zigzag stitch. Pin the liner to the inside of the crotch. I used to sew it in place separately, but Prima who did this part on 5 swimsuits this weekend reports that there’s really no need – you can sew it in with the elastic.

Sew the elastic to the wrong side of the fabric at the edge of the leg hole, using an 1/8 inch zigzag and beginning at the crotch seam. Hold the elastic tight, but don’t stretch it. When you reach the end, cut off the extra elastic. Fold the edge of the leg hole over so the fabric wraps over the elastic. Fold again. Sew down this folded edge, stretching the fabric and elastic slightly as you sew.

The simplest way to finish the top is to put in elastic, just like you did for the leg holes. It’s easier to sew this seam, since it’s straighter.

Alternatively, you can sew on a waistband. To do this, cut a strip of fabric as long as the waist of your swimsuit and 3″ wide. Fold this piece in half lengthwise with the right sides facing in, and sew up the short end. Fold the loop you’ve just created so that the right side of the fabric shows on both sides. Sew the raw edge of the loop to the top of your swimsuit using a slight zigzag stitch.

source: make-handmade.com

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