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sewing swimwear

user-101011 | Posted in General Discussion on

Has anyone sewed their own swimwear?   Any tips that

you would like to pass on?   Are there any “13 year old”

patterns?   Too tall for a child and to young for an adult

suit.    Happy sewing, Sew far, Sew good…..I


  1. Skye | | #1

    I have sewn mine and DD swimwear for more 20yrs. Kwik sew patterns are good. I also have the KS Swim and Activewear book -  good instructions and a range of styles. Remember to use swimwear elastic ordinary elastic looses it's stretch when wet = not the look you want. I cnat remember what I did when my DD was at that in-between stage I think I morphed betweena kids pattern and the adult ones.

     There are several good reviews over on pattern review.com

  2. fabricholic | | #2

    I made one years ago. I remember it said to pin it on and that was, literally a pain, ouch! It looked o.k. That was before I had a serger so, I had to double stitch edges over elastic. I used lycra material and it was a good sewing experience.

  3. Ralphetta | | #3

    There was a recent discussion, including the reminder to be sure to use Swimwear Lycra fabric.  If I remember correctly they said other forms of Lycra did not hold up all well in chlorine and there may have been a problem of transparency when wet.  See if you can search and find the thread.

    1. user-101011 | | #4

      Thank you for the information.   I am NEW to this

      gathering.   I know you also must use ball point

      needles.    Thank you,   I

  4. marg | | #5

    Having sewn swim wear and taught how to sew swim wear the most important advice I can give is.....remember swimwear has a tight fit and when it gets wet you will appriciate the tight fit. Regarding adult patterns vs kid ; what fits the closest then just alter it to fit better

  5. jennys | | #6

    i have made swimwear for my 14 year old, after spending 4 hours in a large shopping centre and finding nothing she would contemplate wearing.
    - kwik sew patterns work really well, with detailed and clear instructions. ( I've made several)
    - i used the clear plastic (made from polyurethane )elastic , and it works well. i used the 3 step zigzag to apply it, and it's worth using the nonstick foot to do it, as it is a little sticky. I decrease the foot pressure from 3 to 2 also.
    - when folding over the elastic top stitching it, its important to follow the instruction about topstitching on the inner edge of the fabric ( not close to the fold, or the elastic tends to turn out a little ( more problem off than on, but still worth doing).
    -I used the heavier weight swimwear fabric, to prevent show through when wet.
    - when it is all finished, I get her to shower with it on, to make sure it is not see through or too loose when wet etc.
    Having said all the above, it wasn't difficult, and took less time than the said shopping trip.

    Edited 3/12/2007 7:21 pm ET by jennys

    1. lucilledupuis | | #7

      The best thing I ever did when sewing swimwear was to use an even feed foot for attaching elastic. Much better than teflon for stitching down elastic. I sew seams with a stretch stitch - even feed not necessary. Then I stitch on the elastic with a simple zig zag (and even feed) and then flip and use the triple stitch zigzag for the topstitching. That even feed foot takes the frustration right out of the equation!

      I am blessed with endowment that requires structural engineering. For this I borrowed an idea from some rather expensive RTW. I cut a support piece that looks like the front of a bra without the cups. It attaches at the sides and the CF. It gives a very natural look and plenty of support. I also cloned my pattern form that same RTW. It has a seam that goes across the bust points from side to side and incorporates bust shaping (dart allowance) suitable for women who need more there but not elsewhere. Ingenious!

      1. dotty | | #8

        I don't quite get your description of the bra part. Are you able to do a drawing or photo of it?

        1. User avater
          Thimblefingers | | #9

          I love the Stretch and Sew Swimwear book - comes with the patterns.  The book shows clearly how to measure and fit the suit, how to apply elastic and sew it, how to add shelf bra, bra cups, and tummy panel. I has a variety of suit styles with leg opening cuts and shows how to design your own style using their patterns.  I particularly prefer it over the Kwik Sew patterns because the rear end seems to have more room in it.

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