Shopping for a bikini is not easy, because one piece of the bikini is $14 on sale! I hate to break it to you people, but $14 for two tiny triangles and string is not worth it. Not to mention you still have to buy bottoms. At a fabric store when it’s not on sale you can get a yard of fabric for $14 and that’s exactly what I did.
I also have been wanting a more personalized bikini top, I don’t care much for the styles they have now. It’s either a choice between triangles or that weird bandeau twist thing, and both are halter top. I don’t have to hold up much, but it still hurts my neck. I don’t know how you more-blessed ladies do it! So here’s my super simple solution to making a bikini top that I feel comfortable in.
Swim/Dance Material (a blend of polyester and nylon)
1. Fold your fabric in half and cut a square of fabric 9 inches by 20 (40 inches unfolded). Keep it folded in half and make the last 8 inches tapered, like a triangle. (Confusing, I know, check out the picture below!) Also, I got some of my inspiration from Martha Stewart’s New-So DIY Swimsuit found on Pinterest. There is a pattern on there, you can even use that to create this one.
2. Cut 2 strips of fabric 3 inches by 18 inches. Also a piece 8 inches by 12 inches.
3. Take the strap pieces and fold them with the insides together and pin them. Sew the long edge, and one of the small edges. Turn each of them inside out.
4. Take the finished small edge and pin it to the strap a few inches up. (Another confusing-sounding one, look at the picture!)
4.The medium sized piece is there for lining, and also a pocket for if you want to add padding. (Mine was stolen from an old swim suit) This needs to be lined up in the center of your main piece. You will fold the edges of the main piece over for a regular hem, but make sure to pin in the lining as well. Pin the entire length of the main piece. After that pin on your straps to the front. If you can, try it on and space the straps to where it fits best for you. Mine are about 7 inches apart.
5. Sew the edges of the bikini top. It should include the two straps and lining in the same stitch. If you have never sewn stretch fabric, it is easy with some practice but may not look great (mine doesn’t even after doing tons of stretchy stuff). The key is to do a zig zag stitch or to do a long straight stitch and pull the fabric tight so that it will stretch out that far when you go to wear it later. I practiced by making a headband.
Now for wearing it! You noticed that the straps only attached once, because they have the loops in the back that you string the main part of the bikini through. You can move the straps wherever you want, have them straight or crisscrossed. If you think of any other ways to wear it or embellish it, let me know, I would love to hear about it!
If you need bottoms as well there are some no-sew ones in the same Martha Stewart article I told you about earlier, and there is also a great website called Pattern School where it teaches you really in depth of how to make swimwear or dance wear pieces. It is also free!
I hope you have fun swimming in your new bikini top! Don’t forget your sunscreen (My picture shows where I was burned while wearing a crocheted lace back tank top. It has a cool pattern )