I was super lucky to spend Christmas in Thailand this year, which meant some weird off-season sewing was in order. I made a bikini and a top new for the trip and it was a great excuse to take along some silk dresses I sewed last Summer. This bikini was half drafted from a RTW bikini top that I LOVE and for the bikini bottoms I used the Papercut Soma Swimsuit pattern. The only photos of it on a body are from a GoPro, so good for holiday pics!
I left this pretty late so it’s not the neatest sew. But I was working with a lot of new things – invisible swimwear elastic?! – and wasn’t even sure how well it would fare in water. I was suspicious that it was going to bag out into about twice the size and leave me bikini-less in any waves, but I was wrong and it actually survived better than some RTW bottoms I took along.
The bikini top that I copied is a much loved fave and now I’m super happy that I can recreate it. I think I must have messed up some seam allowance along the way cause my one looks somewhat smaller on the cup… I think I can just about get away with it and it feels quite secure still. I used to avoid triangle bikinis completely because they ain’t the best friend to any breast over a C-cup. I wear a 32E and I think the RTW bikini that I copied has it sussed with the straps (it was from Cos, if anyone wants to go hunting). The doubled up top strap means that even for a bigger bust the straps are supportive enough.
Each cup is constructed of 2 triangles, one for the lining and one for the outer and I stitched some elastic into each of the sides in mine to stop them from gaping at all. I simply folded over the top and the bottom and stitched down to make a tunnel to put the strap through. I did this all quite scruffily which means that there are some corners poking out. When it was on you could barely see these though.
I used Sophie’s tutorial for the straps. I couldn’t get my head around how it was going to work but then I turned the strap the right way around and it was a perfectly formed strap! My two straps were only 90 cm long each, they could have done with being longer but I was working with a little scrappy of swimwear fabric so had to make do.
The bikini bottoms were from the Soma pattern. After cutting them out and seeing that they looked like they had quite a full coverage I went hunting for online reviews. A lot of people were saying that they had adjusted the bum and sides for less arse-coverage so I decided to follow suit. I made what I thought were quite big adjustments but looking at these photos I definitely wish I’d gone even higher in the leg and cheek. The tan lines were pretty huge and next time I think I’ll thin the sides down to 1.5 inches max.
For the pant elastic I simply stitched the swimwear elastic in then folded and stitched again, all with a zigzag. I decided not to line the bottoms because my fabric was quite thick and I think this was the right decision. The insides aren’t that neat but perfectly fine. I had a bit of a nightmare getting the right tension in the swimwear elastic around my legs. Every time I tried it on it was ridiculously tight and I had a LOT of unpicking meltdowns. I managed to get it okish in the end but if anyone has any tips about this please let me know. The pants didn’t sag out at all in the sea, hooray!
I was really pleased with how this turned out. Now to look at this photo and pretend I’m still there…