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Sewing your swimwear may seem overwhelming at first. There are a lot of small pieces, and sizing a swimsuit can be difficult. But with a good pattern, quality material, and some practice, you can make your own suit, even with your home sewing machine.
After all, you want a garment that looks store-bought but also one that fits like a luxurious custom-made garment. Even if you don’t have an industrial sewing machine, you can make a nice swimsuit.
But before we go into the ins and outs of making your bathing suit, we what to avoid a few mistakes when sewing a swimsuit.
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Don’t Use Just Any Kind of Stretch Fabric
Many people believe any fabric will do if it stretches a bit. But remember that a swimsuit needs to stretch enough to fit around the body but be comfortable, and it needs to be a bathing suit fabric that has stretch recovery, so you don’t lose part of your swimsuit when you are out playing in the water. For this reason, you need a fabric that has at least 50% stretch.
Avoid using spandex fabric as well. This fabric works for fitted clothing but not swimwear as it can stretch but often looks sheer and doesn’t fit well in a bathing suit. Instead, look for high-quality nylon/spandex that has at least a 50% stretch to it.
So now that you know what you should avoid let’s get to it. Use this guide to find everything you need to make a nice swimsuit at home.
Bathing suit fabric choice plays an important role in swimsuit design. A poor choice can make a swimsuit heavy when it absorbs water or, as we mentioned before, transparent when wet. In contrast, a nice fabric will flatter your shape and last for a long time.
Note: ordering fabric online can be risky. Instead, try to order a swatch and test it in water for color bleeding, for stretch, and the cracking or distorting of a print when stretched.
What Makes Sewing Swimwear Different from Other Sewing Projects?
Swimwear patterns are created with negative ease, which means that the garment measurements are smaller than the measurements you take for the body.
When you choose a fabric with a lot of stretch, you’ll be able to put it on and move in it. You want four-way stretch material because two-way stretch fabric will not give you much leeway in length or grain. If you use 2-way stretch, create a two-piece swimsuit instead of a one-piece.
The fabric should be 100% man-made. Natural fibers tend to absorb water making it an impractical for sewing swimwear. Look for Fabrics that are nylon but also have spandex in them for stretchability.
Before you start sewing, test the stretchability of your fabric to view the way it functions once it is stretched. For example, does it change in appearance when you stretch it, or does it become transparent? If there’s a print, does the print get distorted? You want to check all of these factors before you start working with the fabric.
Swimwear DIY – What You Will Need
You Will Need Lining
Choose the right lining material for your swimsuit. For example, look for material that is soft and has a four-way stretch. This is an excellent choice. You can use either a transparent linin or a neutral-colored lining. The transparent lining gives you a lighter feel though.
Another option in Swimwear DIY is to choose a neutral-colored fabric as a lining. This will give you additional opacity and give you a firmer piece to work with. The neutral lining will also offer a smoothing effect for the bathing suit.
Elastic is an important thing you’ll need for your swimwear project. The elastic shapes and holds a garment against your body in the appropriate places.
Choose a good elastic that will stand up to water And other weather elements like salt and sun. Avoid using the conventional polyester elastic is this doesn’t do well underwater and sound elements. Swimwear elastic is better, and it’s easier to work with.
This elastic is woven with rubber and gives it more stretch and strength. You can find it in a variety of wits and it’s not very expensive. The with you use depends on the model of swimsuit you’re making.
An alternative is to use rubber elastic for swimwear. It’s the same as the cotton elastic but is a little slippery and a little harder to work with. It creates less of a bulky edge for the sew-in finishes and works better where you need a smooth finish. You can generally find these in 1/4 inch and 3/8 in widths.
The best type of thread you can use for bathing suits is a Woolly Nylon thread.
Keep in mind that wooly nylon needs to be added slowly. Wind the bobbin slowly to prevent tension issues and use a needle threader to help thread the machine.
Avoid using cotton thread as this will weaken with the chlorine and the water. Instead, use a polyester thread. Keep in mind that wooly nylon thread is resilient and makes the best type of thread for this type of garment.
Making Your Bathing Suit
When doing swimwear DIY projects, cutting can be one of the difficult parts of swimwear. The fabric is slippery and moves, so you need to use a rotary cutter and pins to make cutting the material easier.
Cut single layers. This gives you better control of the cut end of your sewing.
Cut printed Fabrics on the right side of the fabric to see the print placement on the garment.
Use pins with heads to prevent runs in the fabric. If possible, use a rotary cutter and a pattern wait to have more control over the cut.
Be careful with the grain lines and ensure that the pattern pieces are on the same grain before you cut. Otherwise, you will get a strange pattern look.
Your Home sewing machine is enough to construct your project. But a serger can also make things easier here. It’s best to use a serger to sew right sides together. Most seamstresses use a standard seam allowance of 3/8 of an inch for swimwear. Be sure that your blade is engaged because it needs to cut about an eighth of an inch off as you sew.
If you only have a regular sewing machine, use a zig-zag stitch in place of the surged stitch. An alternative is to use a mock overlock stitch. Start by sewing the right side together and cutting off the excess fabric from the seam.
Before you sew the swimsuit, test your stitch on a small piece of fabric to make sure it has adequate strength and doesn’t affect the stretch of the fabric.
With most swimsuits, you’ll use elastic to finish the edges of the swim garment. Keep in mind that the proper application of the elastic will get you a better quality of finish.
The most common technique to sew in the elastic is to use the sew and turned type of stitch. It is a technique that anyone can do and doesn’t require a lot of skill.
Putting It Together
Keep in mind that you want to cut the elastic 25% shorter than the opening of the fabric. Join the two edges of elastic and overlap them then secure it with a zig-zag stitch. Pin the Atlantic to the inside edge and use a serger or a short zig-zag stitch to attach the elastic to the fabric area.
Create The Bust Support
If you want a gorgeous swimsuit, then you need to think of bust support. But you can use three different methods to give you that support.
Purchase foam cups and add them to your swimwear in the appropriate frontal area. Foam cups offer support and give you body shape when the wind swimsuit is wet.
But be sure to buy foam cups specifically made for swimwear as other types of Home cat cops won’t stand up to the salt and chlorinated water.
When you’re sewing the cups, hold them over the lining and position where you want them, then mark the placement. sew the cup to the inside part of the swim lining using a zig-zag stitch on the edge of the cup and the lining.
You can also get bust support with underwire. Look for a pattern that uses underwiring. Purchase an underwire that fits your bust size. Before you cut your fabric, alter the pattern, so that it makes room for the underbust seam measurements of 5/8 of an inch.
Attach the cups to the band using of 5/8 inch seam in a straight stitch. Smooth the rough edges with a serger stitch. Use a straight stitch to make a channel underneath the cup to insert the underwire.
Although stays do not support the bust, they do keep the swimsuit up in place while you’re swimming. Apply the stays similar to the way you did the underwire.
Stays are applied in a very similar fashion to underwire but in a vertical fashion along the abdomen and back. Cut your stays about 1/4 inch smaller than the finished measurement of your channels to prevent them from stretching the bathing suit fabric. If you need to smooth out the edges of the plastic stays, you can use a nail file.
Making your own swimsuit can be challenging but also very rewarding. Plus you have a custom-built suit for your shape.
Like all the other sewing projects, making the right swimsuit boils down to using good materials and practicing your technique. realize that it might take more than one try to get that perfect swimsuit because you do need to have practice.