I’m Lorna from @thread.and.yarn – I’ve been sewing my own clothes for a while now, but I this year I wanted to experiment with some swimwear. I’ve been getting into wild swimming, and hadn’t really found any RTW costumes I was happy with.
I was browsing swimwear fabrics, and came across this beautiful econyl striped fabric from Sew Me Sunshine. As soon as I saw it, I thought it’d make the perfect bikini! I’ve sewn with jersey a fair amount, so I was hoping swimwear fabric would be similar. This one is a sturdy swimwear fabric, and feels stable like some jersey fabrics I've sewn with.
I’d already made a little bralette from Paradise Pattern’s ‘Sommar Camisole’ and knew it fit well, so I chose it for the top. I wanted it to feel secure, and a little sporty. I chose Megan Nielsen’s ‘Cottesloe’ bikini for the bottoms (the version with the highest waistline). I’ve seen many versions of this bikini and it seems to fit everyone fairly well.
Sew Me Sunshine kindly sent me the swimwear fabric, along with a white swimwear lining, 8mm swimwear elastic and some Gutermann maraflex thread. I already had ballpoint needles (essential for sewing with stretch/knit fabrics).
The construction of the bikini went swimmingly (sorry for the pun). It really did, though. I thought I mind find it tricky to sew swimwear neatly, but the main fabric was robust and didn’t slip around on my machine. I finished the side seams and internal sections with my overlocker, but you could also do this with a zig-zag stitch on a regular sewing machine. I hadn’t sewn with maraflex thread before, but it worked like a dream. I used it as my top and bobbin thread throughout all the topstitching, and it finished so neatly.
The lining was a little thinner and more slippery (and I think had a different stretch to the outer fabric), but as long as I pinned and went slow, it was fine.
I used the swimwear elastic around the thighs of the bikini bottoms, and used a thicker elastic for the waistband and under-bust.
I’m so pleased with how this bikini worked out. I’ve tested it several times and it’s held up very well. I wondered if the white might be slightly see-through, but I’m assured it isn’t! I think lining it really helps here. I’d definitely recommend this fabric, and generally having a go at making your own swimwear. Thanks to Harriet at Sew Me Sunshine for giving me the opportunity to try this idea out!
*Lorna was provided the fabric of her choice free of charge for her blog post & also provided with a £50 voucher*