Summer is most people's favorite season. During summer, there are of course a lot of activities that we can do and one of the fun things is swimming. And for this to be the most fun, having good looking and well fitting swimwear is a must. However, many readers find it difficult to find the right swimwear “off the rack” to fit their size and body shape.
Well, fortunately, there's a solution since you can make your own swimwear. Don’t worry, you won't be the first one to DIY swimwear. All you need is a good pattern, the right materials and some practice and patience.
We have gathered some helpful and practical tips for you to succeed in sewing swimwear. Why not make sewing swimwear your next sewing project?
Tip #1: Choose the right fabric
Choose a swimwear fabric that has the right stretch. Really examine the fabric carefully to make sure you'll be comfortable wearing it. Pick a four-way stretch fabric because they are the most appropriate fabric for swimwear. The fabric should be composed of a 100% man-made fibers because these don't absorb water and will be very durable. The best to use are those composed of 80-90 % nylon and part Spandex.
Before buying, stretch the fabric to see how it feels. If the fabric is a print, does the image or design of the fabric become distorted when you stretch it? These basic characteristics of a swimwear fabric are definitely important in choosing the best fabric.
Here are some examples of interesting swimwear fabrics:
Tip #2: Choose the right lining
This is an important detail in your swimwear. The lining affects a swimwear’s comfort when worn. Don't choose a lining that will irritate your skin or itch. One good example of a great lining is Halenka. If you cannot source out Halenka, you can choose a sheer swimwear fabric. It will also work great! Below is an example of swimwear lining fabric.
Tip #3: Choose the right elastic
This is an essential part of your swimwear. The overall durability of the garment greatly depends on the durability of the sewing elastic that you choose. There are two kinds of trustworthy elastic you can use: cotton swimwear elastic and rubber elastic. There are different widths and textures you can choose from and it is also important to choose the right kind to fit your swimwear’s design. Below is a good example of specialized swimwear elastic.
Tip #4: Choose the right thread
Thread holds your swimwear together, so it's pretty essential. Threads can weaken over time and with excessive exposure to chlorine and salt. Avoid sewing with cotton thread because this cannot tolerate long exposure to chlorinated water. When using a serger for your project, it is better to use a thread that is made of polyester for durability.
Tip #5: Cutting it right
As with any sewing projects, cutting your fabric the right way with the right measurements is essential. Once you commit a cutting mistake, there’s no coming back unless you have lots of fabric on hand. As the saying goes, measure twice and cut once. Cut the parts one at a time, if possible so that you can avoid damaging the other part. If you are using a printed fabric, cutting it with the right side of the fabric facing up will greatly help you see the pattern line clearly. Make use of tools like pattern weights, pins, and a rotary cutter can help you be in control of the fabric while cutting.
Tip #6: Give the right support
Getting the right support for your bust when wearing a swimsuit is a critical factor. Remember that you are wearing only the swimsuit and nothing else, so make sure that you provide the bust support you need.
You can use foam cups for light support. Make sure to use those that are intended for swimwear and not for those intended for lingerie –those cannot stand up long exposure to chlorinated water or salt water and can also absorb more water than those intended for swimwear.
Another choice for the chest support is by using an underwire. This is by far the most reliable bust support for swimwear. However, it would also depend on your swimwear design to determine whether you can insert an underwire. If you expect you're going to need the support of an underwire, look for swimwear patterns that allow you to use them. And when you make one, be sure to size correctly for maximum comfort while swimming.
Your thoughts on sewing swimwear?
What are your thoughts about sewing your very own swimwear? I've been thinking about adding a bathing suit to the workout wardrobe series we've been working on since January. Would you be interested in future projects and tutorials about sewing swimwear?
Please share in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you.