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What I Made: August

how to sew a bikini

Being from Florida, I’m surprised that I haven’t sewn more bathing suits. Maybe it’s the pale skin, red hair, freckles? Put me in the sun for more than an hour and I’ll look like Lindsey Lohan. No bueno. It’s not like I haven’t had the pressure. My brother says to me all the time, “You should make bathing suits.” My response, “You should mind your own business”. Brothers… 

I postponed a trip home over 4th of July to the first weekend in August. This week! Hopefully, I’ll be spending a couple of days at Ocean Reef. My family has a house there. Rest assured, I’ll be out of the sun, but I’ll still need a bathing suit. So, I made myself a damn bathing suit! Also, I’m hosting a swimsuit workshop on August 20 and students will be making this very suit. Round of applause for killing two birds with one stone. Actually, I’m killing three birds with one stone – hopefully this will shut my brother up. Love ya Gerrit!


Fabric + Trims
Self fabric:
What makes this project extra special is that I teamed up with Cinne, owner of C.Banning, who created custom printed custom fabric. She’s a sponsor of Madalynne and has been supportive of my blog, my teaching and my lingerie biz for years now. Thanks Cinne! When she told me she opened a shop on Spoonflower, I knew a collaboration was only a matter of time. That time is now.

So, this project uses Spoonflower’s sports Lycra, which is 88% polyester and 12% Lycra. It is a 4-way stretch with 75% stretch in the width and 50% in the length. It is color fast to chlorine and salt water.

Lining: Lightweight nylon swimsuit lining from Bra Makers Supply.

Elastic: Filpar elastic at the underarm and the underbust on the bikini top and clear elastic for the leg and waist opening on the bikini bottoms, both from Bra Makers Supply.

The pattern is a combination of 2 of my most popular (free) PDF bra patterns – Noelle and Sierra. I got the idea to combine the two after seeing the bathing suit shown here. It was super easy to draft – I combined the bodice of Noelle with the straps of Sierra. I eliminated the hook and changed it to be a tie back. I like my bathing suits easy with minimal trims/hardware. I used the panty pattern from Noelle to draft the bottoms, lowering the height to be low rise and changing the leg line to be bikini cut.

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Tips for Bathing Suits:
Sewing bathing suits is very similar to sewing lingerie; it’s the fabric and trims that are different. If you’re new to sewing bathing suits, I suggest you check out the following. Super helpful!

Maybe it was because I didn’t make the right suit that I haven’t made more bathing suits? Yep, that’s probably it, because after making this, I want to make more. Mucho more. I’m also excited for the class on August 20! There are going to be some fine ladies hitting the beach in their me-mades come Labor Day!

how to sew a bikini how to sew a bikini


  1. Reply

    Sewing Princess

    I can’t wait to make another. I would be great if you did an online course too ;o) By how much did you lower your Noelle? I made a second pair lowering the waistline by 1 inch…but looks more on yours.

    • Reply


      I raised the leg opening 1″ at the side seam, and then lowered the waist so that the SS was 2.5″

  2. Reply


    looks beautiful !

  3. Reply


    I’ve been wondering about Spoonflower’s lycra. Since you used it for a swim suit it should work well for a sports bra or running/yoga tights?

    • Reply


      Yes! On their website, they say that the fabric can be used for running/yoga clothes.

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