The pattern I used to make this bathing suit is a vintage pattern that I bought last summer from an Etsy seller. If you go on Etsy and type in the search “bathing suit pattern” you can find lots of sellers that have patterns. It seems like it is hard to find a pattern in the store these days – I guess it is not popular to sew your own bathing suit anymore. I actually prefer to sew my own bathing suit as I can get the fit the way I want it. I will admit sometimes you have to make the pattern a couple of times before it is exactly how you want it but the result is worth it – a good fit and a bathing suit that will last for several years, most likely.
The pattern was made back in 1973 according to the pattern information. As you can see it was only a dollar back then. I think I paid around $6 or $8 for it on Etsy. I have made version 2, in the right hand corner, three times now. I made one last summer and had to make a few adjustments to it and I made two this summer. I recently finished a turquoise bathing suit in addition to the red polka dot bathing suit.
The fabric I bought for this bathing suit was from Spandex World. I also bought it last year at the end of summer so it was on clearance. The fabric I used for the lining was panty spandex from Sew Sassy. I think it only cost me about $15 to $20 to make this red polka dot bathing suit and that includes the elastic and back closure.
Some tips for sewing your own bathing suit:
- Use decent quality swimwear fabric and purchase a little extra in case you need to make another top or bottom with adjustments to your pattern
- Be familiar with sewing on stretchy fabrics that have spandex or lycra in them
- Line the top and the bottom for best results – you can use swimwear lining or panty spandex
- Use a stretch sewing machine needle size 75/11
- Use a narrow zigzag stitch for topstitching the elastic as it will stretch more
Places to order supplies for making your own bathing suit:
- Spandex World – lots of swimwear fabric at reasonable prices
- Etsy – for swimwear fabric and bathing suit patterns, also the back closures
- Sew Sassy – good quality elastic that is reasonably priced, plastic back closures, swimwear lining and thin foam cup inserts for the top
What sewing projects have you been working on lately? Let me know in the comments.