Seamwork
 

Staff Makes


We made swimsuits!

Staff Makes



We know it helps to see finished examples of Seamwork patterns made in different fabrics and on different body types. We’re lucky to work with very talented models every month, but if we also share our finished projects, you’ll get a better idea of how you can make the patterns fit your style and your body.

This month, the team is headed to the beach. We’re baring it all—or just some of it—in our handmade beachwear. Swimwear can be intimidating, but we’re sharing our makes so you can see that it’s totally possible to sew beachwear that makes you feel confident.

Haley’s Striped Crosby Suit


Tell us about your look! What inspired this beachwear look?

I love a good swimsuit, but my current suits are all more appropriate for lounging poolside than frolicking in the sand and water. During the design and development process for the new Crosby pattern, I was set on creating something that addressed all my swimwear woes. Something supportive, comfortable, easy to move in, all wrapped in a feel-good design and cut. Crosby ticks all of those boxes, so I was the first in line to test this beauty out—and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I opted for a neutral black and white stripe but played with the directionality a bit. I love that this is the kind of suit I feel cute and confident in, but it’s also something I could comfortably wear for a day on the river.

Do you have any tips for sewing swimwear?

Take your time and read every single step. Parts of the swimwear construction process can feel a little counter-intuitive but trust the process. Oh, and when in doubt, baste! There are a few layers at play plus elastic so basting with a generously sized zigzag stitch will give you a lot more control.

Pick your fabric wisely! If you are making a one-piece you must use something with four-way stretch. If you are making a two-piece, two- or four-way stretch will do the trick.

Why did you pick this fabric? Did it work well?

I knew that I wanted to find something striped and neutral and that a good four-way stretch was a must. Originally I had a bigger, bolder stripe in mind, but I ended up going with a smaller staggered stripe. I am pleased with how my suit came out. I like that the smaller stripe has a classic look.

Project Details:

I made a size 14 graded to a 12 at the waist. My measurements are 42", 33", 45" and I am 5’2”. The fabric was purchased locally at Mill End in Portland.

Haley Goes Tropical


Tell us about your look! What inspired this beachwear look?

I had seen simple ready-to-wear swimsuits in a similar style. Every time I was tempted to buy one, I would remind myself, that’s so silly! I could totally make that. One day last winter, it dawned on me that I could use the Kaye and Dana lingerie patterns as a jumping off point to create my own version. Read more about how I hacked these lingerie patterns into swimwear here!.

Why did you pick this fabric? Did it work well?

Initially, I was envisioning a yellow gingham print but was having a hard time finding something I liked. When I stumbled across this amazing tropical/animal print, I knew it was time to take a risk and pivot!

Project Details:

I made a size large Kaye top and Dana bottoms. I also lengthened the rise of Dana by 4 inches. My measurements are 42", 33", 45" and I am 5’2". The fabric was purchased locally at Mill End in Portland.

Chelsea Loves Donuts



Tell us about your look! What inspired this beachwear look?

How can donuts not inspire you?! I had just a tiny bit of this fabric, and I was blown away that I had enough to make a whole swimsuit!

Do you have any tips for sewing swimwear?

Go slow and take it one step at a time! This swimsuit took me about five days total to make, just because I would only do a little bit each day. Going slow really helped me focus on each step, instead of feeling the need to rush through it so I could wear it ASAP. I also recommend pre-stretching your elastic. That’s something I do for all my sewing projects using elastic now.

Why did you pick this fabric? Did it work well?

It worked very well! It had plenty of stretch, but enough structure so I really felt secure in it. I also feel even more comfortable wearing this because the print makes me so happy. The fabric is from Spandex World.

Project Details:

I made the member bonus version of Crosby in size 8. I took out 1” of length from the top and 1” out from the bottoms. My measurements are 37 1/2”, 28”, 39” and I am 5’2”.

Wallis Hacked Some Lingerie


Tell us about your look! What inspired this beachwear look?

I love the Ariane bodysuit, so I decided I should make it into a swimsuit. I usually don’t wear a one-piece swimsuit, and since I liked the Dana panties, I decided to use them for the bottom.  

Do you have any tips for sewing swimwear?

Go slow and do your research. I tried years ago to make a swimsuit and failed miserably because I didn’t do any technical research. I just watched a short YouTube video and thought it would be enough.

Test your stitches on scraps and make sure they won’t snap when stretched to the max! Buy good quality swimsuit lining fabric—I found my previous swimsuit lining fabric did not have good recovery. I decided to save myself a lot of trouble and opt for a different lining altogether.

Why did you pick this fabric? Did it work well?

This is Spoonflower’s Performance Lycra, and I think it works really well as a swimsuit fabric. 

Project Details:

I made an XS Ariane top and size 2 Dana panties shortened by 2." More specific construction alterations are noted in this month’s article about how to hack your lingerie patterns into swimwear. My measurements are 33”, 27”, 37” and I am 5’4”.

Robin Did Some Color-Blocking


Tell us about your look! What inspired this beachwear look?

Pinterest and Google!

Do you have any tips for sewing swimwear?

Before you sew them together at the waist, try on the top and bottoms to make sure the length is correct for your body.

It’s tempting to skip some of the basting, but it is super helpful when keeping the layers of fabric from slipping.

When finishing the neckline and leg openings, keep your zigzag close to the inner edge of the elastic. This will help keep it from flipping out.

Why did you pick this fabric? Did it work well?

The bonus version of Crosby begs for some color-blocking. I juggled several bolts of fabric until I found three that looked nice together.

Project Details:

I made a size 4, blended to 6 at the waist. I removed 1" from the length of the bottoms. My measurements are 35", 30 1/2", 37" and I am 5’4”.

Kathleen’s Open-Back,
Cropped Gene Top



Tell us about your look! What inspired this beachwear look?

I got really interested in the Pattern Hackers version of the Gene dress, but I was never into the tied-dress look for me, so I made it a little more personal.

Why did you pick this fabric? Did it work well?

This fabric has a print I love and a weight I was excited about. It’s thin and light so I was able to make the knot nice and tight and not have it weigh down the shirt.

Project Details:

I ended up taking off about 20” total length. About 16” came from the middle section and the rest from the bottom. I also added about 1” to the width of the back band to cover up my bra completely.

I made a size 10. My measurements are 38 1/2”, 33 1/2”, 44 1/2” and I am 5’9”.

To see more finished projects from the Seamwork team, head over to the Community and browse the projects forum!

Kenzie
Emmie
Miller

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