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Monday, September 15, 2014

Make it Monday: Draft and Sew a Custom Bikini Bottom

Here is the follow up to last weeks Sporty Bikini Top tutorial!  The pattern is drafted by tracing out your best fitting bikini bottoms or panties.

Materials and Supplies
-Bikini Bottom or Panties (to make the pattern)
-Paper, Pencil, Eraser & Ruler
-Measuring Tape
-Swim Suit Fabric & Lining (about 1/2 yard of each, I used a polyester/spandex knit for the lining)
-Thread to Match
-Chlorine Treated Elastic (1" Wide
 and 1/4" Wide)
- Sewing Machine
Drafting Instructions

1.  Lay your bikini bottoms flat at trace around half of the front and back pieces.  Double check that all the "important" measurements match up between the pattern and the bikini bottoms.
It's important to keep in mind that it's best to have the bottom seam more to the back of your body than right in the middle.
 2.  Draw a seam 3/8" allowance all around your pattern pieces, leaving the fronts without because you will cut both pieces along the fold.  You can make the top seam allowance 1" wide instead so all you have to do is sew on and fold down the top elastic.  I couldn't do this with mine because I had to make my pattern pieces a little shorter than I would of liked because I had so little fabric left to work with.
 Sewing Instructions
*Use a small zig-zag or other stretch stitch*

1.  Cut out your front and back pieces from your fabric and lining so that the greatest amount of stretch will go around your body.
 2.  Sew the front and back piece together along the crotch seam using a 3/8" seam allowance.  Do the same with your lining.
 3.  Place the lining piece onto your fabric piece so that both seams are sandwiched on top of each other.
4.  Take your 1/4" elastic and measure it and cut 2 pieces that are about 1 1/2" smaller than the leg opening edge measures.
 5.  Use a wide zig-zag stitch or a serger to sew the elastic onto the edge of the leg opening, stretch out the elastic as you sew.
For this you want to distribute the stretch of the elastic so that there is less elastic (meaning it has to stretch more) on the back side than on the front.
 6.  Sew your side seams together.
 7.  Fold under the elastic of the leg opening and sew it down as close to the raw edge (as opposed to the fold) as possible.
 Make sure to pull the fabric flat as you sew.
 8.  If you didn't make your waist seam allowance 1" on your pattern, cut out a strip of fabric that is the same length as the circumference of the top of the waist opening on your bikini, and 3" wide.  Cut a piece of elastic that will fit comfortably around your waist.  Mine ended up being the same length as the strip of fabric I cut.
 9.  Sew the ends of the elastic together to make a circle, and do the same with the strip of fabric.
Fold the waistband fabric in half, sandwiching the elastic in the middle as shown below.
If you didn't make a separate waist band you can just sew the elastic onto the top of the bikini bottom, turn under and sew down.  (The same method used on my bikini top)
 10.  Pin the waist band onto the top of the bikini bottoms so that all the raw edges line up at the top.
 11.  Sew the waist band into place, and then flip it up.
 All Done!!

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