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  • Writer's pictureEmily

Sewing my own swimsuits

When I first started sewing, I told my husband “there’s no way I will ever sew my own swimsuits.”

Why was that? Because sewing swims sounds difficult!

Before I sewed my first swimsuit for my daughter last year, I was so scared.

Where do I get swim fabrics?

What supplies do I need?

What patterns to use?

What if it doesn’t fit me?

Well, there is no simple answer to any of these. However, I want to share my experience with you about my swim-makes this year and hopefully, if you are on the fence of trying to sew your own swimsuits or not, I can convince you - it’s worth a shot!

The first step of making your own swimsuit, you’ll need good quality fabrics and a pattern picked.

I cannot stress enough how important the quality of the swim fabrics is. In the past, I have bought some cheap and okay quality swim fabrics, and the results were not too flattering. To make your sewing-swim experience better than my first one and have a finished product that you will love, I highly recommend you look for a reliable source to get good quality swim fabrics.

Raspberry Creek Fabrics is a great online fabric shop that has a ton of fabrics including 100+ prints/solids of swim/athletic fabrics to choose from. And also, the price of the fabrics are very reasonable.

The two fabrics I picked out for my swim this year are

I got both prints in the polyester spandex 4-way stretch fabric but they also have the board shorts fabrics option if you’re looking to make board shorts or sun hats!

The pattern I picked for myself is the Styla St Tropez from Styla Patterns and I used 5 out of 4 patterns Girls Agility tank and dress and Girls Ruth swim bottom for my 4-year-old daughter.

A question I had when it comes to swim fabrics was - should I prewash it?

And when you ask people about this, there would be different combinations of yes, no, yes, no.

Here’s a little bit of insight about the yes and no answers.

Swim fabrics are made of mostly polyester, so there is little-to-no chance of it shrinking after washing, and plus, you DON’T dry it in the dryer. So some people would tell you that you don’t need to pre-wash your swim fabrics before sewing.

However, I do.

The reason behind it is simple, so my fabrics are cleaned! Fabrics were printed in factories and cut in a warehouse, and so I washed them to keep them clean.

I run the fabrics in a wash-and-spin cycle then hang-dry as I would to my regular swimsuits. Or alternatively, you can also soak them in water then hang them dry.

A tip I think is critical when it comes to sewing swim is basting.

One of the things that lots of sewists don’t like about sewing swim is that fabrics shift when you try to sew them. Basting the layers before you zigzag or serge the seams can help significantly and you will thank yourself later.

You can either baste with a long straight stitch or zigzag then serge or finish with the right zigzag width.

For the Styla St. Tropez bikini set, I used the bikini top with a fixed back option and used a waistband with full coverage for my peach.

The St Tropez has quite a bit of elastic sewing included. One trick I learned from others of how to sew your elastic onto your fabric without your stitches everywhere is to thread your elastic through your sewing foot.

Yes, that is simple.

Once elastic is fed through the sewing foot, I then line up my fabrics like I usually would and hold the elastic to ensure it’s not shifting out. This ensures your elastic is sewn at the desired seam allowance and so your seam would look really great with your zigzag stitches professional.

I am just so in love with the back straps! I am never a big fan of mixing fabrics but I cannot resist the floral with the pink grimham!

For the Agility tank, I used a t-back shirt length shortened one inch for extra swim cuteness and Ruth's swim bottom with a ruffle skirt since my kid specifically asked for this style.

The Agility tank t-back is probably my favorite part of the pattern. Perfect for color blocking and is so much more fan than good-old racerback.

Some people would ask "Can I press swim fabrics?"

And the answer is of course - yes.

I used my mini-iron on its lowest temperature setting and pressed the fabrics to help the binding. If you're still worried, test on a piece of scrap to see if your setting works.

And just like that, the cute swimsuit set using 5oo4 patterns is done!

The Agility also has a women's version, which I am itchy to make one for myself! Look at the beautiful design of this!

First of all, I am very proud of myself for making my own swimsuits.

From not knowing how to sew or what fabrics are almost three and half years ago to now making my outfits including swimwear, this is a huge achievement.

Second, I think not perfecting in sewing is okay.

This is the first time I made a bikini set for myself and matched my daughter, I can't be happier! I know there are lots of things I could improve and perfect, but that's for next time. To me, sewing is an experience and a hobby, not a competition.

Last but not least, enjoy! I had so much fun sewing my own swimsuits, and I hope you would too!

Follow me on Instagram or link here to see more of my makes.

Alright, enough talking. I'll see you in my next blog post! Stay tuned!


This blog was sponsored by Rasberry Creek Fabrics and patterns used in this blog post were generously gifted by the shop owners in exchange for my promotion. However, I only shared my true thoughts.

Links in the post include affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no cost to you.

Thank you to all of our amazing sewists who are joining us this week!

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