It's summer and hot and I am always wanting to wear a cute new bikini to the beach. I feel like in stores right now I have been seeing so many bandeau style bikini tops and they looked so simple to make- so I thought I would try! A little cheaper on your wallet, and you can pick out whatever colors and patterns you like. I would consider this a beginner sewing project that should take 1-2 hours. The pattern for this is very simple and I explain how to use your measurements to create the pattern custom for you.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Sewing Machine
- Walking foot (optional)
- Tape measure
- Fabric Scissors
- 1/2 yard of spandex fabric of your choice (you need ruffle fabric if you want a ruffle top)
- 1/2 yard of coordinating spandex fabric (optional if you want to make reversible)
- Thin bra cups of your bust size
- Thick hair elastics/head band (about 3/4" thick and 15" in length total
- 1 Swimsuit fastener hook
- Coordinating thread
Step 2: Create Your Pattern
You can make your pattern out of just about any kind of paper- I made mine on a newspaper because it was long enough, and what I had on hand.
You need to know your bust measurement and desired width of top to create the pattern. Your bust measurement is the measurement around the fullest part of your chest. Your desired width could be measured from an existing bathing suit or you can measure on your body from how high you want the top to sit to under your chest. I have added the pattern with the equations (very easy equations) and put in parentheses the length I used, for a size 4 top. Here is basically how you create your pattern, but it may be easier to understand by looking at the pattern i attached:
- Draw a rectangle with a length of your bust measurement divided by 4 and the height of your desired with plus 1"
- Draw a joining rectangle with the length of your bust measurement divided by 8 and the same height as your first rectangle.
- Take half of the width and measure down that amount on the outer side of the smaller rectangle and make a dot. Then measure down 2" and make another dot. Make a straight line from the lower dot to the bottom edge where both rectangles meet. Make a curved line from the top dot to where the the rectangle meet at the top. This line you can eye-ball and make a curve you like.
- Write "FOLD" along the outer small edge of the large rectangle
- That's it! Now just cut it out.
Step 3: Cut Out Pattern From Fabric
- Fold your fabric in half (right side out), making sure the stretchiest direction of the fabric perpendicular to the fold.
- Pin the pattern to your fabric, lining up the "FOLD" edge of your pattern and the fold of the fabric.
- Cut out your the pattern from your fabric
- Repeat steps 1-3, but fold fabric with the inside out.
- If you want a different inner fabric or for the top to be reversible, use a different fabric for step 4.
Step 4: Pin and Sew
- Pin fabric with the right sides towards each other, lining up edges.
- Sew along top and bottom edge of pieces, leaving the sides open.
- Use a zig zag stitch with a standard presser foot, or you can use a walking foot with a walking foot stitch (which usually looks similar to a zig zag stitch) I like to use the walking foot to prevent the fabric from being pulled into the machine.
- Pin the bust cups in place (as shown)
- Sew the bottom edge if the cup onto the bottom edge of the bandeau top (still using a zig zag stitch)
Step 5: Turn Fabric Right Side Out
Turn the fabric right side out using the open sides to bring the inside out. This can be a little difficult with the bust cups. I suggest rolling the bust cups and feeding them through the openings
Step 6: Add Middle Band
- Cut the hair band to 6". You could do a little longer if you want your top cinched in the middle less, or make it shorter if you want it pinched smaller in the middle
- Fold the band in half and sew the ends together with a straight stitch
- Stretch over top and move to middle of the top in between inner cups
- Hand tack the middle band onto the top
Step 7: Create Back Bands
- Cut your remaining hair ties in half
- Thread one through the fastener and sew on
- Create a loop with the other
- Cut each to a length of you bust measurement divided by 16. I cut mine to about 2".
Step 8: Attach Back Bands
- Put one back band piece into each side opening
- Slide about .5" into opening
- Make sure your fastener is pointing with the open side down
- Fold the side opening into the opening to hide cut edges
- Straight stitch along each opening
- I like to reinforce with by going back and forth a few timesTry on your top. If it is too loose or tight, you can adjust the length of the back straps.
Try on your top. If it is too loose or tight, you can adjust the length of the back straps.
Step 9: Congrats You're Done
Soak up some sun and enjoy your new bathing suit top!