You will need:
1.half a metre of 4-way stretch spandex jersey for swimwear (I get mine here Tia Knight Fashion Fabrics, highly recommended).
2.ballpoint stretch jersey machine and hand sewing needle
3.polyester thread (definitely not a natural thread, unless you want your swimsuit to disintegrate in the pool!)
5.swimwear block pattern
10. fabric shears
11. paper scissors
12. felt pen
13.4mm elastic (approx. 3 metres depending on design)
Step 1: 1.Draft the Pattern.
Step 2: 2. Cut Out Your Garment Pieces.
Also use the pen to draft out directly on the fabric, the ties themselves. I suggest cutting two 3cm by 90cm (one to be cut in half for the bottom bikini, one kept whole for the top back) and one approx. 3cm x 60cm for the front neck tie.
Use a zigzag stitch to stitch the seams on all the ties and tie loops. To be able to turn them inside out, stitch a length of cord at the top of the tie and stitch the seam with it inside. Turn inside out by gently pulling the cord pulling the tie right side out. Finish the raw edges of your ties by folding them inside and overhanding them fast.
Turn the rectangle for the loops right side out and cut into six equal pieces.
Step 3: 3. Pinning the Elastic.
Fold the tie loops in half and insert where they should go. Pin in place. Do the same with the front tie loop. Cut the elastic before the front tie loop, it is not necessary to stitch elastic over it too.
Note: If you want a border on one side of the garment, first decide which fabric you want to form the border and then keep this one on top when pinning the elastic to the fabric. When stitching the elastic, if you keep the stitching on half of the elastic, closest to the edge, when the garment is turned right sides, the unstitched elastic will cause fabric from the underside to form a border. Similarly, if you don’t want a border, keep your stitching very close to the actual seam-line, the edge of the elastic should meet here. This will keep both sides to the garment separate when worn.
Step 4: 5. Stitch the Elastic
Backstitch the beginning and ends where the ties are inserted for extra durability.
The only part you don’t want to stitch is the crotch, leave that open.
If you look closely here, I have stitched almost to the inside edge of the elastic, but a small border should be formed when the garment in turned inside out. When the garment is worn pink side out, a thin cream border will be visible around the edges.
Step 5: 6. FInishing
Now, turn out the whole swimsuit right sides. You are left with one side of the garment needing the crotch to be sewn up. Fold and pin one of the seam allowances onto the other. Using a matching thread, overhand this seam together.
Pull our your tie loops and flatten and straighten out the seams by hand. Insert your ties and get ready for summer!
For instructions on how to create certain stitches and for the pattern drafting books, check my site.