Sunday, 17 July 2011

A Project A Week 26: Homemade retro style high-waisted bikini (and a few tips on how to make your own)

You have no idea how much I am pleased to write this post- this bikini has been in the pipeline for months!! It was finished a couple of weeks ago but I still needed to take decent pictures. So yes, I'm afraid that you will have to see me in my bikini if you keep reading this post!!!

It started a couple of months ago, around April/ May when we had this spat of really nice and warm weather. I love going to the beach but I usually don't wear swimwear there because it's generally too cold and windy for me. There is a huge range of swimwear in the UK, most of it very cheap but I'm not the type to strut my stuff around in a micro bikini. I'm really not that confident and would not feel comfortable AT ALL. I had a clear idea of what I wanted- a plain, black bikini with high-waisted bottom just like this: £59.95
 Errrh... £59.95 for a bikini??? Ok, maybe if I was living somewhere warm but I live in Wales, AND we've had 4 crap summers in a row, AND the MET Office is swearing this summer is going to be a scorcher (they've had it wrong the last 4 times).

I thought I might as well have a go at making my own, maybe learn a few things along the way and possibly end up with a similar version at a fraction of the price, so I went to my local fabric shop and bought a meter of black shiny stretch fabric at £7.95 (the staff assured me the fabric is waterproof, but advised me to use double-thickness).

The top was a real piece of cake thanks to Giannyl's video tutorial. I have to say, she does make sewing look easy!! I wanted a different bottom though so only used the tutorial for the top, and made a few alterations: I added one shoulder strap in order to secure the whole thing a bit more. The last thing I want is the bikini top to fall off on the beach! I also added some fabric bows on each side of the strap.

Now for the bottom, I could not find the pattern I wanted, so I used a pair of very small tight boxer shorts which didn't fit my partner, but fitted me perfectly!!! I took it apart at the seams and used it as a pattern to cut my fabric. It was much harder than the top, because I didn't really know what to do... Sewing the crotch area was a nightmare as I had to stretch it to make it fit the front and back of the briefs. I probably should have cut this part on the bias to give me more stretch. I managed to do it in the end with my sewing machine but also topstitched for added peace of mind!!! I also added some fabric bows  to decorate the front.

So here is my homemade bikini!!!

 (I so know why pin-ups always had this sort of poses now- it hides the cellulite and everything!)

 Here are the little fabric bows I made using scraps and remnants of the fabric:

This one is one on the sides of the bikini top:

The top and most of the bottom were made ages ago, with my old machine, but the bottom was finished with my fantastic new sewing machine, who has countless stitches just for stretch fabric :-).

It's not perfect, but it could have been much worse. If one day it is warm enough for my snake-like blood I will definitely wear it to the beach!!!

Until next time,



dansonslacapucine said...

franchement moi j'ose pas me faire un bikini et j'avoue que le tien me donne très envie de me lancer!
J'aime beaucoup le bas figure-toi! ça valait le coup de galérer!

Popbabe7 said...

Merci pour ton commentaire...

Lance toi!!! Si moi j'arrive a le faire ca devrait etre tres facile pour toi! Burdastyle a eu un article sur comment faire son maillot de bain il y a quelques semaines de cela.

Knit Spirit said...

OMG! It's soooo cute! I love it!

CottonCloud said...

Ce bikini est génial ! Il te va à ravir :).

Je le dis depuis des années : il faut que je me mette à la couture sérieusement. Ça sera sûrement plus facile avec une machine mais faute de mieux en attendant, on doit bien pouvoir se débrouiller sans :p.

La République Du Chiffon said...

Salut, il est super ton bekini rétro.. j'aime j'aime j'aime.. j'ai essayé mais j'y arrive pas.. çà donne envie de refaire une tentative!

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