I made my 1st bikini last summer. I had to make several trials to learn, and I accepted a final red version that I've been wearing a lot, despite it being too tight at the neck... well, the top was tight in general. Having still some fabric left, and after ruining my red one in a friend's too chlorinated pool, I decided it was the prefect excuse to make a new one and continue learning.
This gorgeous recycled nylon is from Calico, and I bought it in Funky fabrics.
The 1st modification was to get rid of the lining. This gorgeous fabric is not sheer, and the lining does not stretch in the same way, so it prevents the top to fit properly.
The 2nd was to change the elastic band. Watching YouTube tutorials about making bikinis, I realized there is some elastic made for swimming wear. It's called natural rubber, and we can find it online in black or white, and several widths.
I also decided to baste the elastic band before zigzagging it with the machine to distribute the fabric excess evenly.
This elastic bands are 10% shorter than the length they have to cover. So, first we must make even parts with pins in both pieces, pin it in the wrong side and baste it pulling the elastic band but not the fabric.
Once it is basted, it is very easy to stitch it with the machine using a wide zigzag.
Finally, we turn the elastic towards the inside of the piece and zigzag it again, pulling the elastic band as we sew, but not the fabric.
It is important that we use polyester thread to resist chlorine and sun. (sorry, planet)
The pattern for the bottom is Megan Nielsen's Acacia underpants free pattern, which is totally awesome once you have set your correct size and the correct amount of elastic band.
For the top, I used the rub-off method to copy a beloved old bikini of mine.
No fails this time, the process went smoothly and I made two gorgeous bikinis. They are perfect for me when I swim, they are nice and comfortable, not pulling anywhere and keeping my boobs and rear covered while I swim. I totally love them, and I plan to make more versions in other colours.