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Sewing My First Swimsuit: Cottesloe Swimwear Pattern

Hi everyone! I hope all is well with you. I know it has been a while since I have posted a new blog on here. Life has been extremely busy, and as many of you know and understand, home comes first. I needed to be present with my kiddos for their school and extracurricular activities, as well as work and life. Before the school year ended I made a goal for myself, that I was going to plan the ultimate family vacation and sew my very first swimsuit. Well, GOALS ACCOMPLISHED!! Not only did my family and I go on an amazing vacation to Cancun, Mexico, your girl was looking amazing in her self-made swimsuit. My main reason for wanting to sew my own swimsuit is because the bikini styles I have seen while shopping was not my tasted. Either the leg opening was too high or the cut was too narrow. I wanted something with a high waist and bottoms that covered the butt modestly instead of something that caused my butt to be so exposed. The best part of this swimsuit journey is that my daughter loved the swimsuit I made for her too. If you have a teenager, then you know how hard they are to please with fashion, so this was a big win for this DIY mama. Let’s start with my daughter’s swimsuit.

Fabric Used

For my daughter’s swimsuit, I took her with me on a trip to the fabric store and had her pick our her own fabric. She actually enjoyed her time at Melanated Fabrics, well, maybe it was hanging out with Brittany Jones and Uvenka that she enjoyed the most. She picked the Pink Tulip ITY Knit Print. This fabric is 58″ in width and has a beautiful fluid drape. It’s lightweight with a smooth and soft hand. It is perfect for sewing tops, dresses. skirts, and in my case a swimsuit. I thought this fabric was absolutely beautiful, but I was a bit nervous about using it for a swimsuit as it is not technically a fabric most would use for swimwear. It did work very well as I lined it with swimwear lining.

Tips for Sewing With this Fabric

ITY knit is a polyester spandex blend, the initials stand for interlock twist yarn. The little twist feature helps this fabric be cool and feel soft to the touch. ITY knits are also very easy to sew with which adds to its popularity. Make sure to pre-wash your fabric before starting your project. You should use a jersey needle size about 11/75 to sew this fabric as well as a cotton-poly blend thread. Though a cotton-poly thread works best, you can use any polyester thread. As far as stitches are concerned, A zig-zag stitch with 2.0 width and 2.0 length on your seams is best. If you need to use interfacing for your project, use a tricot fusible interfacing.

My Fabrics

The Nylon Spandex: Blue Floral Bouquet and Nylon Spandex: Black/Orchid/Yellow are both performance knits from Melanated Fabrics. This is a mid-weight knit and it features a 4 way stretch.

Tips for Sewing With this Fabric

A standard sewing machine needle, size 11 or 14 is great to use with this fabric. Stretch needle works well too, it helps prevent skipped stitches while sewing. before picking a stretch stitch, test your stitches on a scrap of the fabric and adjust the stitch length and tension until you get the stitch you desire. To avoid puckering, keep the fabric slightly stretched as you guide it under the needle, but never pull it. Also, be careful as you stitch this fabric, as it tends to get stuck in the feed dog. It may be best to use a walking foot or pace tape at the front and back of the needle hole.

Pattern Used/Size Cut

I used Megan Nielsen’s Cottesloe swimsuit pattern, as it was widely suggested in a poll I did in my Instagram stories. Thank you to everyone for your suggestions. It is a one piece swimsuits and mix and match bikini sets pattern in four variations. I sewed view A for myself. I love the ties in the back. I also sewed view C for my daughter and view D for myself. View C is a bikini top and a low rise bikini bottom. View D is a bikini top and high waisted bikini bottom with wide waistband.

The pattern sizes range from 0-20 in the paper pattern but if you need sizes 14-30 they have it in the pdf format. For my daughter I cut a size 0 for the top and 4 for the bottom. For my swimsuits I cut between a size 10/12.

I am so proud of myself for this accomplishment. There are things I hope to do better next time around, such as cut the bottom size one size smaller and take a few inches from the waist length. I wanted it high waisted, but it was a bit too high for my 5’3″ frame, especially since I do not have a long waist. Other than those small errors, I think that my suits are well made. They will definitely get plenty of wear this summer.

Final Thoughts

As a first time swimsuit sewer, this pattern was perfect. It is truly a great beginner swimwear pattern. The pattern instructions are easy to follow, and I love that you are given tips on a variety of ways to sew each view. There are also tips on the best swimwear elastic to use for each view, which was so helpful to me, especially since I did not know there were different types of swimsuit elastics. I thought there was just one type of elastic for swimwear. I will tell you to make sure you buy your elastic in advance as I had a difficult time finding swimwear elastic in a timely manner. Etsy has quite a bit, but it takes time to have it delivered. I also love that you have the ability to mix and match the different views.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog, I truly appreciate it. I hope that this blog was informative and that you learned something that will help you in your next sewing project. Comment below and let me know your thoughts or questions. Also, please make sure to like and subscribe to my blog.


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