Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Swimsuit Sew-Along: Cutting Out / How to Make a Full Lining

Welcome back to the.......

I hope you're catching the swimsuit-making fever!  Leave a comment below...I'd love to hear about your suit.  This process is going a lot faster than I had imagined.  I cut out my fabric and it looks fabulous!  Here's how to do it:

1. Pre-shrink your fabric by washing and dry your fabric the same way you will after you wear it.  Also, that way if anything tragic (like the fabric bleeding) is going to happen you will know about it BEFORE you make your suit.  

2. Take measurements and make necessary alterations to your pattern.  I started with an extra small in the bust and tapered out to a medium in the waist.  I also made some alterations to the neckline and strap placement.  I have narrow shoulders, so bringing the strap in will help keep it from falling off.

TIP: Although the greatest stretch in your fabric should be from selvage to selvage, you will want to double-check that this is the case with your fabric.  I know someone who cut her suit out the wrong direction.  When she put it on, it wouldn't stretch enough around her waist and it was a project fail!

Your fabric should have 2-way stretch, on the lengthwise and crosswise grains.  Check to make sure your fabric has enough stretch by matching it up with the stretch guide on the edge of your pattern envelope:

 Looks like my fabric has the required 75% stretch, so I'm all set to cut out.

3. Cut out your pattern pieces, place them on your fabric and cut out.  I traced my pattern pieces with tracing paper and used them to cut out my fabric.  No confusing colored lines!  Sorry if the tracings are hard to see. 

Can I just say....I LOVE, LOVE my new fabric weights!  They make cutting out super fast and precise.  Using pins to cut out nylon/spandex blends, like this one, can cause the fabric to slide around and the pins to snag the fabric. But, seriously, I'd use them anyway because these babies cut cutting time in half!

I folded the selvages in on each side, cut out, and still have a lot of fabric to spare in the middle.

TIP: If you're dealing with large flowers or dots, mark where you think the apex of your bust will hit and avoid placing a large bright flower over it.  Crisis averted!!  The universe thanks you!

 4. The Lining: You can either line the crotch, the front of your suit, or the whole thing.  Since I had a bunch of white flowers on my print, I chose to line the whole suit.  No worries about coverage here!  I cut out lining pieces for the front and back.  I sewed the front and back swimsuit pieces together at the crotch seam and did the same for the corresponding lining pieces.  Then, I placed the lining and swimsuit wrong sides together and basted all the edges together.

This ensures that when I put my elastic in, my lining and swimsuit fabric will stay put together and there will be no sliding around.

TIP: Whenever I sew with knits, I use a Jersey Ballpoint Needle.  The tip is slightly rounded so it won't snag the knit and cause a run in the fabric. This is a must-have for swimsuit sewing!

Stay tuned for more tips on finishing your swimsuit!  I'm so excited to show you the finished product!


  1. you are such a good seamstress!! I have always wanted to make my own swimsuit, but I am to scared to! Maybe I will try now, but I will wait until you have done with the two peice because thats the only kind I like to wear!

  2. Great post! I would love for you to stop by and link up at my linky party via: ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

    Mrs. Delightful


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