Swimsuits part 4: variations on the bikini bottom

There are endless different ways to vary the pattern for high waisted bikini bottoms, and most of the fun of making your own clothes is coming up with your own variations. But to get you started, here are some of the versions I’ve made.

In pink above and immediately bellow, a version with gathered side panels. To do this, cut a three inch wide strip off the side of the pattern for the swimsuit front. Extend this piece upwards by several inches and add seam allowance. Gather these side strips on each side, and sew to the front and back pieces.

Bellow are a few pictures of a boy short bikini bottom with gathered sides. To make this swimsuit, cut an inch or two off the top of the bikini bottom pattern (not much, since the gathering will also shorten it). Gather along the side seams in front and in back. The edges of this swimsuit are finished without elastic, just rolled and sewn, so they ride up a bit. Personally I don’t like this look as much, but perhaps you do.

The swimsuit used to illustrate this pattern and sewing instructions has a waistband that ties at one side. To add ties to your waistband, cut the waistband 10-14 inches longer than your swimsuit waist. Fold the waistband width-wise with the right sides facing in. Sew up each end of the waistband along the short end and 5-7 inches along the edge (depending on how long you made it). Turn right side out and sew the unfinished middle portion of the waistband to the waist of the swimsuit. Tie the ends.

Next week: bikini tops.

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