Sewing swimsuits, or cozzies as we call them, seems like a bit of a stretch for most sewists. But you know what else is terrifying? Trying on bathing suits with those plastic crotches, flappy curtains, and unflattering lighting!
This summer, tackle the challenge face on and sew a swimming costume with the help of these tips.
Eight Secrets to Sewing Swimsuits Successfully this Summer
- The best material for swimwear is quick-drying, colourfast, and has a lot of give thanks to a four-way stretch. In the swim or activewear section of your favourite fabric shop, choose something that has at least 10 – 20 % Lycra or spandex in the neoprene, nylon, polyester, or tricot.
- If you need lining, ensure that it has the same (if not more) stretch than the garment fabric has. You may want to reinforce the support in places by adding power mesh and/or bust cups.
- Most elastic is made of polyester which degrades when exposed to chlorine, salt water, heat, and sunscreen. Swim elastic is a blend of cotton and neoprene rubber.
- Because chlorine weakens cotton thread, opt for a good quality polyester thread.
- Although overlockers make sewing stretch fabrics a breeze, an affordable sewing machine can do the job just as well. You can use a stretch stitch or zig zag stitch for most construction, and a twin needle for the visible edges.
- Use appropriate sewing equipment like ballpoint pins, stretch needles, and a super-convenient walking foot. A huge help is to use a rotary cutter and cutting mat along with weights rather than scissors and pins.
- Pay close attention to the direction of your knit when you cut out your swimwear pieces.
- Use some scrap fabric to experiment and practise a bit before you dive in. Although this is an advanced project, the results are worth it!
For more information on the best options for sewing swimsuits, get in touch with your Empisal today!