Line swimsuit illustration: Closet Case Files


I recently wrapped on the Reno halter swim top and high-waisted Dakota swim bottoms from Seamwork magazine. As I sewed, I wished there were a single place to check out lots of different swimwear sewing tips.

Then I was like, “BAM, girl, why don’t you make a library yourself!” And this post practical wrote itself.

Here are eight Erin VH-approved online resources for sewing swimwear:

Sources for swimwear fabric and notions

Closet Case Files

Why this resource rocks: Heather provides links to her preferred vendors for swim fabric, lining, bra-making goodies (for robust swim tops), and elastic. And she would know, as creator of the ubiquitous Bombshell swimsuit and the new, hot-cha-cha Sophie swimsuit. Plus, I asked a question in the comments about fabric type and got a nice response from a fellow reader!
Click here to explore this resource.

Reno top step-by-step sewalong

Helen’s Closet

Why this resource rocks: Helen sews the Reno top, step by step, with great photos. This was my No. 1 resource during this project. Per Helen’s advice, I added a bar tack to keep the foam cup from wandering.
Click here to explore this resource.

Gorgeous pics of Reno and Dakota

Helen’s Closet

Why this resource rocks: Helen takes in some fun in the sun in her Reno/Dakota suit. I am completely in awe of her fabric choice for version 2 of the Dakota bottoms — the plain-front version without the front panel. IMO, the plain-front Dakota could have a granny-panty vibe. But Helen perishes the thought with a bold geometric print that almost looks like patchwork. Seriously, you have to see it to believe it. She also features pics of some other bloggers’ Reno/Dakota makes. #inspiration
Click here to explore this resource.

Sewing swimwear 101

Seamwork magazine

Why this resource rocks: Seamwork delivers thoughtful tips on choosing fabric (including lining), notions, and construction. Check it out for steps on inserting an underwire. This article convinced me to cut all my pattern pieces single layer. Control matters SO MUCH with slippery fabric.
Click here to explore this resource.

Inspiration in pink lace

101 Creations

Why this resource rocks: Beth is a vision in a hot pink lace Reno/Dakota. The texture of her suit is utterly eye catching. She also nails the obsession of sewing a project that walks the line between maddening and empowering. If you need words of encouragement, check her out!
Click here to explore this resource.

Real talk about Reno/Dakota

101 Creations

Why this resource rocks: Beth dives into the dirty details of Reno/Dakota construction. If you dig on her post above, you’ve got to check out this one to understand the technical elements, especially her work on the Reno top.
Click here to explore this resource.

A guide to mastering swimwear elastic

Indiesew

Why this resource rocks: Indiesew assured me that swimwear forgives sewists. If elastic is a little wonky, your suit *probably* still will function just fine; stretchy fabric and negative ease are beautiful things. Another tip is to leave a two-inch tail at the beginning of the elastic to help anchor it to the swimsuit. Try it; it’ll change your life. This blog post also highlights common mistakes and includes photos of what errors look like — crazy useful!
Click here to explore this resource.

Technique: how to sew elastic to a swimsuit

SeamstressErin Designs

Why this resource rocks: Erin shows her preferred method for sewing elastic to swimwear in an excellent video. I used her technique to put in my elastic. She talks about controlling levels of stretch in the elastic as you sew and where you need more stretch (convex curves, such as your bum) and where you need less (your waistband). This post convinced me to not tug so hard on elastic as I sew.
Click here to explore this resource.

What resources have you relied on to sew swimwear? Sound off in comments! And please let me know how I can improve this mini guide. I’m all ears. If you could share it with other sewing pals for their feedback, I’d be forever grateful!

P.S. Did you notice that my collage only has seven images BUT features a headline for eight sewing resources??? LOL my bad, sort of. I guess I’m counting 101 Creations twice. (I’m too pleased with how the collage turned over to make it over.)

P.P.S. If you like this tips post, check out these articles, too:

How to survive a long-term sewing project
Sewing tips: 12 sewing truths for rookie sewists

P.P.S. Here are my posts about making a swimsuit:

Revealed: Retro Reno and Dakota swimsuit
Slicing a Swimsuit: Underway on Reno and Dakota
The latest: Ready, set, swimsuit!