Sewing Swimsuits: The Supportive One-Piece
Learn how to sew a one-piece swimsuit that's comfortable and flattering with sewing expert Beverly Johnson. You'll begin by discovering how to choose your pattern and fabric before making custom length and width adjustments. Beverly will show you how to construct a supportive bust with pre-formed foam cups or a built-in bra. You'll even learn how to adapt your own bra pattern for your swimsuit if you choose the built-in bra option. Next, you'll pull your suit pieces and lining together and create flattering curves whether you sew a suit with princess seams or a tank-style (maillot) design. Beverly will also help you modify the leg curve to suit your shape and add elastic to leg openings, neckline and armholes. Then, find out how to insert a built-in bra and finish your one-piece. Finally, Beverly will show you how to use stylish color-blocking designs in your swimwear and troubleshoot common fit issues.
After years of sewing her own dance costumes and swimwear, Beverly Johnson began teaching bra making in 1995. She's been sharing her immense knowledge of techniques for sewing bras, swimwear and intimate apparel ever since. Beverly is the owner of Bra-Makers Supply, which carries specialty patterns, fabric and findings. Her books include "Make and Fit Swimwear" and two volumes of "The Bra-Maker's Manual," which have become textbooks in some fashion schools.
Materials: What you Need
Lesson Plan: What you Learn
Meet swimwear sewing expert Beverly Johnson! You'll begin class by taking four key measurements, choosing a pattern for your one-piece suit, making fit modifications and learning how to draft a bra-style back if desired. Then, you'll see how to choose swimwear fabric and get tips for layout and cutting.
Pre-formed foam cups are another option for support in your suit. Beverly guides you through choosing foam cup styles, orienting them correctly and stitching them to the basted lining of your suit.
For larger busts, the built-in bra option is a fabulous way to get great support. Beverly will explain the best choices for these cups and frames. Then, she'll show you how to adapt your own bra pattern for swimwear and construct the bra for later insertion into your suit.
It's time to put your suit together! You'll begin by joining the lining to the suit pieces with pinning or spray-basting. If your suit style has princess seams, you'll learn to stitch them for perfect curves. Then, you'll stitch back, side, crotch and shoulder seams.
Your suit is nearly complete! You'll make any necessary adjustments to the leg curve for comfort and flattery. Then, discover Beverly's techniques for choosing, applying and finishing swimwear elastic to leg openings, necklines and armholes. If you've chosen to add a built-in bra, you'll find out how to insert it.
With your first suit complete, Beverly will share plenty of ideas if you haven't quite found the fit you love. Explore common issues and the drafts to solve them. You'll learn about color-blocking options and be inspired to create a wardrobe of fashionable, flattering, supportive swimwear.