Swimwear Sewalong ~ Cutting Out

Helen Cloke ava briefs boylston bikini swimwear sewalong

Day two of the swimwear sewalong and I've managed to cut out my bikini top and bottoms.

Well, it's almost all cut out.  You'll notice there are no straps nor is there any binding and this is because I abhor cutting out long strips of fabric and I'm avoiding it for as long as possible!  This approach is not to be recommended.


For the bikini top I'm using the recycled swimwear in 'Spirulina' - this proved to be a hard choice because all the solid colours look really pretty with the watercolour white print but I went with green in the end because it is my favourite colour.

The bikini bottoms are in the recycled swimwear print 'Watercolour white'

I most frequently use the beige swimwear lining as it looks good under most colours or prints but since I'm using a white based print, the white lining kept it looking more crisp.

Bikini Top:


1 layer of foam (I use the Amy/Cloth Habit method and trace around my pieces with pen before cutting out, making sure to cut away the pen marks)

1 layer of swimwear fabric.

Bridge and Frame:

1 layer of swimwear lining in white

1 layer of sheer cup lining in white

1 layer of swimwear fabric


1 layer of swimwear lining in white

1 layer of swimwear fabric

Straps and Binding:

Not shown (see above comments) but I think these will be in the watercolour white print for contrast.

Bikini Bottoms:

A front piece and back piece both cut on the fold in swimwear fabric

A front piece and back piece both cut on the fold in swimwear lining

Note: In this pattern the front and back pieces join together at the crotch, i.e. the crotch piece is all part of the front pattern piece.  There is a seperate crotch patten piece that is used as a lining if you were making them as underwear.  Because I am fully lining the front and back of the briefs I don't need to cut out this extra crotch piece. If your pattern has a seperate crotch piece for the outer layer i.e. the front attaches to a crotch piece which in turn attaches to the back piece then you will need to cut out all three pieces in both outer fabric and lining fabric.


I think it is useful to note how much fabric I used.

For the bikini top I used only 1/8th of a metre of the 'Spirulina' fabric, that's a cost of only $4.88.  I do measure on the petite side of boobs but I think most sizes would fit easily into a 1/4m.

The high waisted bottoms did take up more fabric than an average hipster style brief and for these I used a 1/4m or $9.75.

The lining I allowed for 1/2m and I've cut both the bikini and brief and still have enough left to line at least another bikini, so approx. $12 of fabric was used.

The foam was just a scrap piece of no more than 1/8m or $5.75

Hardly any lining was needed, only a few dollars so I'll use that to round up the total fabric cost to $35 for bikini top and bottom.

How are you getting on with your swimwear sewing?  Have you made it to the cutting out stage or maybe you have powered on to sewing?  When all laid out it always looks like so many pieces to work with but I find it so satisfying that swimwear (and lingerie) can be made with so little fabric.


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