DIYing an, Refashioning And Embellishing Your Swimwear -- A Tutorial Roundup

tutorial here

   If you live on the northern hemisphere, swimsuit season is around the corner! As it can often be pretty hard to find a suit that you like in your bra size, I wanted to show you a couple of ideas on how to alter pieces to your liking. If you wear a size that is hard to shop for, you could buy a simple piece in a colour that you like, and alter or embellish it to fit your style.

   It all started with my red Ewa Michalak bikini. I love the top, it is amazingly flattering and supportive. However I always wished the bottom were not so low-cut. When the Freya Soda stopped fitting me in the cups, I realised that it was the exact shade of red as the EM. I ended up cutting it up to turn the lower part into a bikini bottom. I will post photos when I'm done, as I need access to a sewing machine to finish it.

   Transforming swimsuit pieces can be as simple as adding a couple of embellishments to a basic piece, or a bit harder like turning a one-piece into a two-piece or vice-versa. Interestingly, swimsuit fabric isn't that difficult to work with, since it doesn't fray. Just remember to use a zig-zag stitch if using a sewing machine (to keep things stretchy), and to use a synthetic thread (they are much stronger and resist chlorinated water).

   When I was looking for tutorials on reconstructing swimwear, I found many great ones that I want to share with you. I hope that they will inspire you to customise your own swimwear.

My favourite swimsuit hacks:


Add ruffles (another variation),
Scallop the bottoms,
A simple cut-out or a woven slash,
Another cutout,
Side knots,
Add beads to straps (also works for plain fabrics)
Add beads all over
Add a fabric braid

   Other ideas that I did not find tutorials for, but should be easy: painting with fabric colours or fabric felt-tip pens, glueing on embellishments, adding studs, sewing on buttons or beads.

Modifying and reconstructing swimwear

Sewing a sports bra into an unsupportive swimsuit.
Adding straps to a strapless piece
One-piece to bikini
One-piece to tankini
Retro high-waisted bottoms from a one-piece
Bikini to lacy one-piece

   And my absolute fave: a super-easy way to make your bikini bottoms a thousand times more flattering:

  I hope that these lovely tutorials motivate you to customise your swim wear. If you have never sewn anything before, you could use a cheap piece to practice one. Here is to staying stylish and supported this summer!

   Have you ever tried to alter a swimwear item? Do let me know in the comments, and if you have documented it do link to the photos. I'd love to see!

Check these out: