Sunday, August 12, 2012

Swimsuit Bottoms and Lining

About a week ago, I had this comment....

"Hi there! Thanks for this blog. Love reading it. I am relatively new to sewing - well I learned at high school about a billion years ago. I've just tried sewing the KwikSew kids bikini bottoms that you show here on this blog. I have simply been unable to work out how to put the crotch and lining together. It looks so ugly and scrunched up. The instruction on the pattern aren't very clear for a beginner either. I wonder if you would consider putting up a video tutorial of you sewing these bikini bottoms together including the pinning part! Long shot I know but I just don't know anyone who sews and there is no help on the net as everyone who blogs about it seems to have absolutely no trouble with this part (just lucky ol' me!)"

Nothing is worse than when you're having trouble visualizing how to do something and it seems like everyone else gets it.  I've been there a time or two three four...plenty of times!  Here's the step by step process of putting the lining and the bottoms together:

1.  Lay the bottom front down, right side up

2.  Put the bottom front right side down on top of the
     bottom front

3.  Pin the 2 layers together, matching the center 
     notches and sides

4.  Lay the lining right side down on top of the 2

5.  Pin the lining to the 2 layers, matching the center
     notches and the sides

6.  Stitch together (I used a stretch stitch)

7.  You'll notice in the #6 photo that the layers don't 
     lay flat together.  I gently pull the layers, making 
     sure the edges are lined up, while stitching them 

8.  The 3 layers all stitched together.  I also trimmed
     my notches flush.

9.  Time to flip the lining to the front!

Note:  I used to line the back also by placing a back lining wrong side to wrong side and zig zag stitching them together before step #2.  But I didn't do that with the swimsuits I sewed for the beach house and they are holding up just fine. 

After you flip the lining to the front, the raw edges of the seam are enclosed.  The seam may still seem like it isn't laying flat.  You can press it lightly with an iron set at an appropriate heat level (don't want to melt your fabric!) but I find that once the swimsuit bottoms are on the seam stretches enough to lay flat.  Pin the lining to the swimsuit front and then stitch with a narrow zig zag close to the edge.  Following this step, you'll sew the side seams and stitch on the elastic.  I show how I apply elastic in my S &S way of sewing swimsuits post.

A couple of hours later and K has a new swimsuit!

Hope the step by step photos help!


  1. Cindy, I always assumed you used an overlocker for any stretch fabric, including swimsuits. Obviously not necessary, as all your swimsuits look so professionally sewn. Love the bright, fun fabric!

  2. Man, that is awesome! I hate the use the word "appropriate," because it makes me sound like a fuddy-duddy, but it is hard to find appropriate bathing suits for girls these days. Or ones that aren't just plain ugly.

  3. The only problem I have had with sewing the lining piece as you've done--to conceal the seam--is that IF it happens to come undone it is a bugger to try and sew back up. As little people are not so gentle about pulling on and off their suits you end up having to remove topstitching, elastic, etc. in order to get to that seam.

    Whenever I sew the lining this way I always sew 2 sets of stitching (1/8 inch from the first), just to avoid that problem.

    1. Excellent point, Renae! I did actually do 2 rows of stitching there for just that reason.:) K's not so rough on her swimsuits but I figure a popped seam would be more embarrassing for her than my 2 little girls.

  4. Great job Cindy! I sewed some swimmers for T today and I did several double rows of stitching! No room for popping seams in swimsuits!


Thanks for taking the time to comment!