Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vintage Inspired High Waisted Bikini

I never thought that I would have the skills to make my own swim suit.  Well, it turns out you don't actually need a whole lot of skills to transform a suit into something you really love!  My husband and I are getting ready to go on a trip to Florida in October, thanks to the graciousness of a family friend who's condo we will be staying in and my Mom and Dad.  We've had a bit of a rough year, so it will be so nice to relax on the beach!!  I really wanted to get a new swimsuit and fell in love with this one from Modcloth. I was immediately drawn to the vintage inspired look and high waist, which fit my style and would cover the scar from my surgery a few months ago perfectly!! Unfortunately, the price didn't fit into our budget, so I decided to take that as a challenge.  I just knew I could come up with something similar for a much better price.  Here's how I did it:

I scoped out Walmart and Target because I knew all of their swimwear was on clearance right now **he-yay!!**  Target had this really nice suit that was marked down to $24 from $50!! I had to squeeeeeeze into it because its made by the makers of Spanx, its Targets version called Assets.  Let me tell you, it sucks you in and gives you lift, whew!  Once I finally got it on, it fit great and wasn't uncomfortable at all, and it was very flattering!!  I almost questioned whether or not to cut it up, because it was so cute!!

Alas, I talked myself into going for it!  I have had my eye on that vintage looking two piece since April!    So I gathered my materials:  two doilies at $1 a piece, pins, elastic, Heat and Bond for attaching the doilies.


I started by cutting the top off from about 1/4" below the seam.  It probably would have been a little easier if I had cut a little more  for tucking under and sewing purposes, but I wasn't sure how much extra I would need for the bottoms.

Then I tucked that 1/4" of fabric below the seam under toward the inside of the suit and began pinning.

I then just did a basic stitch just below to the last seam to keep that loose fabric in place nicely.  That's it for the top!  

To measure where I wanted the bottoms to hit, I put them on and then folded the top of the briefs down and pinned it in place.  I then measured elastic around the same part of my waist and cut the length.

I sewed the elastic band, overlapping about an 1 1/2" and sewed it in a box shape with an X in the middle for extra security.
 Then I placed the elastic inside the pinned area around the waist, pulling out the pins and repinning as I went along.  Then, just as I did on the top, I did a simple straight stitch from the front of the suit, encasing the elastic in the folded top of the briefs.  It could be more professional on the inside if I had made and encasement for the elastic, but I didn't want to mess with that. I knew this would work and would look fabulous from the outside.  This is what the inside seam looks like.
This is the view from the front of the suit.

Now for the doilies on the top.  I used Heat N Bond which is an iron on adhesive that comes on a roll.  There are all different levels of strength, I chose Ultra Hold, because I've used it in the past, and it is super strong!! 

I measured out where I wanted the doily to lay by holding it up against the top and then cutting points off where there was over hang.  Then I traced the doily on to the Heat N Bond and cut out the shape.  You want to iron the heat and bond to the back side before peeling the paper for about 8 seconds.  Then place it on the suit exactly where you want it and hold it in place for 30 seconds at a time until you get around the whole thing and it is firmly attached.

I then used left over scraps to create this bow like the inspiration suit had and hand sewed it on to the front.
 I love the finished look of this so much!! I think this version actually would have fit me better!  The girl in the photo has a much longer torso than me.  I am high waisted, but my torso is very short.  This creation is tailored to fit me perfectly!  From the reviews I read, most women said they had to add extra padding to the top because there was none whatsoever in the inspirational suit's top.  Mine is enhances everything very well with lots of support and coverage!!

I can't wait to get out on the beach in this baby! Now we can use the extra money saved on our trip.  Take me to the beach, give me a cocktail, and let me watch the sunset with my honey!!

post signature


  1. Adorable! Love that you are willing to try things like this. I never even think to do it and you are giving me inspiration to try.

    1. Thank you so much, Katy!! I was really praying this one would come out like I had envisioned, and I am really happy with the results!! Sometimes its worth it just to give it a try, even if it doesn't always come out as planned!

  2. Makes me want to go check Target now! What a great idea and super cute!

  3. Oh my goodness, this is super adorable! I am really tall and one pieces never look great on me. But I still want to cover up my lower tummy from having those babies!! Anyway, thanks for the idea & Tutorial!

  4. I LOVE THIS! Great job! I LOVE yours & I don't love the original :-)

  5. soooo cuuute! good job lady!!!

  6. Omg. I'm so happy I stumbled upon this. It's freezing and snow covered here in nj late feb, but I suddenly started to panic and obsess over swimsuits. Lol. Happens every year right before spring. And I love love the high waist 2 piece. But I want HIIIIIIGH WAIST. many suits I see end at the belly button. I want higher. And if there's no tummy control, even skinny Minnie girls look strange. After 2 kids I want tummy control and about 2+ inches above my belly button. And I bought a super cute one piece last year and it was a perfect fit everywhere, with super tummy control, until the bust. It was so tight and small it made my boobs look cut in half. Which is strange cuz I'm not big chested. But it was from Hong Kong so go figure. Lol. So reading this just made a light bulb go off. Now I can put that brand new, with tags suit to use. YAYY. Thank u so much. Can't wait. I'm going to do the same for my daughter. She is Suuuuper skinny and too tall for her size. So everything is too loose or too short. Never just right. So this would be perfect for her. Perfect fit but the torso won't be too tight because it'll be cut in half. And if she has a bathing suit like her mommy she'll love love love it. She also has a belly scar from surgery but she treats it like an accessory and embraces it. Thank god. Sorry this ended up a story. Super inspired lol. Thanks again!!!!


You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...