Sewalongs

BOMBSHELL SEWALONG PT 6: INSERTING ELASTIC INTO LEG OPENINGS & FINISHING VIEW C

Sewalongers! Bombshellists! Bathing beauties! Today is the day we insert our elastic into our leg openings. If you are making View C, you will finish assembling your high waisted bikini bottom.

Yesterday we assembled our suit. It is a good time to try it on and make sure it fits you correctly. We started inserting our leg elastic yesterday so we could sandwich them in the seams, and today we are going to finish sewing them in.

A word about elastic in swimwear: the only places you really want to stretch elastic is around the parts of your body where you may experience gaps and need a little more closeness. In the case of the Bombshell, we want to add stretch to the crotch and around the bum. I personally do not add stretch to the bust but you may do so if you are experiencing any gaping. We do not want stretch at the front of the leg opening a) because it is concealed by the skirt front and b) the suit lays flat against your body there and adding stretch to it would probably not be very comfortable. We start inserting stretch in our elastic around the 2/3 mark so that your lady bits are properly encased.

Using the same wide zigzag stitch we initially used to sew the elastic in, sew about 2/3 of the way to your crotch seam on both sides of the leg opening, not stretching the elastic at all. Stop sewing at the same point on both sides. Measure the remainder of the leg opening to the side seam. Take this measurement and multiple it by 70%. Trim your elastic on each side so that it matches that measurement. For example, if the measurement is 34 cm from the point where you finished sewing your elastic to your side seam, you will cut the remainder of the elastic to 24 cm on each side. Fold that elastic in quarters and draw a little line at every fourth. Do the same on the fabric of your suit. Pin each fourth of the elastic to match each fourth on the crotch area of the suit, ending at the side seam. Do this for both sides.

With your elastic pinned into place, you will need to gently stretch the elastic as you are sewing so that it is the same length as the fabric. Continue sewing with a wide zig zag all the way to the side seam on both sides, leaving a tiny sliver of fabric next to the elastic so that when it is folded over, the fabric conceals the elastic edge. Be sure to fold your crotch seam and side seam towards the back when you sew over them.

With the elastic sewn to the wrong side of both leg openings, it is now time to sew the elastic to the front “skirt” panel. The front does not need any stretch.

Take a piece of elastic and slightly overlap the elastic you just sewed over one of the side seams. Using your wide zigzag still, attach the elastic to the wrong side of your front “skirt”, again leaving a small sliver of fabric overhanging the elastic. Do not stretch the elastic, merely sew at a 1 to 1 fabric to elastic ratio. Slightly overlap the elastic on the opposite side seam.Try not to let your cat claw all your hard work.

Now we are going to top stitch the entire bottom in one step. Starting at one front leg opening, continue to turn your elastic under and topstitch the elastic using a small medium zigzag. Once again, you want to prevent the elastic from rolling out, so sew as close as possible to the outside edge of the elastic.

When you get the area where you added a little stretch to your elastic, gently pull your fabric taut so you are not creating ripples in the topstitching. Continue topstitching your leg opening, across the skirt front and back to the other leg opening in one continuous line of stitching.

Bravo! Your bum will now be cupped with love by the Bombshell bottom.

Here is what the bottom should look like:

For those of you making View C, you only have a few steps to go before you can call it a day.

Serge or zigzag your lining to your fabric at the waist opening.

Using the same method we used to attach our elastic to the leg openings, attach your elastic to your waist opening using a wide zig zag. You don’t need much stretch here (I apologise that it is hard to see much in these photos since it is black on black).

Fold the elastic under and topstitch using your medium zig zag stitch.

You’re done!!!

I did not include a bikini top in this pattern. Saturday I will be sharing some online resources for drafting your own top. Women who need more support may want to adapt a bra pattern for a bikini top, or do what I am doing and take advantage of a drawer full of bikini tops to mix and match with the bottom.

For my View A & B friends: I will be back Monday to help you finish your suits. Hope I’m not keep you in too much suspense!

  • KBaker

    I just finished inserting the elastic and I thought I was using the proper swimwear elastic. However, after following the instructions for stretching it. The elastic seems to stretched out of shape. Is there anything that I can do to make the back/bottom of the suit fit a bit snugger aside from taking out the elastic and starting again?

  • Do you mean the elastic is not tight enough or that it has lost its elasticity? If it’s not snug enough you will have to reinsert using a little more stretch. If it’s lost it’s elasticity you may be working with cheap elastic. Stretching the elastic by 70% is actually quite a lot and should give a snug finish when inserted properly. Could you email me a photo so I can see what the problem is?

  • KBaker

    Here is a picture of the inside of the bottom/back. The elastic still has elasticity but does not fit as snug in the back as I would like. After I inserted and stretched it 70%, it has more of a wavy look to it. The elastic I used is Stretchrite Cotton Swimwear Elastic Natural.

  • It looks like there is not enough stretch – the fabric does not look very gathered (you can see what it should look like in one of the pics above). I’m sorry my dear but I think you will have to seam rip that elastic out and insert it using more stretch. You can do this by feel rather than using a ratio to get the tension you want. Good luck!

  • KBaker

    Thanks so much for responding to my question. At this point it would probably be easier to start over again because the elastic is completely in. My ‘curves’ nearly fill the suit in perfectly despite the wavy elastic. Its just the seat of my bum that needs to be a bit snugger. Do you think I could add some elastic just to that area?

  • Hi Heather, having used both rubber elastic and swimwear elastic, which one did you prefer? I’ve looked at my two store-bought suits and they both use rubber elastic but the only elastic I have on hand is the swimwear kind. Just wondering if you felt like you got a more professional finish wish one over the other. Thanks!

    • Hi Bella. Either work, but the rubber gives narrower profile.

  • snarkylarky

    it would be helpful if you had a link here to the previous steps of sewing the elastic :/