Sewalongs

BOMBSHELL SEWALONG PT 7: MAKING A BIKINI TOP TO WEAR WITH VIEW C

I‘ll be honest… I feel like a bit of a schmuck for not including a bikini top in the Bombshell pattern. I was working on one but it was not ready in time for my deadline and I thought in lieu of including a not-quite-up-to-snuff top, I would investigate some ways you could draft your own pattern.

As usual, Pattern School is a terrific resource for drafting custom pieces. They provide instructions for self-drafting a triangle, halter, bandeau and tie front bikini top here.

For a less laborious route, check out the instructions for this “endless options” bandeau.

This looks like an interesting variation on the bandeau from Martha Stewart (includes the pattern):

This is a cute bow front bandeau DIY:

For a vintage vibe, I like this Mrs. Depew “Beach Bra”:

Burda has a few cute options. This vintage option reminds me of that Ursula Andress bikini from Dr. No:

I like this ruffled number but it would have to be modified to work with a stretch fabric:

Ohhh Lulu has some cute bra patterns that could work as a bikini. This Bambi bra is adorable:

I’m in love with the slightly gathered top of this free PDF pattern. It reminds me of the bust on the Bombshell.

This Norma Kamali top is simply a gathered piece of fabric attached to a strap that fastens in the back. You could use the halter pieces from View B of the bombshell and sew them to an interfaced band.

Ed: Amy from Cloth Habit pointed out that this band is probably just sewn around a wide piece of swim elastic, not interfaced.

I have a bit of a 70’s hangup. I’m not super into the traditional string bikini top but this one appeals to the Boogie Nights in me. It’s basically two right angle triangles sewn together, with a channel sewn in at the bust to accommodate a string tie. The long pointy end of each triangle ends in another string to fasten it in the back.

Lastly, you could adapt a bra pattern in your arsenal to work as a bikini top. I plan on using my bra block later this summer to make a very supportive underwire bikini top. This is undoubtedly the best option for my friends with larger ladies. Obviously you can’t use a hook and eye closure since it will be visible, so you will need to modify your back band to accommodate a bikini closure.

A bikini clasp is sewn into both ends of the band and snaps together:

An S hook is another fastening option. You sew it onto one end of your band, and then sew a loop on the other for it to latch onto.

I’m in the country right now at a cottage by the lake. For the remainder of the weekend I will be wearing my new black high waisted bottoms and an old black bikini top I’ve had for ages. If you choose to make View C in a neutral colour, you can mix and match with pieces you already own.

Have a great weekend everyone! Monday we will be back to work on the bust for View A.

  • Angela

    Hi, I’m just finished view C and it turned out great! I’m planning to draft a bikini top using the patternschool tutorial you metioned. However, when I try to go to the link, it says the page is not found. Do you know if the website is still valid? Thanks!

  • I just checked it out… it looks like the Pattern School site is down (probably didn’t pay their domain fees or something) which is a minor tragedy since it was such an amazing drafting resource….

  • Sarah

    Hi Heather. First off, THANK YOU! I just made View B in a black/white/floral and I love it, and it loves me! Then I made View C in pewter. Now I want to make a halter top to go with my bottom. Can’t I just fudge the View A bust into a bikini top? I’m thinking I would add cups, maybe a little boning at the sides, and finish the underbust with wide (3/4″) elastic. Do you think that would work? Any caveats before I begin? Thanks again. Sarah

    • I totally think you could use the cups for a bikini. Either with an elastic band or like a 1.5-2″ Lycra band you could tie in a knit in the back! Good luck.