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What can you get out of a bra and a maternity dress? Well...
Since my son was born I have been looking everywhere for a cute bathing suit, or tankini that will discretely hide the new-mommy belly I still have and support the new-mommy boobs that don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. There are tons of retro suits that match this description...however none of them met my new-mommy budget. Since I'm generally not inclined to theft I did what I almost always do in these situations. I turned to my beautiful, very old, but still running sewing machine, Mercedes.

Posted by Mikelina S. from La Cañada Flintridge, California, United States • Published See Mikelina S.'s 7 projects »

You Will Need

  • How to make a swimsuit. Retrp Swimsuit Refashion - Step 1
    Step 1

    First step is to gather the raw ingredients. In this case an old maternity dress and an ill fitting bra.

    Note: Make sure the material of your to-refashion garment is not cotton jersey, as it is easily waterlogged and can become heavy and shapeless. Ideally bathing suits would be made out of lycra but this polyeter/viscose combination has worked well for me.

  • How to make a swimsuit. Retrp Swimsuit Refashion - Step 2
    Step 2

    Cut the bottom of the swimsuit off so that it measures from your hips (as high or low as you want it) to just below your bust. I also took it in so it fight tighter. Loose fabric in water is not so good unless your filming an overly-romantic scene in movie. In which case maybe just wrap a flowy white sheet around yourself?

  • How to make a swimsuit. Retrp Swimsuit Refashion - Step 3
    Step 3

    Using the top of the dress you'll want to cut out four pieces for the bust. Since I had stripes to work with I cut them on the bias and got a cool chevron look. You'll also need a waist band to create a more finished look and to support the girls.

  • How to make a swimsuit. Retrp Swimsuit Refashion - Step 4
    Step 4

    I sewed the two halves of the cups down the middle with zig zag stitch then pinned them around the outside of the bra cup and folded the hem in so that it looked clean from both sides. I ended up sewing this piece by hand. The thought of trying to manipulate a bra in that tiny space under the presser foot was daunting. Plus I can hand sew an invisible stitch pretty well, little pat on my back (my hand sewing used to be atrocious).

  • How to make a swimsuit. Retrp Swimsuit Refashion - Step 5
    Step 5

    Next I sewed the waist band from the outside of one cup to the outside of the other so that it had it's own support separate from the body of the bathing suit.

  • How to make a swimsuit. Retrp Swimsuit Refashion - Step 6
    Step 6

    Sew the former-bra-now-bathingsuit-bust to the body of the suit with zig zag stitch.

  • How to make a swimsuit. Retrp Swimsuit Refashion - Step 7
    Step 7

    And for that final touch I sewed a tightly stretched piece of elastic up on side and sewed two long ties just underneath so that it looked like it was gathered but without the danger of unpleasant ungathering.

    Oh, and we'll need some straps.

    And, one more touch...

    I used scraps to make a cute little bow to go across the bust because everything (almost) is better with bows!

Made this project? Share your version »


Krista B.
Krista B. · Hydesville, California, US · 44 projects
you make a great maternity model… too bad you can't be pregnant all the time!! LOL
erinhighbaugh · Louisville, Kentucky, US
Very cute! Thanks for the tutorial!
Steph. · Reading, England, GB · 212 projects
Hey, did you mean to write 'Retro' instead of 'Retrp'? Lol, just wondering Happy
Mikelina S.
Mikelina S. · La Cañada Flintridge, California, US · 7 projects
I did! And then I couldn't find an edit button anywhere!
Steph. · Reading, England, GB · 212 projects
Haha, it should be on your profile where you put the projects? I'm not sure though. xx

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