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Inspired by my love of The Little Mermaid <3
I LOVE vintage swimsuits and I found the perfect one on modcloth.com. However, that swimsuit was very over priced. I made this for around $18, but the fabric was on sale ($10/yard!), compared to $90.

****Make sure you get a ballpoint needle when working with spandex! It will save you many tears!! And use a zigzag stitch.******

Posted by rsky from Henderson, Nevada, United States • Published See rsky's 7 projects »

  • Step 1

    Firstly, Gather Your Materials!
    I used about a yard of spandex, taking into account the amount of ruching I would do.
    You will definitely need a ballpoint needle for this.
    I suppose you need newspaper or some large bit of paper for the pattern.
    Don't approach without patience, or it will take you many days like it did me, lol.

  • Step 2

    Now you need your measurements for the pattern. You need your bust, overbust? (whatever that is called), waist, and hip measurements. These measurements will all be chopped in half for the next step.
    The only measurement not used in half would be the length (where you want the bust to start down to your crotch).

  • How to make a swimsuit. Vintage One Piece Swimsuit - Step 3
    Step 3

    For the back piece, I marked a center line with the measurement from where I wanted the bust to start and to my crotch. From there, mark out your bust line, making sure it's even on both sides of the center line. Do the same for your waist and hip measurements.
    Draw how you want your booty bit to be cut, and finish by making a line across using your overbust measurement (in half!).

  • Step 4

    For the front piece, I ruched it QUITE a bit (which was the bane of my sewing existence! XD but worth it :P). So, to ensure having enough fabric, I measured the length of my torso, below my bust and to my hips, and multiplied that by 3. I kept the curve of my waist, but didn't make it too extreme. You basically want to keep the shape the same as the back piece, but I drew out a heartshaped neckline, and drew the legholes out to be a bit higher.

  • Step 5

    Now you want to ruche the front piece! I will assume now that you know how to ruche, because I do not know how to explain, for I am terrible at it! I will tell you however, that you want to ruche so much that the front piece is now as long as the back piece. I recommend doing a topstich over the ruching.

  • Step 6

    Now, You should attach the front and back pieces together. Simple? That's what I thought.

  • Step 7

    At this point you should hem the neckline and legholes. Again, simple as simple gets.

  • How to make a swimsuit. Vintage One Piece Swimsuit - Step 8
    Step 8

    Now, you have a choice to make- leave it strapless OR add the halter strap that I did. To add the halter strap, take your measuring tape with the suit on, and measure from one side to the other, I hope this makes sense?

  • How to make a swimsuit. Vintage One Piece Swimsuit - Step 9
    Step 9

    So now take that measurement and make a shape like <-------- that. use your measurement for the long bit, and make the wide ends about 5 inches, this includes seam allowance. So cut that out, & hem it. Or what I did was cut out two and attach those good sides together, and flip it inside out. Then I did a topstich over that. Now sew that onto your suit, and you have a lovely vintage inspired swimsuit. :)



samantha.nastamagou · Toronto, Ontario, CA
very cute! Thanks! Good swimsuit tutorials are so hard to find. Happy
bindiibabe · Dundee, Scotland, GB · 20 projects
This is awesome!! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!

BTW, when you say "It will save you many tears!!" - is that tears(crying) or tears(ripping)? or both?
Kasey Kasket
Kasey Kasket · Ormond Beach, Florida, US · 25 projects
Thank you! I want a vintage suit so bad but Ive got big boobies, a big butt and a tiny waistline so I could never find one that would fit me correctly. Now I can make my own!
† Wayward Deer †
† Wayward Deer † · Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US · 7 projects
just like with all the other homemade swim suits what will happen when it gets wet
Gertie · U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, US · 52 projects
inspiring for the summer season
Christine L.
Christine L. · Chicago, Illinois, US · 10 projects
I love this suit!! I am definitely going to make one!
happyliltoaster · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US · 5 projects
REALLY love this! My mom makes competition bathing suits for a living so I'm going to try to steal some of her pretty spandex... Most definitely trying to make it this summer!
Lais W.
Lais W. · New York, New York, US · 1 project
i will try this way of making a pattern, i need to make 8 '20s-style bathing outfits for an amateur circus. like the black-and-white-striped unitards with the little pants. any advice on adding short legs? what about for a man? i have one piece to copy that i haven't seen yet, so hopefully having that will be helpful.
KMOM14 · Fort Wayne, Indiana, US · 378 projects
Looks great!
KaylaSue · U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, US · 8 projects
Aww! I love love love this! Def, gonna make one. =)
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