Pattern cutting for a made to measure bikini

sew-projectsMarch 15, 2019
Finished bespoke bikini (swimwear) garment

One of my recent projects has been a made to measure bikini for my mum. There were added elements I made to the pattern that would not be seen on the high street, so it would fit my mums body perfectly.

High street clothing, lingerie and swimwear are all based on a classic grading system which increase or decrease the size proportionally, but what about if a certain part of your body is smaller or larger than the average for this grading system? Well, it can become a chore to find something that fits you perfectly. Different brands will fit different as they will cater for different type of people and use different fit models, so you will probably find that a certain brand suites you better than others, but they will still usually use a proportional grading system. So like my mum has found out, you may still not be able to find something that fits like you want it to.

Whilst she also has fit problems with swimsuits it was the bikinis that were really starting to get her down. She could find a beautiful bikini but could she find one to fit….one size would be too small and the size larger would be too big, I imagine this is a common problem for a lot of people. It would often result in her keeping one of the sizes because she had no choice and then feeling uncomfortable because it simply didn’t fit, so she wouldn’t wear it again. Not good for yourself, your bank balance and not good for the planet!
So one day she came to me and asked whether I could make her a bikini to fit her perfectly, in the style she wanted. I love a fitting challenge believe it or not! (hehe), and of course would love to make something for my mum, after all the years she has helped find clothes that fit me!

The Bikini Bottoms

My mum prefers the ‘bikini’ style bottoms, which would come to just above the hip, but she always found that the front waist would sit under her belly, and if she went any bigger in size, the front waist would just be ok, but the bum and hip width would be too big. She really didn’t want to result to a high waist style as she didn’t like loads of coverage.

Her torso is longer than her legs, so she wanted those to look more balanced as well. I’ve marked the additional changes I made to the bottoms that you wouldn’t find on the high street.

pattern adaption for a bespoke bikini knicker
back of bespoke bikini knicker

The Bikini Top

The main feature of the bikini top is the invisible support. My mum likes the bandeau style as she hates strap marks. The bandeau styles she currently has, had only thin padding in, there was no really breast control, which was fine but she wanted something that would give her a more inwards uplift. I took inspiration from an invisible wired, strapless bra she had and a bandeau bikini top and merged the two together, creating a supportive bikini top!

I didn’t use any padding in the top, as the two layers of the outer swim lycra and the liner created enough density.

pattern adaption for a bespoke bikini top
close up of bespoke bandeau bikini top

To get the pattern perfect I probably did about three mock ups of each and one was because my mum had lost weight!

Although my mum hasn’t worn them yet, she is very happy with the fit and style and considering this is the second set I’ve made her using this pattern, I’m sure there will be no doubt that she will probably want more!

She will be wearing them for the first time when she goes on holiday next week, so I’m waiting to see how they hold up to the test, with chlorine and salt involved too!

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