The first time I bought frankie magazine was because it came with a bikini pattern. frankie is an Australian magazine, with a bit of alternative fashion, a bit of arts and craft, a bit of travel and bit of politics, with a vintage vibe and city feel. I don't buy it all that often, mostly because it makes me feel old :(.
The edition with the bikini pattern came out several years ago, but I never got around to making it up. The tope ties at the front and the bottoms tie at each side. I dug the pattern out this week for a friend's daughter. I saw that I had already traced my size. I couldn't really pass on a pattern without testing it now, could I? So here it is.
Now if you're looking at that photo and thinking that it looks all a bit skimpy, you would be right! Cute, but skimpy. Not so skimpy that you'd need a Brazilian Wax, but it wouldn't take much for a bit of crack to show at the back. Like I said, I don't think that I am the target demographic for the magazine!
The striped lycra is from Tessuti. I forget where I got the spotty fabric from, possibly Spotlight. The lining and elastic is from Beach Bubble Swimwear. You can see that I haven't bought white overlocker thread yet.
The pattern was provided by Nookie. This bikini, from their current line-up, looks like it is made from the same pattern.
I did make some changes to the pattern. The pattern in the magazine was aimed at beginner sewers, so there was no mention of elastic. I added elastic to mine. Instead of using a contrasting fabric as the lining, I sewed the ties separately and attached them to the bikini after sewing in the elastic. This was because I couldn't think how to use a contrasting fabric and elastic. I have thought about it some more, and this is how I would do it next time.
Firstly, for a reversible bikini. Cut 2 of everything, in contrasting fabrics.
1. Sew pieces, right sides together, leaving an opening in the tie area for turning through the garment.
2. Attach the elastic to the seam allowances, but not extending to the tie area.
3. Turn through the garment.
4. Topstitch (zig-zag or coverstitch) the elastic in place.
For a lined garment. Cut main panels in fashion fabric and lining. Cut a tie facing in contrasting fabric.
1. Pin lining and fabric pieces, wrong sides together.
2. Apply elastic to the wrong side, stopping short of the tie area.
3. Clip at the end of the elastic, turn elastic in and topstitch.
4. Sew tie and facing, right sides together.
5. Turn through tie and stitch facing opening closed.
I also used a single tie for the straps instead of 2 ties. You can laugh at my co-ordination, but I find it difficult to put on a bikini if both the top and the back needs to be tied! The ties pass through casings on the side of the bikini bandeau, so it is easy to adjust the position of the bandeau and straps once it is on.
There was no mention of seam allowances in the pattern instructions. I used 10 mm, because I think a lot a swimsear elastics are 9 - 10 mm wide.
This bikini is very cute. I think I might scale down the pattern and make one for my daughter...she is the right age for cute.