When I start sewing swimwear, it takes me a bit to get in the groove of the different techniques and materials, so I just keep on going until I feel the old skills return and get a chance to develop some new ones. I think if I just sewed one pair each year, I would never improve.
I made 2 sets of bikinis out of this funky fabric, given to me by one of my sisters. The patterns are all self-drafted.
I'm not sure what this first style is called. It is like half a bandeau. The strap sits over the neck, passes through the sides of the top and then ties at the back. In the past, I have gathered the centre of bikinis onto "glamour rings" from Spotlight, but have found the rings to be a little expensive. This time, I copied off RTW, and just gathered the centre onto a narrow tube made from the same fabric as the top. Seems to work alright, and means you don't have to worry about breaking a needle on the ring.
When I was playing around today, I realised that I could change the way the straps are tied, so that instead of sitting on the neck, the upper strap is brought down for the back straps to tie through. I like this, because I find that halter straps tend to give me a head-ache if I wear them too long. There is no elastic in the strap, because I find that the strap is softer and less likely to cause headaches if there is no elastic in it.
The bottoms have a CB seam, similar to my sporty pair, but the legs are higher cut and there is a little more cheek coverage. I added the frill, because it looked cute in some of the magazines, but the frill visually widens the hips, which is not what I need.
Usually I make a bikini and a one-piece out of a length of fabric, but this fabric was a little light for a one-piece, so I made a second bikini.
The top is a fairly plain halter style, and not so teensy as the photo would suggest. I forgot to take a close-up photo of the strap. I made the strap using the binder on my cover-stitch machine. The binder usually folds over the fabric strip, and then a larger piece of fabric, such as a t-shirt, is fed into the binding as it is being sewn. This time I fed rubber elastic in as the binding was sewn. I think industrial manufacturers have special binders that control the tension of the elastic as it is being bound. I just used my hands to control the tension of the elastic. It worked well, until I stopped to check how it was working. That's when the fabric slipped down in the binder and it all stopped working! I had sewn enough to make a strap though. I was pretty pleased with this, as I have not tried it before and was not actually expecting it to work at all. (For those interested, the binder I used was the Brother binder that came with my cover-stitch machine).
band-side bikini on Stuart's site. I lowered the leg holes. I raised and curved the waist to cover that dimple left-over from childbirth, which still hasn't gone away, 7 years later. I removed 5 - 6 cm of length from the crotch so it wouldn't be saggy in the bum.
That was in the days before waist high full brief styles had made a come-back. I guess the waist high bikinis could be considered even more conservative, but I don't find them very flattering, unless you are either stick skinny or you have a 50's hourglass figure or a perfectly proportioned upper and lower torso.