It’s here, it’s here! After many months of being inside during winter, my favorite season is finally here. Being from Florida, I live for the heat and *slight* humidity. Just a touch, but not enough to make my hair frizzy. Priorities folks. The time in between Memorial Day and Labor Day is my favorite – late sunsets, hot morning runs, grilling… and bikinis! Or one-pieces if that’s your jam. Below, I’m going to give you a brief rundown on how to sew the Maris bralette/bikini top and Noelle panty/bikini bottom.
USING THE MARIS DIY BIKINI KIT
There are DIY kits to make your own bikini using the
the Maris bralette/bikini top and Noelle panty/bikini bottom. If you purchased one of these kits – read below for a guide on how to change the bralette + panty into a bikini top + bottom.
MARIS BIKINI TOP: No, and I repeat, *no* pattern alterations are needed for the Maris bikini top. Cut out main fabric and lining fabric per the instructions.
NOELLE BIKINI BOTTOM: While I love the Maris panty, I ain’t wearing a thong to the beach or pool. No, no, absolutely not! The Noelle is the perfect alternative. There are only 2 pattern alterations, shown in the image above. I lowered the waistline to account for the wide elastic band and raised the leg line at the side seam 1.5″. After I did this, I felt it wasn’t necessary to eliminate the seam allowances to account for the fold over elastic.
MARIS BIKINI: There are only 2 small changes to sewing the Maris bikini. The first is super simple – eliminating the channeling and the plastic boning at the side seam. The reason I did this was because both are not salt/chlorine/sun resistant. Again, if you’re not spending a lot of time in the water, whether it’s a pool or the ocean, and you’d prefer to have the support, then by all means, keep it!
The other change are the bikini straps. The kits come with clear elastic to make your own and I followed this tutorial by Evie La Luve (the 2nd method) to create them. If you have enough fold over elastic left in your kit, you could encase it with clear elastic and use it as straps. Self-made swimwear straps are less supportive than regular shoulder straps for lingerie. So, if you feel that you need the supportive and you’re not going into the ocean or pool much, I think it’s okay to swap one for the other. That’s what I did for Alee’s bikini below. I used this 3/4″ black shoulder strap elastic from the webshop.
For the fold over elastic binding along the front neckline and the wide elastic at top and bottom of the back band/bikini, both are a blend of polyester and polyurethane and suitable for swimwear. A lot of lingerie fabrics are made with a blend of nylon and Spandex. Nylon has better stretch, so it gives a “less tightness” feel on the body, but polyester is a more durable fiber and has better resistance to chlorine. So that means you don’t have to make your own binding or have a coverstitch machine. Woo hoo!
The same goes for the center front barrel closure and rings + sliders. Both are plastic and suitable for swimwear.
NOELLE BIKINI BOTTOM: Easy peasy. Sew the side seam and crotch seam. Then attach the wide elastic at the waistline and fold over elastic at the leg openings.
What about crotch lining? First thing first – do not use cotton jersey. Cotton absorbs and retains water and the last thing you want is for your hoo-ha to be *moist* all day long. You can use fabric for a gusset, but I prefer to eliminate it completely. It can get bulky and I have seen RTW swimsuits without any gusset or crotch lining.
FOAM CUPS: Lining adds a little modesty, but you could still have “nipple show through”, especially if the swimsuit gets wet. Or maybe you want a little padding to give you a better shape. Enter polylaminate foam. Below is a quick tutorial if you want to add polylaminate foam bra cups to the Maris.