Summer is coming & that means that it will be swimsuit season! Sewing with swim can seem intimidating, but its actually pretty fun to sew with! Below are some of the basics to help get you started:
Swim Knit is usually a Nylon Spandex or Poly Spandex & contains UPF most of the time. I’m here to share all the things you will need as well as different tips & tricks to use when sewing with swim. I will also be sharing some Fabric & Notion Shops where I get my swim materials at the end of the post!
Lining is very important when sewing swim. Swim is usually too thin to use just by itself & most swim isn’t very compressive. There are several different types of lining that you could use with your swim. There is regular lining, which is similar to most RTW. It is thinnest out of the three main lining options & usually comes in beige, white & black.
There is also Power Mesh, which is more compressive & can help to give some support for the bust or stomach. There is Power Net, which is similar to Power Mesh, but even more supportive. Finally, there is also Tech Sheen, which is another lining that has more compression for support; this may be a little bit more challenging to find. If you are needing extra support in your bust, you also are able to add swim cups. You are able to sew them right into your suit!
Swim Elastic is a very important part of sewing with swim. There are two different types of swim elastic; Rubber & Cotton. I personally prefer to sew with the cotton elastic since it is a bit thicker but rubber works great as well. It is very important to use swim elastic when making swimwear, since regular elastic can deteriorate over time from chlorine & wear.
Type of Stitch
Swim can be entirely sewn on a sewing machine, or you could also use a serger & coverstitch. If sewing on a sewing machine, you will need to use a stretch stitch, preferably a lightning bolt. Then using a wide zig zag for hemming & going over the elastic. Here are two examples of finished suit bottoms with a coverstitch & zig zag stitch.
Swim & swim lining can be slippery, so its always best to clip or pin a bunch when sewing with it. You can also use a glue stick to glue the seams together before sewing them to help it stick better. Also baste, baste, baste!!! Since they can be slippery, its very easy for them to move around when sewing, so its always a good idea to baste together first.
Made for Mermaids has several different swim patterns for women & youth. There are also many hacks on the blog that explain how different patterns were hacked into a swim suit, so make sure you check that out as well! For this blog, I ended up making a Shelly for my daughter & me, and then also some Roxy bottoms with an Eloise turned into a swim top!
Here are a couple of shops which have the items you will need to sew with swim! There are so many amazing shops out there, these are just the ones that I order from frequently:
- Mily Mae Fabrics – Swim knit, lining & some swim elastic
- Sew Sassy Fabrics – Swim elastic, lining & other swim accessories
- Raspberry Creek Fabrics – Swim Knit & lining
- SwimwearNotionsUSA – Rubber Elastic
- Mimi’s Custom Fabrics – Swim Knit
- The Fabric Fairy – Swim Knit, Swim Lining, Swimsuit Elastic
Hope you enjoy making your swimsuits!!!
Stay tuned for more swim fun this week as we share more tips, tricks, and hacks with you as part of our Swimming Into Summer week!