Enjoy 10% off your first order →
Free UK delivery over £65

My first attempt at sewing swimwear

by Eliza Seager
Eliza sitting in handmade swimwear fabric costume

I just want to start this sewing blog post by saying, you should not be afraid of Lycra or swimwear fabric! I was slightly nervous when discussing this sewing blog project with Polina, I had never tried sewing swimwear before but it had been on my ‘sew-to-do list’ for quite some time.

I am very new to sewing, starting only in 2020 lockdown so I would class myself as a fairly advanced beginner, just so you know what I’m working with…

A little about me, I am a woman who feels passionately about helping the earth and the environment, so this is a core reason why I agreed to work with Good Fabric Store because of their stance on sustainability.

Swimsuit pattern

I try to create garments that can be worn multiple times in many different ways, which is partly why I chose the Marina Swimsuit from Edgewater Avenue. This is such a classy, versatile swimwear pattern that can suit any occasion, age or body! I knew I could get more than just one swimsuit out of this pattern.

good fabric blog edgewater marina 3fe0113f 0118 4e78 bfe1 1156c002c6fd

Now onto my swimming costume creation process and how I found it. The swimsuit sewing pattern comes in three options, full coverage, cheeky and thong. I am neither a full coverage or thong gal so thought I’d settle somewhere in the middle for a nice medium.

Notes on printed PDF

When printing and cutting out the pattern, it was different to all PDF patterns I have tried previously.

I couldn’t quite get my head round why the segments were laid out the way they were, they didn’t seem very space efficient on the paper.

I didn’t see the need for these two pattern pieces to be separately cut out only to be re-joined together when piecing together. This may be normal but I have not come across it personally before.

good fabric blog eliza gusset

My swimwear fabric choice

I chose Grenadine Lycra from Lise Tailor collection. This swimwear lycra is made from recycled polyester fibre. I used 5mm organic cotton elastic which worked great for sewing swimwear.

I usually use sewing clips for keeping garments in place when sewing but I will mention that after a few sessions with the seam ripper that lots of pins work much better with a slippery swimwear fabric like Lycra.

good fabric blog eliza pins

Sewing instructions

Then I got to sewing the pieces together… here’s my next observation about the swimsuit pattern instructions. I’m old fashioned in my approach to sewing in that I like a paper pattern to follow, as my brain works much better with words rather than pictures. This swimwear pattern had a video instruction but it was only 3 minutes long, which to me did not seem long enough to explain the process thoroughly. I had to watch the video multiple times and in slow motion to grasp what the next step was.


However, there were no general tips on how to work with the materials e.g. how to sew this elastic on/placement etc. This is just my lack of experience being an obstacle but just something to be aware of if you’re a newbie to sewing and you’re attempting this pattern.

Through trusty google and lots of YouTube videos later, I had found the best way to sew pieces together was with basting (straight stitch on longest length and no back stitching). Then attaching the elastic with a stretch stitch setting on the machine. This kept the edges neat and gave the maximum flexibility for the elastic to stretch. Just ensure you lie the elastic flat and don’t stretch it when sewing!

This is the stretch stitch setting on my machine and what it looked like on the swimwear fabric.

good fabric blog eliza stitch setting

good fabric blog eliza zigzag

If I was to change anything, next time I create a swimwear garment I would just use Lycra pieces, rather than a swimwear lining fabric and make a reversible swimsuit. I found the lining the most difficult part to work with.

good fabric blog eliza swimsuit

My final thoughts on the project were that Lycra swimwear fabric is nothing to fear. It is slippery and stretchy, yes, but taking your time on it and using lots of pins will be your ticket to a great looking handmade swimwear.

Summer 2021, I’m coming for you!

by Eliza Seager

Self-confessed sewing newbie Eliza starting creating her handmade clothes during lockdown in 2020 and is now on a mission to create a sustainable wardrobe.

Pin me for later ↓

bringing ibiza to me pinterest pin

Loved this blog?

Save it for a rainy day or share it with your sewing bezzie…

More great blogs and 10% off sustainable fabric

Join the mailing list for sewing blogs, fabric drops, promotions and a juicy 10% off your first Good Fabric order.

Feeling inspired?

Shop the fabrics featured in this article

econyl lining fabric for swimwear

Econyl Swimsuit Lining Fabric in Cream

£15.50 per metre

More like this

Dive into another sewing blog from Good Fabric

Good Fabric,
great offers

Like 10% off your first order

Subscribe to the Good Fabric mailing list for more sewing blogs, just-dropped sustainable fabrics, juicy promotions and 10% off your next order.


10% off your first order

Sign up to the Good Fabric mailing list and we’ll send you proper good stuff, like:

Let's talk cookies

We use cookies to manage your Good Fabric experience, track visits so we can keep making improvements, and show ads on third-party websites like Facebook. Find out more →