Wednesday, April 6, 2011

DIY Swimwear for PENNIES!

 As Spring is quickly approaching and warm weather is near, swimsuit season is almost here! Hey that rhymed!! :)  I was online looking for a bathing suit and realized that I LOVE this brand of swimwear Beach Bunny Swimwear. They are soo soo sexy and looks almost like lingerie. These are always worn by the gals on the hit TV series Real Housewives of Orange County.  I'm so addicted to that show BTW...OK, so I was amazed at the prices of these items but they are gorgeous! They averaged about $230. Totally worth it to some, but to me, no. Not if I could make it myself  that is...
I love the color combination that they use. Blue/Purple, Pink/Yellow, Blue/white, Pink/White, Black/Black and my favorite, Leopard/Teal Blue...

In the back of the swim suit bottom it is shirred in the center. Meaning it looks as if you have a permanent wedgie...Keep in mind this look is NOT for everyone but that type of stitch can be achieved with a straight but loose and strong stitch and then pulled and tied. You can also gather stitch it by hand.
OK. So here goes. Find your favorite swim suit either from what you already have or purchase an inexpensive suit that fits you well. Here are two of my favorite black tops. I triangle top and a bandeau top.
Also a favorite--I love bright colors especially fuchsia!!
Figure out what colors you love together. Find colors that compliment each other and head to the fabric or craft store. For the fuchsia, blue or purple lace would look great.

Things you will need:

  1. Swim suit
  2. Stretchy lace or regular lace (I used regular lace, .25 cents per yard)
  3. Needle and thread
  4. Sewing pins
  5. Stitch Witchery Tape
  6. Scissor
  7. Iron

I wanted certain colors of lace to contrast the bathing suit colors I had at home. I happened to find the perfect pieces of lace at a cost of just .25 cents per yard!! I went ahead and splurged so I bought about two yards each. HA! 
Figure out how you want to use your lace and where. 
This is the same placement as the first except it leaves a half inch of black showing on the top.
This way will use more lace obviously...but nice!
I will show you how I did this on a bandeau swim suit top. In fact, within a few hours I did three tops and two bottoms! Below is the Stitch Witchery Tape or seam tape. It's MAGIC.
Cut your Stitch Witchery Tape according to the length of the side of the swim top and secure with pins. Make sure the tape is about a half inch shorter on each side. You don't want, when ironed, the glue to be to the edge. It's less messy. Pin from the underneath so that the glue does not fuse with the pins when ironed.
Measure and cut your lace leaving a half inch extra on both sides. Also decide if you want the scalloped side of the lace facing your cleavage area or not. 
When both sides are pinned, Iron on opposite side on low to medium heat until the tape is fused with the lace and fabric and becomes invisible. 

Note: At the center where the two pieces of lace meets, there is a hole or twisted knot of this swimsuit top. I tucked and pinned the ends of the lace in there. I then hand sewed it securely and clipped off the extra piece.
Iron. Let it sit there for a few seconds. Turn over and make sure the lace lays flat and lightly iron.
Notice how all the dips or low points of the scalloped areas of the lace are even to the edge of the top. This helps to keep it even throughout the placement of the lace.
The half inch of extra lace, fold in and pin. Hand sew this area. Takes five minutes!
Another example of the even scalloping along the edges of the swimsuit.
This is how I did the bottom of the swimwear - use the magic seam tape again...
I also left a half inch of extra lace on each side on this bottom piece. After ironing the glue tape and lace together, pin the extra half inch of lace and hand sew. 
With this top, I used the same lace as above except I placed the lace under the fabric so that when worn, it only shows about a half inch. Possibilities are endless!
Here is my LOVELY super model friend modeling MY take on a sexy Beach Bunny Swimsuit!!
I'm so proud of them and cannot wait to hit the beach this summer...
P.S. This cost me .25 cents per yard for the lace and I used less than a half yard per suit!

Images at the top of the page are from
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  1. Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to transform some bathing suites for my upcoming trip to Vegas.

  2. Tricia I see you are ready for swimsuit season! :) Where's you get the sexy swimsuit model?

  3. Not quite ready yet but I have my swimsuits ready :) She is a good friend of mine.

  4. Very Creative and i think i know that sexy model!!

  5. Wow! What a great idea Trish- very creative

  6. awesome... thanks for sharing .. :D

  7. You are awesome! Plus, your bathing suits look much better than those. Great idea! I'm definitely trying!

  8. AnonymousMay 04, 2012

    Awesome, love it!!!

  9. AnonymousJune 20, 2012

    Is this swimsuit too sexy for a teenager? If I were to get a swimsuit that was more covering?

    1. I think for an 18 year old its fine with a more covered up suit :)

    2. I don't think it would be if you could find thinner strips of lace. The thicker strips make the top look as though it's more revealing.

  10. Just added some black lace to my hot pink suit, it's so adorable thanks for the tutorial!

  11. Did you use a stretch stitch to sew the lace on the bottoms?

  12. Hello, I sewed the lace onto the fabric by hand- this way it has room for movement.


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