Hello again! Its Melanie, with yet another Power Sports Bra hack. Last blog post was all about the strappy top, but this post will be more for those who don't want all those weird tan lines those cute strappy tops leave. This hack is also a much faster sew, so you will be able to whip these up in no time and soon have a whole new swim wardrobe!
For my fabric, I used this super cute Citrus swim fabric for the main and this solid light tangerine swim fabric for the lining, straps, and band, both from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, who is one of our sponsors for the North Shore Sew Along.
For my elastic, I used 3/8" swim elastic from Joann's for the tie straps, 1/4" clear elastic from Amazon to go along the front, sides, and back seam allowance between the main and lining, and 1" rubber swim elastic from Etsy for the band. Disclaimer, I am not a fan of this elastic, and once I've used it up, I won't be purchasing it again. It tears pretty easily and it rolls like no other, even if I've stitched it down in the band.
Let's Get Started
Let's start by modifying our pattern pieces. I shortened the center front piece of the Power Sports Bra to have a 3" rise by measuring and marking 3" from the bottom of the center fold and grading a new neckline curve. This gives a little more of a bikini look while still getting some of the support of the Power Sports Bra.
I also slightly modified the side cup piece of the power bra to mimic the slope of the North Shore front piece. I laid the pattern pieces over one another and traced the slope of the North Shore Side piece to the Power Bra cup piece.
This shows how much was cut off of the side cup PSB piece.
I made sure it lined up with the North Shore Halter Pullover back pattern piece. I used the pattern piece of my measured size in the North Shore top (xxs) and it coincided perfectly with the pattern pieces of my measured size in the PSB (28C). The back pieces were the same width, so they seem to be pretty easily interchangeable.
Now it's time to make the straps that tie behind the neck. I measured the tie strap length of one of my RTW halter tie tops and got a strap length of 21". I cut two 20 inch pieces of 3/8" elastic and, using the strappy PSB strap pattern piece as width guide, cut two 21" long pieces of solid swim fabric. I made the fabric longer than my elastic so I could reduce the bulk when tying the knot in the end of the tie straps. Fold the fabric in half width wise and line the elastic up with the raw edge. Serge with the knife disengaged.
Once that is attached, turn the strap right side out, trim or thread your serger tails through the seam allowance and knot the end that has the shorter elastic. Repeat with the other strap.
Now that our pattern pieces have been modified and straps have been created, It's time to cut out our pieces. I cut the center front, side cups, and halter pullover back piece out of both the printed main and solid lining fabric, and, using the North Shore band pattern piece, cut that out of the solid swim fabric. These are the pieces you should have so far.
Now starts the real fun, the construction!
Construct the front PSB pieces as directed in the pattern instructions. I cut 1/4" off of each side of the strap insert to account for only using one strap as opposed to the two straps the PSB calls for. Next, sew the back piece to the side seams of both the main and lining.
Place the main and lining pieces right sides together and sew along the center front seam, side cup piece, around the back, and up to the other side cup piece, attaching clear elastic into your seam allowance. You don't want to skip the clear elastic, especially with swim fabric. You will lose all stability as swim fabric has a ton of stretch.
Now it's time to insert the straps into the strap openings. I sewed with my sewing machine to reduce bulk and leave a nice clean strap connection. Sew the straps in, then turn right sides out.
Almost done! Now it's time to add the band. I used the instructions from the North Shore top, and serged it on leaving a 1" opening in the back for inserting the elastic. Thread the elastic through the band, overlap 1" and sew together, then close the remaining 1" opening of the band. Topstitch the seam allowance down if desired, and you're done!
I paired this top with my favorite bottoms ever: the North Shore scoop front bottoms. Here's the final result!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and I look forward to seeing all your versions in the Greenstyle Creations Facebook group!