G’day! Ok, most of us Australians don’t really say that, but I couldn’t resist. My
name is Joanne, and I live in a beautiful suburb of Sydney, Australia. We
are smack bang in the middle of a summer heatwave, which makes this
pattern hack perfect for those of us “down under,” but you guys up in the
northern hemisphere may have to wait for the weather to warm up a smidge
to give this one a try.
I very rarely go swimming, even though we are lucky enough to have a pool in our backyard, so my swimwear selection has been severely lacking for quite a while. We recently took the kids for a quick getaway to the beach while my husband and I were both off work for the Christmas holidays and that meant being seen in public wearing a swimsuit. My $20 K-Mart suit from years ago was just not gonna cut it.
I have been wanting to make my own swimsuit for a while but I haven’t come
across a pattern that ticked all the boxes. I figured I would have to
Frankenstein a design together from a few different patterns to get what I
wanted, but when I saw the Power Sports Bra pattern release, something just
‘clicked,’ and I knew that this was the ONE!!!
My main criteria for a suitable swimsuit were good bust support, and after having 2 kids (who am I kidding? I can’t blame the kids, I just love eating), ample tummy
coverage. A two piece ‘tankini’ was also a better option for me than a one piece suit. So, by using a little brain power and following the super clear and detailed
instructions provided by the Greenstyle team, I came up with my perfect swimsuit.
My first task was to work out the dimensions of the bodice pieces. I took my
under bust measurement which is 97.5cm (39”) and also my hip
measurement which is 115cm (46”). These measurements led me to the
basic shape I needed but I then needed to do a bit of tweaking. The top of my
bodice looked a bit too wide to fit nicely onto the bottom of the Bra so I took
off some width there first so it was closer to the size of the Bra. I wanted a bit of ease in the bodice so it wasn’t super tight, but not too loose that it floated
around in the water while swimming. This happened slightly with my first
version so I took some width off the bottom and also raised the hem 2’ as I
found, when it was wet, it stretched and hung a bit lower than I liked. I wanted
to have the lines from the top of the Bra flow down into the bodice so when
creating the pattern for the bodice I drew a line down from the seams in the
bra as you can see in the diagram. You can use the dimensions I have
given as a guide to get the look and fit you prefer. You can even use your
favourite tank top/cami pattern to get the perfect fit for you.
Before I get into the construction of the bodice, I just wanted to talk about the
different types of materials needed to make the Power Sports Bra into
swimwear. I used a swim lycra/elastane/spandex (they are all the same just
different names) I got from a local destash page. I also used a swim lining
from the Remnant Warehouse (www.theremnantwarehouse.com). Remember to pick a lining with the same stretch as your main fabric. I found this out the hard way. With my first version, the lining doesn’t have as much vertical stretch as my swim fabric so it pulls on the main fabric slightly. For the version I am showing you today, I purchased another lot of lining which has a much better 4 way stretch. This eliminated the pulling at the neckline from my first version. To create the support I wanted, I added a layer of power mesh (also known as power net) in the front of the Bra and also foam cups which I hand tacked to the power mesh layer.
***For the purpose of this tutorial, I am assuming that you have already
constructed your Power Sports Bra, but DON’T, I repeat DON’T attach your
band yet! That gets done a bit later on.
Ok, enough with the boring details, let’s get into the fun part. Your first task is
to cut out all your pieces.
1. Use the pattern piece that you have created (remember to add seam
allowance to your pattern pieces) to cut the back bodice piece on the fold.
This creates a plain back bodice with no splicing. Also, check out my view
while I was working on this post…….
2. Cut the centre front bodice piece from your main fabric. I was lazy and
folded my pattern piece to do this, but you can easily cut 2 pattern pieces for
this part. If you fold your pattern like I did, make sure you mark your seam
allowance on the pattern so you fold along the right lines, and don’t forget your
3. Cut your side front pieces by either folding your pattern piece to the other
side (like I have done here), or if you cut separate pattern pieces, use your
side front piece. Make sure your pieces are mirrored, and don’t cut 2 of the
You should now have 4 pieces (back, centre front and 2 side fronts) if you are
doing a spliced front, or 2 pieces the same if you are doing a plain front.
4. Construct your front bodice by laying your side front pieces on top of your
centre front piece, right sides together, and sew your seams using either your
overlocker (serger) or a stretch stitch on your sewing machine. If you want to,
you can topstitch your seams using your favourite method. I have used my
cover stitch machine to do a reverse triple cover stitch, which means you sew
from the wrong side of the fabric.
5. Lay your newly constructed front bodice, right sides together, on top of
your back bodice and sew down both sides. Now you have all your pieces
ready to construct your Power Sports Bra Tankini. Your ‘bra’ piece, the band (not
attached yet), and the bodice.
You are so close now! Its time to put all your pieces together to create your
awesome Power Sports Bra Tankini.
6. Divide both the bra and the bodice into quarters and mark with pins. Turn
your bodice inside out and insert the bra section inside with right sides
together, lining up the raw edges and pin at the quarter points to make sure
the bodice is evenly attached to the bra. Also, make sure all your seam lines
are matching up too.
7. Divide your band the same way you did with the bodice and the bra. Place
the band over the bodice, lining up all the raw edges, and pin. Overlock/serge
(or sew using your favourite stretch stitch) all the layers together being careful
to catch all the layers. There are quite a few layers to sew through at this
point so if your machine is having a bit of trouble just go slowly and carefully,
especially over the seams.
Ok, now you are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, close.
It’s time to hem your tankini. I tried on my tankini at this point and measured
where I wanted the hem to be. I decided to trim 1” off the bottom and then
sew a 1” hem.
8. Fold up your hem 1” and pin or use clips. I love my hemming ruler. I think it
makes hemming anything so much easier. Stitch your hem using a zig zag or
stretch stitch on your sewing machine, or use your cover stitch as I have
shown here. I have used a triple cover stitch, but you can use any variation
Ok, now you are DONE!!! See, that was pretty easy wasn’t it??? You guys are
all making some awesome Power Sports Bras during the Sew Along, and I’d
really love to see all your Power Sports Bra Tankini creations.
Hooroo from Down Under!