MN2501 Cottesloe / MN4501 Mini Cottesloe / Sewalongs

inspiration and ideas for the Cottesloe swimsuit

Ideas & Inspiration behind the Cottesloe pattern by Megan Nielsen Patterns

When I was designing the Cottesloe swimsuit pattern, the most important thing to me was to make sure it was a great fitting pattern, but also…that it was a classic swimsuit to give you guys heaps of opportunity to make it your own! That’s what this post is all about; we’ve got all the inspiration and ideas you’ll ever need to turn your Cottesloe swimsuit into your favourite piece this summer.

Cottesloe Inspiration Colour and pattern blocking

one | two | three | four | five

Instead of keeping to one fabric for your swimsuit, why not try mixing it up?

  • Keep it simple and make the top and bottom of your bikini different complementary colours! You can also achieve the same colour blocked look in View A by keeping the top (either to the underbust or waist) in one colour, and the bottom half in another! Pastels look subtle and pretty together where as block primary colours will make a big 80’s inspired statement!
  • Why not pattern block (not sure if that’s a term, but we’re going to use it!) parts of your suit?! Either combine a solid colour with a print, or you could even use two prints (loving the floral mixed with stripes!)
  • Add in a waist band in a contrasting fabric (like the gorgeous leopard print touch above) or switch up the direction of your print (horizontal stripes anyone?) to accentuate your waist! An added benefit of adding in the extra panel around the waist is it’s a great way to add some structure/shape to your basic one piece.

Cottesloe Inspiration - Bright & Bold
one | two | three | four | five

When choosing swimwear, I know black is always SO tempting. BUT…we’re so excited to show you how gorgeous these suits look in bright and fun colours! Why not stand out and have some fun?!

  • Colourful abstract prints are a great idea for swimwear. Pattern matching isn’t a problem and there won’t be any realistic flora or fauna that accidentally get placed in funny places (trust us…we’ve been there).
  • Stripes, stripes and more stripes! You can choose thin, wide, horizontal or vertical stripes in a rainbow or select colour palette…all will look amazing!

Cottesloe Inspiration - Small details making a big difference
one | two | three | four

We are extra excited about this pattern because of its basic shape and style…it’s the perfect base for you to add all sorts of little details to make it your own!

  • Why not add some frills around the low back or across the top of the bikini bottom for a cute little feature.
  • A really simple way to create a different look is to create the bikini top with a tie (either faux or real) at the centre bust. Having a little extra pull will lift the bust area and make you feel secure. You could add a matching wrap around the top of your bikini bottom also…great for covering up a tummy or even just as a nice detail.
  • We’ve added a tie strap at the back of our View A for those of you who like a little more support around the bust area. It’s functional but also looks great!

Cottesloe Inspiration - classic black and white
one | two | three | four | five

Black and white swimwear will ALWAYS be in fashion…and it’s such a simple go-to suit…we don’t blame you if you head straight for the monochrome swim fabric! If you wanted something ever so slightly different, you could look for a ribbed swim fabric; a black and white stripe or add a simple detail like colourful straps to mix up the look.

Cottesloe Inspiration - Sporty stylesone | two | three | four | five

The Cottesloe swimsuit was designed with a more active, sporty wearer in mind. We wanted to make sure you would be just as comfortable lazing on the beach as you would be doing laps at the pool!

  • Add in colour blocking to make your active bikini more interesting.
  • To mix up a simple black suit, consider adding in sheer panels around the waist or in the centre front of the suit.
  • A zip down the centre front of the bikini top and bottom (or indeed part way down the full suit view A) looks super sporty! Make sure to find zips that will withstand the water you’ll be using them in (be mindful of chlorine pools) and we’d recommend a locked zip to make sure it doesn’t slide down unexpectedly!


We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNcottesloe and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Don’t have the Cottesloe pattern yet?

Don't have the Cottesloe pattern yet?

Order Cottesloe today in sizes 0-20 and Curve sizes 14-30

About Author

Anita is the Operations Manager here at Megan Nielsen Patterns, and happily works on multiple areas of the business in any one day! Anita is the first port of call for any of your customer service enquiries, manages daily operations and oversees all pattern production, graphic design, website maintenance, inventory management & drinking all the coffee/eating all the cookies in the cupboard.

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

Never made a suit before , loving the classic lines of this pattern but I think I would like a higher cut leg. Do you think that would be an easy modification?