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MN2501 Cottesloe / MN4501 Mini Cottesloe / Sewalongs / Tips & Advice / Tips & Tutorials

Where to Buy SWIMWEAR Fabric

Where to buy spectacular swimwear fabric for the Cottesloe swimsuit pattern by Megan Nielsen Patterns

There’s a little bit of fear out there when it comes to sewing our own swimsuits…but we’ve heard it said many times lately that it’s so much simpler than you’d think…it could even be said that it’s EASY! Without a doubt though, the most fun part of the whole process is choosing your favourite swim fabric. There are so many gorgeous prints out there and so many amazing vibrant colours, it’s really a chance to go nuts with colour or the perfect opportunity to make that chic black swimsuit you’ve always wanted in your closet.

Throughout the design & sampling process of our Cottesloe Swimsuit, we found so many amazing fabric resources, there are SO many more than you’d ever imagine (*rubs hands together with glee). We also learnt a heap of “do’s & don’ts” when it comes to swim fabrics. It really all comes down to what you’ll be using your swimsuit for. If you love swimming laps at the pool, or have a chlorinated swimming pool at home, make sure to choose the fabric that will withstand the chemical exposure. If you’re happy lazing at the beach and doing the occasional dip in the salt water…you will be able to get away with a few different fabric compositions. This post is all about what the best fabrication is for you…and where you can find it in your area! So let’s get to it…

// TYPES OF SWIMWEAR FABRIC //

Swim fabrics can be comprised from different materials the main two being Lycra and Polyamide/Polyester (Poly).

Poly swim fabric //

  • Less susceptible to chlorine damage, longer lasting.
  • Recommended for regular use suits or athetic situations.

Swim Lycra //

  • More readily available, afforable and generally stretchier than Poly.
  • More susceptible to damage and will degrade quicker.
  • Recommended for lighter use, such as being worn recreationally and seasonally.

// SWIM ELASTIC //

Now to the elastic! Two kinds of swimsuit elastic are commonly available: swimsuit rubber & woven swim elastic. Both elastics can be used to create successful wearable swimsuits, however they have slightly different properties and as such should be treated slightly differently.

Swimsuit rubber //

  • The most stable and long lasting elastic
  • Thinner profile & doesn’t degrade over time
  • Feels tighter when worn

Woven swim elastic //

  • Softer, thicker and has less recovery than rubber

If you are having trouble sourcing swim specific elastic, you can get away with using regular elastic in your swimsuit but keep in mind it may not last as long.

// LINING //

All views of the Cottesloe swimsuit are able to be fully lined and you’ll need the same amount of lining as you do fabric. There are a couple of choices depending on what you’re after. If it’s modesty you’re needing (advised for any fabric that is light in colour or very flat in texture) you’ll find regular swimsuit lining in nude, white or black will work well. *Make sure it’s got 4 way stretch!

If you’re looking for some compression properties in your lining, we’d recommend lining any section from the under bust down in Power mesh. It’s incredibly soft, with great stretch capabilities and will keep you feeling secure in your suit. *Avoid lining the bust with it unless you don’t mind a tight feeling around the chest.

// SWIM FABRIC //

Australia

Ellie Whittaker

Being an Aussie, I love Ellie for her gorgeous Australiana designs, but honestly the fabric is so incredibly vibrant it’s perfect for everyone’s summer! I’ve made some suits for the kiddos in her cute swim fabrics but even made one of our adult samples in our latest shoot and it was absolutely gorgeous.

Shop here: https://elliewhittaker.com.au/collections/swim-lycra

The Fabric Store

If you’re looking for a great range of high quality swim fabric, The Fabric Store has an abundance of florals and abstract prints in all sorts of colours to choose from. They stock the fantastic Liberty of London swim fabrics and you’ll also notice a few of our photoshoot sample prints in their collection!

Take a look at their Activewear & Swim page here.

Sew Active Fabrics

We used some of Sew Active’s compression spandex for a few of our shoot samples, and were so happy with how they turned out for a sporty look! If you’re not sure which fabrics would be best for swim (i.e. chlorine tolerance) the team at Sew Active are always there to help!

Shop here: https://sewactivefabrics.com.au/collections/fabrics

Also take a look at:

Canada

Blackbird Fabrics

Visit Blackbird Fabrics for their newly released swimwear collection for 2019. They have an amazing range of brand new swim fabric in the most amazing colours and are carrying a number of notions like cut and sew foam, g-hooks, and chlorine resistant elastic.

Shop here: http://www.blackbirdfabrics.com/

Also take a look at:

UK

Sister Mintaka

The gorgeous ladies at Sister Mintaka have got some gorgeous bright swim fabric (including Liberty prints!) for you on their site. They’ve also very kindly offered a discount for everyone using MEGAN10 at checkout for 10% off everything!

Shop here: https://sistermintaka.com/product-category/swim/

Minerva Crafts

Take a look at Minerva’s swimsuit/activewear fabrics, in gorgeous bright colours, as well as their Powernet Mesh that is great for lining!

Shop here: https://www.minervacrafts.com/search?q=activewear

Sew Me Sunshine

Harriet at Sew Me Sunshine has a great range of swimwear fabrics, with more to arrive very shortly. All their fabrics ship worldwide, with fixed international shipping prices for those of you not in the UK!

Shop here: https://sewmesunshine.co.uk/collections/activewear

USA

Blackbird Fabrics

Laura from Blackbird Fabrics has put together some incredible swim fabrics for this season. They’ve also got a great range of notions for your suits available here and power mesh in black and nude as well for those of you who are wanting a little more support.

Shop here: https://www.blackbirdfabrics.com/fabric/swimwear/

Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics

The team at Stonemountain & Daughter fabrics in Berkeley, CA have a great range of swimwear fabrics in prints and solids as well as the swimwear lining and elastic you’ll need to complete your suit!

Shop here: www.stonemountainfabric.com

Oak Fabrics

Oak Fabrics in Chicago, IL have a selection of beautiful swimsuit fabrics and supplies and are doing kits up for their Cottesloe customers. Get in touch with them for more details!

Shop here: https://oakfabrics.com

Also take a look at:

If you know of any other amazing suppliers of swim fabrics be sure to let us know in the comments below!!

Cottesloe Swimwear Pattern Envelope

Don’t have the Cottesloe sewing pattern yet?! Order Cottesloe today! 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!

ORDER COTTESLOE!

// LOOKING FOR MORE COTTESLOE POSTS? //

Here’s the full list of Cottesloe posts and tutorials still to come in this sewalong:

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.

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Jess
Jess
2 years ago

Hi, I tried the coupon code to buy some swimwear fabric at blackbirdfabrics.com but it doesn’t work. It said coupon can’t be applied to any items in your cart even though they’re all swimwear fabric.

Jess
Jess
2 years ago
Reply to  Jess

It works now!! Sorry, I must have spelled the code wrong, I copied and paste and it worked!
Thank you!

Bonnie Wheaton
Bonnie Wheaton
2 years ago

I looked all over the internet to find my swimwear fabric. Last weekend I was in Minneapolis for a meeting and went to SR Harris Fabrics in suburban Burnsville. I was blown away by their incredible selection of swimwear material- literally dozens of choices. Worth a trip if you live in the midwest.

Carlee Andrea McTavish

Any recommendations for where to purchase the 1″ elastic required for view D? I’ve tried searching all over the Internet to no avail.

Anita
Anita
1 year ago

I’m in the same boat…having no luck at all!

Carlee Andrea McTavish
Reply to  Anita

I ended up just getting regular elastic ????

Ardy
Ardy
2 years ago

Any information as to Econyl fiber fall into?

Ardy
Ardy
2 years ago

Sorry- comment should have read “any information as to what category Econyl falls into?”

Lindsay
Lindsay
2 years ago

Can you post a tutorial for how to do the criss-cross back on the model on the left in the top photo?

N M
N M
1 year ago

Check out Emerald Erin! Her online shop is based in Canada. She sells swimsuit lining and elastic, and has good recommendations. Very friendly on Instagram too!

Wendy Wildermoth
Wendy Wildermoth
9 months ago

for plain swimsuit fabrics, House of Adorn in Melbourne AU have a good range.

Kristin
Kristin
5 months ago

Oh, yes, I second the request for the cross cross back variation in the photo! It’s adorable!