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MN2501 Cottesloe / MN4501 Mini Cottesloe / Sewalongs

Cottesloe Tutorial: How to make tie straps

Tie strap hack for the Cottesloe swim suit by Megan Nielsen Patterns

Hey everyone! I have a fun Cottesloe hack tutorial today – how to make tie straps! I like the idea of the straps being adjustable, and I’m sure it’s perfect for any nursing mamas. It can be done with any of the views – one-piece or bikini. You can make the straps short and stubby, long and tied in a bow, rounded or pointy. This is just a starting point! I actually made two versions, and I’ll show you how to make tie straps for both versions at the end.

It’s pretty simple when you think about it – just extend the straps on the pattern! But don’t fret if the hack still makes you nervous, I’ll walk you through every step I made – from pattern adjustment to construction. Let’s do it!

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsTo start, tape your front pattern (again, can be any view) to a piece of blank paper.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsStarting with one strap, extend each side straight up. For the example I’m using here with the shorter rounder ties, I extended 3″. You could make them longer if you want, too. I’ll show you an example at the end of the post with a longer extension for bow-style ties.

Find the centre between the two sides, and make a mark another 1″ higher.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsConnect this 1″ higher mark to the two sides. You can make it rounded, like me, or pointed like a triangle. Up to you!

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen Patternshow to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsRepeat for the other strap.

Cut out your new pattern piece.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsNow you need to repeat for the back piece. Note: If you are making view B like I am here, the shape of the back will cause the straps to overlap when you extend the lines straight (shouldn’t be a problem with the other views). Obviously, this won’t work….

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen Patterns… So simply just angle the lines slightly so that they don’t overlap. Not angled too much so that it’s awkward and bent, but just enough so they don’t overlap.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsRepeat the same process of marking an additional 1″ and either connecting with rounded or straight lines.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsCut your new back piece out, and now you are ready to cut out your fabric.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsA note on linings/shelf bras: If you are adding a lining or shelf bra, and it is in the same color as your fabric, you can definitely extend the straps of the lining/shelf bra as well. But if your lining or shelf bra is not the same color (like mine above), I would not extend the straps of those pieces. Cut them out as normal. That way the color doesn’t show on the other side of the ties.

If you need help, check out the posts on attaching a lining or shelf bra.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsNow pin and sew together your suit at the side seams (and crotch seam if you’re making a one piece) just as directed in the instructions. But do not sew together the shoulder seams.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsOk, so now about elastic. We are actually going to cut our neckline and armhole elastic the same length as indicated in the pattern instructions. That is because we are are not going to extend the elastic all the way up the ties, only to the shoulder seam. There really isn’t a reason for the elastic to extend into the ties, so this keeps it simple.

So starting with the neckline elastic, divide it into four sections just as indicated in the instructions. If you need help with this, see this post. BUT, this time, we’re actually going to cut at the right shoulder mark.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsSo now you have two neckline elastics – one for the front and one for the back.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsAttach your neckline elastic by starting with one end at the original shoulder seam. If you’re using the original lining or shelf bra like I am – It’s simply at the edge of that. If you’re not, make sure you mark this point from the original pattern.

Match up the center front mark, and the other end at the other shoulder seam.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsSame process for the back neckline elastic.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsFor the armholes, cut the elastic length the exact same length as indicated in the pattern instructions. Also divide into four equal sections as indicated.

But here, instead of starting at the underarm, begin with one end of the elastic at the shoulder point, the middle of the elastic at the underarm, and the other end at the back shoulder point.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsAttach your elastics by sewing a zig-zag down the center of the elastic.

If you need any help with any part of the elastic process, look through this post.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsOK, so before we fold over again to finish the elastic process, let’s talk about how we are going to finish the ends.

If you made your tie ends pointed, you could use a mitered corner finish for a clean look.

If you did a rounded end like mine, here’s a little trick for folding under a rounded curved/edge – sew a line of basting stitching around the curve, 1/4″ from the edge.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsJust lightly pull on the thread tales to slightly gather up the curve, this will naturally make it curve in towards to inside, allowing you to help keep it rounded easier.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsNow fold the edge over towards the inside of the garment, around the entire neckline/armholes and tie ends. The elastic will be sandwiched in between the fabric now. Pin in place if needed.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsFrom the wrong side, zig-zag stitch again. This time right up against the raw edge and around the entire neckline/armholes/tie ends.  This will enclose the elastic.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsHere is a close up of the wrong side of one of my rounded tie ends. (I wish some of the sides of the straps were neater, but I was concentrating on those rounded ends!)

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsAnd here is a close up of one of them from the right side.

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsThat’s it! Just knot ’em and wear ’em!

And as promised, here’s an example of a different tie length, too…..

how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen Patterns how to make tie straps on the Cottesloe swimsuit by Megan Nielsen PatternsFor this one, I believe I extended the straps by 5 1/2 or 6″. Same sewing process. But when I tied them, I kept the ends tucked in, bow style!


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About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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