Hello everyone! It’s Nastasia here to share an easy and fun hack to change up the the Cottesloe swimsuit pattern. I love the look of this simple swim pattern, but it’s also fun to make a few easy changes for more of a statement look! In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a tie to cinch the bikini top and also how to add ties to the bikini bottoms.
So lets start with the bottoms! I’m making View D high waisted bikini bottoms. Instead of making it with the waistband, I slightly lengthened the rise of the waist for a tad more coverage without a band.
For the ties we need to create 4 identical pieces. You can determine how long you’d like your ties by first using a couple scrap pieces of fabric and making sure they can be tied in a knot where you’d like them to be. They will start in the side seam. After determining the length you like, you can cut out a paper pattern piece to follow or start by cutting one piece of fabric the length and width you’d like.
Mine ended up being about 14.5 inches long and 5 inches wide and my measurements are size 0/2.
After creating a rectangle just follow the shape I’ve created in the photo above or create a different look by making the ties narrower or even having square ends rather than rounded. You don’t need any fancy tools to create the shape. As shown in the previous photo, a plate works just fine as a guide! Just fold your rectangle in half lengthwise and cut the curve!
Next narrow the rectangle in and back out like shown in the photo above. This allows the tie to be knotted without a lot of bulk. After creating the shape you like, cut 4 identical pieces out of your fabric. Note: I used a contrasting fabric for two of my ties, so when they’re turned they reveal a different color. Next you’ll match up the two pairs of the ties with right sides together. Sew around the ties leaving the short ends open. Turn the ties right side out.
Clip/pin your ties to the right side of your bikini bottom front piece. I placed mine 2” down from the top.
Baste your ties to the bikini bottom front piece at the side seams. You may use a long straight stitch. Next clip/pin the ties out of the way.
Place the bikini bottom back piece on top. With right sides together, sew the side seams and crotch seam with a serger/overlocker or zig zag stitch. Be sure not to catch the end of the ties in the seams.
Finish the bikini bottoms following the pattern directions. I lined my entire bikini and the only difference is that I followed the waist finishing instructions for View C bottoms by putting elastic at the waistline instead of using the band.
Note: You may use the same waist elastic length from the View D measurement chart but still follow View C directions.
Now let’s move onto the top! You’ll construct the View C bikini top following the pattern directions.
The only optional change/modification would be to slightly lower the front neckline to create a slight curved V at center front (I’ve noted this in red above). This would allow the bikini top to be more easily tied when finished. You would do this to your front bikini top piece when cutting it out before finishing. Just remember if you make this modification to also lengthen your elastic for the neckline. Since I have a small cup size, I didn’t find this step necessary.
Now we will create the tie. Cut a piece of paper following the shape above. My paper piece is 7.75 inches long and 2.75 inches at the widest part of the curve.
Cut two pieces from your fabric on the fold. Note: I used a contrasting color for one of my tie pieces. Clip/pin the two tie pieces together right sides together. We will leave about a 1 inch opening towards the middle when sewing together.
Sew together leaving opening on one side.
Turn the tie right side out. Note: you may hand stitch the opening of your tie closed, but i don’t find this necessary since it’s hidden once its all tied up.
Knot your tie in the middle of your bikini top.
And that’s it you’ve finished a super quick, easy, and stylish swimsuit!
Happy sewing and swimming!
LOOKING FOR MORE COTTESLOE POSTS?
Here’s the full list of Cottesloe posts and tutorials:
- How to Choose Between Cottesloe & Cottesloe Curve
- Pattern Tester Round-up
- Inspiration + Ideas
- Where to Buy Swimsuit Fabric
- View B Full Suit Construction (+ Optional Lining)
- View A Full Suit Construction with Shelf Bra and Ties
- Views C & D Bikini Construction
- Basic Elastic Insertion for All Views
- Waistband and Underband Elastic Insertion for Views C & D