Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shirred Empire Tankini

I sort of patterned this suit for my oldest daughter after seeing 2 Land's End swimsuits: this style and this style.

We tried a little something different on the straps. L. thinks it is really cool looking.

I used Kwik Sew patterns 2275 (discontinued but very similar to 3239) for the bottoms and then altered 2690 for the top.

To shir the top I cut a strip of fabric a bit wider than the width of the bodice piece and double the length. I ran a few gathering threads and then gathered and pinned it in place to the bodice lining. I basted the gathered top in place on the lining and then cut down the excess fabric to match the lining piece.

Next time I may cut it a little longer still--really it depends on how shirred you like the bodice. L. was very happy with how it turned out. Her dad, not so much--he's not quite ready to have his "little" girl turn into a young woman. In fact, I think I saw him cleaning up the shotgun the other night.....:)
You can always check my Etsy site for suits too!


  1. It's fantastic! I love the straps across the back.

  2. Impressive! It looks great - I love the length too.

  3. It looks great! You ladies and your swim suit sewing - I will have to try it myself (one day)

  4. LOVE IT, where do you find your fabic? Am I missing it at Jo-Ann's? How about the fabric for the straps? Is it just flat or is it already strap fabic? (like bias)


  5. Jo-Ann's really doesn't have a great selection of swimsuit fabric. I have a place here local that gets end bolts and they have a GREAT selection of swimsuit fabric. Unfortunately they don't sell online. I checked.

    The straps are made from elastic and swimsuit fabric. I suppose I should do some sort of tutorial for those. They really aren't as hard as they look.

  6. You are amazing. That swimsuit is so cute!

  7. I love it! Your stitching looks fabulous!

  8. Your suits just keep getting fabulous-er & fabulous-er :-)

    Do you use anything special to help you go over so many layers of fabric at once? (the 'ring' around the straps - that must be, what, 8 layers plus the Lastin?)

  9. Originally I makde the ring with elastic in it, but that was TOO much. So I just went back and made a little strap.

    I did NOT use my double needle when I sewed the little ring on. I was afraid the needle would break. So I just used my single stretch needle and went slowly.

    I am still trying to work thru that little detail. It doesn't look exactly how I would like, but I needed it to stay put and so I had to sew it down.

  10. This is a great tankin! I'm a fellow blogger and am new to your site (it's great btw). Thanks for all of your helpful info on swimsuit sewing. I'm about to embark on that adventure for myself and was doing a little research on my own. Well I definitely won't be a stranger. Feel free to visit my blog at :)

  11. CUTE swimsuit. The print is fabulous and the back detail is very unique. I am lovin' your blog!

    My friend participate sin the pillowcase challenge...and I have been trying to get involved...I have a post about it even (unpublished)...anyway I am following you!
    504 Main

  12. I recently made myself a swimsuit, and your posts were extremely helpful! (I linked back to you and all other helpful resources in my post( I was thrilled with how easy it was! I even did some major pattern alterations, and it wasn't near as intimidating as I've always thought it would be. However, I have a question for you! I too would LOVE a tutorial on how you did the straps; I want to make one for my little girl, and I like the look that the contrasting edge gives it. Does it work like bias tape but you add the elastic in the middle? I know it must be pretty easy, but I can't figure it out... Help! Thanks for all the useful info!!



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