Hangin’ On To Summer: Soma Swimsuit Tutorial Part 2

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Tropical Leaves – Blush by crystal_walen

Want to learn how to rock a Soma swimsuit with a DIY twist? Maker and Spoonflower designer, trizzuto, is back on the blog with part two of her Soma swimsuit tutorial. Today, Theresa is giving us two #SproutHack variations on the Soma bikini tops that will offer a little added bust support. If you missed part one yesterday, catch up on how she made the bikini bottoms here

Now that you’ve sewn up your Soma bottoms, it’s time to tackle the top. In this post, I’m going to show you how to add a neck strap to your Soma Bikini Variation B for support, and I will show you how to add halter straps to either the Soma one piece or the Soma Variation A bikini for added coverage.

VARIATION B: BIKINI

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Follow the instructions included in your Sprout project to create the front and back main sections of your bikini top, but stop before you get to the shoulder / neck strap portions.  

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SHOULDER STRAPS

Optional: If you want your shoulder straps to match the fabric of the suit (instead of being pure elastic or store bought bra straps that may not match), begin by finding and measuring the strap on one of the bras you already own to get an idea of what strap length fits you and cut two pieces of swimwear elastic the same length. Now, take a remnant piece from your extra printed fabric from Sprout, making sure you choose a piece that’s at least as long as your straps and wide enough to wrap elastic inside it twice.  Line one of the elastic pieces up with the edge of the fabric, then fold over twice so that the elastic is completely enclosed. Pin in place. Repeat for the second strap.

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The elastic pieces are enclosed inside the two edges of this remnant. Cut along the length of where the elastic pieces are, and pin in place.

Move over to your sewing machine and sew each elastic strap down the middle with a wide zig zag stitch to secure the fabric to the elastic. You could also create your shoulder straps with regular bra straps which can be found at most fabric stores or online from companies like Dritz, or use decorative FOE (fold over elastic).

ADDING A NECK STRAP

You may find that the shoulder straps alone are not enough to provide the lift and support needed to feel comfortable in your Soma suit, especially if you don’t simply plan to lounge leisurely by the pool all day. One fix to this issue is to add an extra neck strap, that will begin at the shoulder straps and go around your neck like a halter.

To add the extra neck strap, begin by measuring the distance from the base of one strap, around your neck, to the base of the strap on the opposite shoulder. Cut a piece of swimwear elastic the same size or slightly shorter depending on how tight you’d like it to be. Encase the elastic in fabric using the same method as described above for the shoulder straps (or keep it plain if you like!). Pin in place and zig zag stitch up the middle.

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Pin each end of the neck strap to the inside edge of the shoulder straps, and stitch in place. Your top should now look similar to the image shown above.

ADDING HALTER STRAPS TO VARIATION A OR ONE-PIECE

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Stitch up your Soma Variation A bikini top (or one-piece) as per the instructions in your Sprout Pattern, until you get to the steps for adding the FOE to the inside and outside edges of the top.  

If you are starting with the one piece and want to make it a two piece like I did, just skip the step of joining your bikini top to your bottoms and instead, finish the top edge of the bikini bottoms by double hemming around the waist band.

Cut out your main top pieces and sew the lining to the fabric.

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Once you create the main construction of your top, measure from the bottom to the top of your inside and outside edges and trim FOE to match those measurements.

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Stitch your FOE onto the suit according to the instructions in the pattern, but do not leave 4” tails at the top.

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TRAPS DIAGRAM

 

 

From your remnant fabric (or coordinating fabric), cut four long strips — two for the shoulder straps and two for the straps that will tie at the back. Two of the strips should match same width as the two flat edges at the top of your bikini (those two dotted lines above that match up to your shoulders) and the other two should match in width to the width of the two vertical sides (the two dotted lines at the outer edges of your bikini top).

SHOULDER STRAPS REMNANTS

Finish the edges of all four straps with a double hem.

DOUBLE HEM STRAPS

Then, with right sides facing, stitch onto each dotted line edge shown above.  Start at the shoulders, then go along your sides (matching the appropriate widths).

ATTACH STRAPS

To make the bottom edge of your bikini top fit more snug, you can attach cotton swimwear elastic to the bottom edge with a zig zag stitch. Make sure to tug on your elastic as you sew, which is what will keep the top from gapping. Once it’s on, fold under once and secure down with another zig zag seam.

ELASTIC BIKINI TOP

FINISHED BIKINI EDGE

That’s it! Please remember — the whole point of creating your own swimsuit (well, other than the fact that it’s really fun and you can learn a lot about your craft) is because it gives you the freedom to create something that fits exactly how you like it, and allows you to be your most comfortable, confident self in situations where you’re not really wearing very much fabric in public. Never lose sight of that purpose, friends, and remember to always give yourself the freedom to change up a pattern whichever way you dig it. In sewing, you don’t always have to follow the rules, and sometimes starting with a solid pattern but wandering off the path just a little bit can be much more rewarding in the long run.

Get inspired by some of the Soma projects others have created on Sprout, and be sure to share your creations using #spoonflower, #sproutpatterns, #sprouthack and #somaswimsuit!

Happy stitching,

Theresa

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