I am the swimming suit to have this summer. In vichy checkered fabric for a graphic effect or in a flowery pattern for a splash of colours… I will dive with you in lagoons, lakes and oceans. All of this in style of course. I AM Leia is the bikini to sew this summer. Simple and timeless, it was designed in collaboration with the French magazine Marie-Claire Idées with beginners in mind.
SEWING THE BIKINI
- 24″ by 35″ wide fabric
- A 6″ by 6″ scrap of thin jersey for the lining
- 2 5/8 yards of 13/16” (3cm) wide France Duval Stalla elastic
- 1 1/4 yards of 5/8″ wide France Duval Stalla elastic biais tape
- 1 1/4 yards of 3/8″ wide satin ribbon
- One 3 1/8″ (30mm) wide swimming suit hook
- 1 ballpoint needle
Cut the fabric following the cutting plan.
- Panties x 1
- Center Front x 4
- Front Side x 4
- Lining x 1
Place the ballpoint needle on the sewing machine.
Important: The grey areas on the illustrations below represent the right side and the white areas represent the wrong side of the fabric.
SEWING THE BRA
Place one Front Side and one Center Front pieces right sides together and pin the center of the cup in place. Sew at 5/16” (0,7cm) and press the seam open.
Sew the other cups following the same instructions. You should get 2 right sides and 2 left sides.
Cut the satin ribbon in half.
On the table place one cup right side up. Align the edge of one of the satin ribbon to the tip of the cup.
Place the second cup on top wrong side up. Pin in place and sew the 2 sides of the cup at 3/8’’. Leave the bottom of the cup open.
Turn right side out and overlock the bottom of the cup. Assemble the other cup the same way.
Cut 47” of elastic band. Fold it in half to find the center front. Place one cup 3/8” from the center front of the elastic. The elastic and the bottom of the cup overlap by 3/8”. Pin the bottom of the cup and the elastic together. Sew it together using a zig-zag stitch. Stretch the elastic slightly while sewing.
Try the bra and evaluate the length of elastic you need to maintain the bra in place. Add an extra 3/4” seam allowance on each side to sew the hook. Cut the excess and attach the hook on each side.
Finish the edges of the satin ribbon by hand.
SEWING THE PANTIES
Place the lining and the panties wrong sides together as indicated on the pattern by the two dashed lines. Pin in place.
Fold the elastic bias tape in two lengthwise and iron it. Insert one side of the panties inside the bias tape. Looking at the right side sew it together using a zig-zag stitch. Stretch the elastic bias tape slightly while sewing.
Cut the excess bias tape. Sew the other side following the same instructions.
Overlock the top of the panties at the front and the back.
Place the elastic around your high hip and evaluate the length of elastic needed to maintain the panties in place. Add 3/8” seam allowance to sew the elastic and cut the excess. Place the extremities of the elastic band right sides together and sew at 3/16”.
Fold the elastic in half and mark the middle at the opposite of the seam with a pin. Match the center front of the panties with the pin on the elastic. The elastic and the top of the panties overlap by 3/8”. Pin the elastic and the panties in place. Sew it together using a zig-zag stitch. Slightly stretch the elastic band while sewing. Sew the back of the panties with the elastic band following the same instructions.
Well done, it’s finished! Now it’s time to run to the beach…