Hey y’al, today I’m going to show you how I turned this one piece swimsuit into a tankini top. If you don’t feel like listening to me whine, feel free to skip down to the ******
Before I show you how I did this, can I just say that bathing suit shopping stinks? Especially after kids. My dear Tater and Bean have left marks on me (and I’m not talking about the ugly c-section scar; don’t talk to me if you’re one of those people who have to look hard to find yours). Marks like extra stomach skin that hangs over anything that touches my waist. Marks like boobs which have mysteriously gotten bigger and smaller at the same time (They’re flatter, but need a bigger cup size – for all the extra skin?) and migrated from their BC (Before Children) positions.
And here’s what I really don’t get – I can find bras and underwear that fit and flatter with no problem. Why is it so hard to make swimsuits that do the same?
********Whew, rant over. Thanks for bearing with me. On to the tutorial.
So, one pieces are tricky, kind of like dresses, because they have to fit right in so many places. I found this really cute one piece (Old Navy) that did all the right things for my body (things that swimsuits from much more expensive stores were not achieving) except it was saggy in the behind. Which I discovered the first time I wore it to the pool, so too late to return.
The other problem with one pieces is that we’re going on a beach vacation, and I intend to spend all day in my swimsuit, and I would prefer not to have to strip to go potty.
So after weeks of ordering (and returning) other suits, trying on other suits, and a big ol’ debacle of an attempt to make my own, it finally occurred to me to go back to Old Navy and find a coordinating bottom (heck, at this point I was ready to go with basic black on bottom if nothing came up, but I found a zig-zag print that had this color in it) and then turn this top into a tankini.
I have two other tankinis, both from BC (before children), and I couldn’t wear either of them because of that ring of skin between the top of my bikini bottom and the bottom of my tankini. Also, I hate the loose tankinis that just float up when you get in the water, defeating the whole extra coverage thing a tankini wearer is probably going for.
So I cut this swimsuit off right at the top of the legholes, ensuring that it would reach to my bikini bottoms without the skin tire in the middle. The control max lining and my finishing will ensure that it won’t float up. Win/Win for me!
If you look closely on the right and left, you can see how the elastic from part of the leg holes is still attached. To match this (and keep my top down) I cut 3/8 elastic to the same length as the now raw edges, one piece for the front and one for the back.
I used my serger with the knife OFF to sew the elastic to the inside of the raw edges. If you don’t have a serger, zig-zagging works here too.
Now just fold the elastic in, and top stitch on the outside with a double needle. At the edges where there was original elastic, I folded it part way under so it now looks like a continuous seam.
Incidentally, I like these double needles for knits. I order them two at a time in case I break one. I was going to link you to them, but they’re becoming harder to find (I’ve used Amazon sellers). Makes me wonder if I should have ordered more than 2 last time.
And now I have this to wear on vacation