How to make your own swimming costume

Updated July 20, 2017

Swimsuit shopping can be frustrating for many -- it can often seem as though nothing fits quite right or comes in the exact style that you're looking for. Creating your own swimming costume can solve these problems and can be relatively simple to do once you prepare yourself with the proper materials and put in a little bit of time.

Choosing your materials

Measure your bust and hips at their fullest points and record the measurements. You will use these as a reference when looking at size charts.

Choose a pattern you would like to use. Kwik Sew, Stretch and Sew, and BurdaStyle are all good places to start your search.

Decide what fabric you will use. Lycra and spandex are the most common, and spandex will be the easiest to work with. Fabric with four-way stretch has the most flexibility and durability.

Buy the lining material for your swimsuit. For a light-coloured swimsuit, you will want enough for the top and crotch; for a darker suit, you may need to line only the crotch. Find lining as close to the colour as your swimsuit as possible.

Buy 9 mm (3/8 inch) wide elastic for the edging of the arm and leg holes. Wider elastic may be purchased for the straps. Make sure elastic is cotton-wrapped and treated for chlorine resistance. Also, buy any accessories that you may want to add.

Buy polyester or nylon thread to ensure durability. Also choose thread colours different from the swimsuit for decorative stitching, if you'd like. If you're not sure you can make precise stitches, use a thread matching the colour of the suit so mistakes will not be as visible.

Constructing your bathing suit

Follow the pattern instructions when it comes to cutting, but hold off on sewing. Use pins to hold the pieces together so you can try it on first.

Sew the swimsuit together once you are satisfied with the fit.

Sew in lining and elastic where necessary and add any decorative accessories.


Make sure all materials in the swimsuit are treated for chlorine resistance. Take caution while using sewing needles.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Swimsuit pattern
  • Fabric
  • Swimsuit lining
  • Elastic
  • Polyester or nylon thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle or machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Accessories for decoration (optional)
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Melody Gould has been writing since 2004 for various websites. She has a degree in accounting and is currently pursuing a dual Associate of Science in computer programming/design and Internet service technology.