Hi guys! I have a swimwear pattern review today. I will be sharing my thoughts on the newly released Mimi Bikini Pattern.
Full Disclosure: Hannah sent me the pattern for free for pattern testing and feedback. All opinions are my own.
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Mimi Bikini Set – Version One
Materials & Construction
For version one of the Mimi Bikini Set, I used a lemon print poly/spandex blend fabric from Spandex House. It has 50% stretch in the lengthwise and crosswise grains. The lining is a 100% nylon swimwear lining in white, also from Spandex House.
In terms of construction, I stayed pretty close to the instructions. All the seams are stitched together using a straight stitch and the raw edges are all finished with a serger. (A serger is not a requirement for this project! If you don’t have access to a serger, you can finish your raw edges with a zig zag stitch.) The only thing different was I did all my topstitching with a small zig zag stitch instead of using a twin needle.
I would say that the pattern is more of an advanced beginner sewing project. This has to do with the nature of swimwear fabrics. The lining in particular is fiddly and can grow on you. It’s pretty important to take the time to either hand baste or spray baste the lining and self layers together for easy handling. Hannah’s instructions and photos are also very clear so don’t be afraid to attempt this project!
By the way, I just wanted to point out that her swimwear strap construction method is quite clever and you get such professional looking results! She has a free video tutorial of how to sew straps for swimwear here.
Sizing & Fit
The Bikini Top: I wish I could say that the pattern fit right away like the Jamie Bra, but this was not the case. The Mimi bikini Top is drafted for those who have a fuller bust. After making the first toile, I messaged Hannah to inquire if the bikini was indeed drafted for fuller sizes. She confirms that the pattern is intended for a C cup, but it ended up fitting those who were D or fuller. The good news is she will be releasing a tutorial for altering the princess seams for smaller cup sizes. She also said that she will make the bust a little less full for the final pattern.
For reference, I wear a 30AA and my full bust measures 31.5″. I cut the XXS, which is drafted for bust sizes 33 1/2″ – 34 1/2″. I ended up shortening the back bra bands by 1.5″ total so the top would stay up on me. In addition, I found that the princess seams were quite long and full. I pinched out 3/4″ of fullness in each princess seam. I also pinched out 3/4″ in height for the princess seams.
I also found the coverage of the front part of the bikini to be quite modest. This is why I think this pattern would be great for those who have fuller busts because it provides ample coverage. On me, the neckline comes up quite high, but I didn’t want to fiddle with the neckline shape until I get the princess seams to fit.
I personally loved the shape and cut out detail on the Mimi Bikini Top so I was determined to make this pattern work for me. I also had a friend who wears a 30C try the Mimi Bikini Set on. She’s slim, but she was conscious about how the cut out created a bit of bulges. If you have a bit of padding on your back and you’re conscious about it being squeezed–this is not the pattern for you.
On the dress form, the Mimi Bikini Top doesn’t look very full, but the same friend who is a 30C found the princess seams to be full and long. Please note that this is during the pattern testing stage.
The Bikini Bottoms: The bottoms fit perfectly. For reference, my hips are 35″ and I cut the XS. The sizing is consistent with the Frankie Panties and Jamie Panties. The top portion of the Mimi Bottoms are pinned back on the dress form because they’re too big for her, but the bottoms fit fine on me.
I did not love the Mimi Bottoms on me. It looks fantastic as a set on the dress form and I love the balance of the cut out design details on both the top and bottom, but on me the cut outs are situated right over my hip bones. I have freakishly bony hip bones and I didn’t like how they were highlighted by the cutouts.
Mimi Bikini Top – Version Two
Since I decided the Mimi Bikini Bottoms weren’t for me, I didn’t endeavor to make a second pair. Instead, I used my favorite bikini underwear pattern, the Frankie Panties, and made it swimwear compatible by adding elastic allowance for the swimwear elastic.
I made a second Mimi Bikini Top after making the following changes: first, I shortened the princess seams by 3/4″ in height. Then I took in each princess seam by 3/4″ at the apex and blended to 0″ at both ends of the princess seams. I didn’t shorten the back band straps on the pattern because this is an easy adjustment and can be done quickly when I’m wearing the bikini top.
For version two, I used an orange floral polyester/spandex that was leftover from the swimwear kits that I put together last year. It has 50% stretch in the lengthwise and crosswise grains. It’s lined with a nude 100% nylon swimwear lining from Spandex House. And as before, I used 3/8″ rubber elastic and 1″ g-hooks from my shop for the elastic and hardware.
I’m excited to say that the Mimi Bikini Top ended up fitting quite well the second time around! I still think that the neckline comes up too high on me, so I will be lowering it a bit when I make the actual version. It doesn’t look high on the dress form because her bust is fuller than mine and she fills out the length of the princess seam whereas I don’t. But otherwise, I am quite happy with the Mimi Bikini Top!
The Frankie Swim Bottoms fit fine, but I don’t know if I like it paired with the Mimi Bikini Top. To me, it doesn’t balance the top like the Mimi Bottoms did. I think I will be using a different pattern for the bottoms when I make the actual set but I haven’t decided on which pattern yet.
In short, I love the Mimi Bikini Top after making some pattern adjustments, but the Mimi Bottoms are just not for me.
How about you? Have you tried the Mimi Bikini Set? How do you like it? Share in the comments below!