Effie Swim Top & Goldie Bikini Bottoms with Dramatic Bows
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Today I am sharing a super fun bikini set: I converted the Effie Crop Top by Evie la Luve into a bikini top and added dramatic bows to the shoulder by using the bow pattern piece from the Marie Panties Pattern. I paired the bikini top with the Goldie Bikini Bottoms by Sew Swimmingly.
I made this set as part of a Swimwear Sewing themed month that I did on Instagram in July 2021. I’m creating this post to make it easier to refer back to the process of making this set and also to further expound on some construction details.
Let’s jump in!
For this project, I used three fabrics. Most of the main pattern pieces were cut from a Recycled Swim Lycra in Peacock. The contrast details were cut from a Glossy Charmeuse Swim Lycra in Pear. The lining pieces were all cut from a 100% nylon swimwear lining fabric. All materials are from Tailor Made Shop. (Note: some fabrics may be sold out now.)
Here are the pattern pieces I cut out for the Effie Swim Top.
For the front: I cut one front from the Peacock Recycled Swim Fabric. For the lining, I cut two fronts from the Swim Lining fabric. This is because I want to the option of adding removable foam padding to the swim top.
For the back, I simply cut one out of the main fabric and one from the lining fabric.
Note: The Effie Crop Top pattern is meant to be finished with Foldover Elastic along the necklines and armholes, which means there is no elastic allowance allotted in the original pattern. If you plan on finishing the necklines and armholes of your Effie Swim Top with swimwear elastic, you will need to add elastic allowance that is equivalent to the width of the elastic you are using to finish these edges. For example, if you plan on finishing the edges with a 1/4″ swim elastic, you will need to add a 1/4″ elastic allowance along the armholes and the necklines.
If you plan on finishing the armhole and neckline edges with binding, you will not need to elastic allowance as binding is also an edge application finish.
In my case, I plan on finishing the armhole and neckline edges with 1/4″ rubber swim elastic. However, I left out the elastic allowance because I wanted the Effie Swim Top to have narrower straps and a lower neckline.
For the swim bottoms, I cut one of the front and the back from the Peacock Recycled Swim Fabric and from the Swim Lining fabric. And for the contrasting details such as the bows, I cut them from the Pear Glossy Charmeuse swim lycra.
We are ready to sew.
Constructing the Effie Swim Top
To start, I am modifying one of the front lining pieces in order to make it possible to add removable foam padding to the bikini top. I cut out an opening at the side seam area as shown below. You can finish the raw edge of the opening by serging.
Next, I spray baste the front and back lining pieces to the front and back pieces in the main fabric. For the front, you are using the lining piece without the cutout for the removable foam padding. This is also the reason we cut two front lining pieces in the beginning. The spray basting is accomplished by using the 505 Adhesive Spray.
Next, we will pin baste the front lining piece with the cutouts for removable foam padding to the spray basted Effie Swim Top front unit.
Now we can start sewing. First I sew up the shoulder seams on one side.
Time to apply elastic to the armhole edge of the stitched shoulder seam. To do so, simply line up the swim elastic with the raw edge on the wrong side/inside and stitch in place with a zigzag stitch for the first pass.
For the second pass, turn the elastic inwards and stitch again using a zigzag stitch.
Now repeat the elastic application for the front and back necklines. Then stitch up the other shoulder seam and apply elastic the same way on the remaining armhole. After that, sew up one of the side seams and then we are ready to apply binding with elastic to finish the bottom edge of the Effie Swim Top.
To finish the bottom edge, I am using a binding that is at least three times the width of the elastic I plan on using. It’s 3/8″ swim elastic in this case. I did not measure out the length of the binding in advance. I just cut out a binding that was the full width of the swim fabric and cut off the extra.
To apply the binding, I line up one of the raw edges of the binding with the bottom edge of the Effie Swim Top right sides together. I stitch the binding to the bottom edge using a zigzag stitch.
Next, apply the swim elastic atop the binding by lining it up with the bottom edge and stitching using a zigzag stitch. If you are an experienced swimwear sewer, you could also apply the binding and elastic at the same time in one step.
Now fold the binding over the elastic and turn under. Stitch with a zigzag stitch. When sewing up this step, make sure the elastic is wrapped tightly for a neat finish. You can also use secure everything in place with pins before you start sewing.
Trim away the excess binding close to the zigzag stitch and the bottom edge is now finished!
All that’s left to do is to sew up the remaining side seam and sew up the bows from the Marie Panties Pattern. Add the bows to the shoulder area….
…and voilà! I really love the dramatic flair these large bows add!
Constructing the Goldie Swim Bottoms
For the construction of the bottoms, I am mainly covering the parts where I differ from the sewing instructions. The biggest difference is the swim bottoms are meant to be reversible while I opted to make them non-reversible.
To start, I spray basted the front self and lining pieces together with 505 Adhesive Spray. I then pin the back self and lining pieces together with the spray basted front unit sandwiched in between at the crotch seam. The right sides of the self front and back pieces are touching and the right sides of the lining front and back pieces are touching. Sew all of these layers together at the crotch seam with a straight stitch or serge the same if you are using a serger.
This is how everything looks after you sew up the crotch seam and flip everything to the right side.
Next sew the side seams together with the right sides touching. Flip everything to the right side after and apply 1/4″ swim elastic along the leg openings and the waist area as shown in Effie Swim Top Construction above.
Next up are the loops/bands for the bottom. The pattern actually has four loops/bands total, two for the front and two for the back. As a last minute decision, I decided to omit the back loops/bands.
Tada! The bottoms are now done.
Not too much left to say except I LOVE the way this set turned out. This is one of my favorite swim pieces I’ve made to date–the shoulder bows are my favorite detail, but I also love the touch of luxe the contrast Glossy Charmeuse swim fabric adds to the set.
Flat lay photos for your enjoyment.