DIY swimsuits solve the dilemma of swimsuit shopping, but where do you begin? From bikini patterns to one-piece bathing suit patterns, we’ve found 9 swimwear patterns that are, dare we say, better than what was on the rack. Whether you adore retro one-pieces or are looking for a cute cover-up, we have you … well, covered.
A one-piece doesn’t have to be boring: Just mix it up with an unexpected neckline. This pattern can be customized with a scoop, tube-top-style or halter neckline.
For the free one-piece swimsuit pattern, visit Ralph Pink.
We adore vintage-style one-pieces, except that they are always expensive. Why is that? It’s not that much extra fabric … but, we digress. Here’s the ultimate pattern for recreating a classic style but with a modern fit. We suggest a bold red fabric.
For the free vintage-style swimsuit pattern, visit Burda Style.
Endless Options Bikini Top
Wear a bandeau one weekend and a twist-front bikini the next. If you've got a favorite vintage brooch or statement piece, stick it onto this easy project.
For instructions and a free pattern for this bikini top, visit Etceterize.
An Authentic Vintage
Love the genuine old-timey swimsuits at your favorite vintage store but are a little skittish about buying such an intimate garment? (No matter how much it’s been washed?) This is the pattern for you: An authentic swimsuit pattern that dates back to the '40s.
For the old-fashioned swimsuit pattern of your dreams, visit Vintage Purls.
Not-So-Itty-Bitty Polka Dot Bikini
A little whimsical but altogether grown-up is this sweet bikini pattern. We love the extra-supportive (but still cute) top. The secret is in the sewn-in cups, which you can find at your craft store … or you can just cut from last year’s bikini top.
For an all-around lovely bikini pattern, visit Burda Style.
Yep, we love a good halter around here. And it’s easy to see why: You don’t have to worry about super-precise strap measurements, boning or other structural tricks in order to create a good fit.
For the loveliest of halters, visit Sew Mama Sew.
Sometimes we just want to channel our inner Blanche Deveraux. And a gauzy caftan is a good way to go about that (while also keeping cool in the heat.) Also, get this: It takes less than an hour to make! Now for some statement earrings…
For a versatile caftan pattern, check out Bored and Crafty.
Want something a little more modest? Go for a longer-length caftan. In a gauzy cotton, it’ll keep you nice and cool. This one is about as tricky as sewing a T-shirt. Read: Not tricky at all.
For a free and fab long-length caftan pattern, visit Craft Stylish.
Terry Cloth Cuteness
We loved this idea just for the clever factor alone … because it’s a cover-up made from a beach towel! Just pull it on as soon as you get out of the water and go about your beach fun with confidence. (It’s also perfect for college students-to-be. Seriously, a towel cover-up is appreciated when the bathroom is all the way down the hall.)
To get the beach towel cover-up how-to, visit All Free Sewing.
Classy Little Chemise
This one’s a little fancier than your typical cover-up, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard to sew. Modeled after an Anthropologie chemise, this number can be worn with your swimsuit or as a top. Now you have a good reason to use that stash of vintage lace.
For the free lace chemise cover-up pattern, visit Jay N Sarah.
Image credits from top: Alexey Fursov / Dreamstime