Chic Retro Swimsuit Patterns

Posted by on Jul 23, 2023

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If recent fashion trends have taught us anything, it’s that retro chic is definitely “in.” As swimsuit season approaches, you might be hunting for a cool retro chic bathing suit that you can wear to the beach or to the community pool. Well, look no further! Here are eight tutorials for creating your own vintage style bathing suits at home. All you need is an eye for vintage fabrics, a sewing machine and these step-by-step instructions. 

High Waisted Bikini Bottom
An easy tutorial for a high-waisted bikini bottom. To make this you will need .5 m of stretchy swim fabric, 0.5 m of a light swim lining, and some 1/4 inch elastic. To create the pattern, adapt it from a bikini bottom you own or a pair of underwear. See more at SewSam.

High-waist flowery bikini bottoms
High-Waist Bikini

This high-waist, two-piece bathing suit is absolutely gorgeous and flattering on any body type. For more information on this vintage swimwear tutorial, visit Instructables.

Vintage Bombshell Swimsuit Pattern
Closet Case Files on
Vintage Bombshell One Piece

I love the boyshort cut on one piece bathing suits. I also love halter tops, they give control that straps can't. This vintage style one piece gives you both. This pattern actually comes with two variations, the other one is a bit more racey. This bathing suit is designed by Heather Lou of Closet Case Files. She is awesome and has a Bombshell Pinterest board of all the folks that have made the suit! If you make it, don't forget to send her a pic so you get added too. Find the pattern for this awesome vintage style bathing suit over at Heather's Craftsy store. 
Green and white striped retro swimsuit
Retro Striped Bikini

Do you love stripes? Then this bikini pattern from Ohhh Lulu might be just the one for you to use with your favorite striped fabric ... just look how much Kristin from Sew Classic loves hers! 

Black high-waisted bikini bottoms
Bikini Bottoms for Beginners

Getting the bottoms of your bathing suit right is half the battle. If you’re new to making your own swimsuits, check out this tutorial for making the perfect vintage bikini bottoms at Conniya.

Striped halter-style swimsuit
Curaçao Swimsuit

This halter-style vintage swimsuit is a great look for anyone. Kitty Couture shares her take on this BurdaStyle pattern and gives lots of great tips for successful sewing.

1920s style swimsuit upcycled from t-shirt
1920s-Style Swimsuit

The 1920s were a more modest time. If you're looking for a more modest swimsuit, check out how Lauren from American Duchess Historical Costuming fashioned this 1920s-style suit from a man's tee shirt.

Ruched Vintage Style Bikini
Ruched Vintage Bikini Bottoms

Ruching is one of the best ways to camouflage your tummy in a bathing suit. This vintage style bikini bottom gives you extra interest while also providing texture which can help you look your best. This sewing pattern is by Domestic Ingenuity and is enough for for beginners to sew. Find the vintage style bikini bottom pattern over on Domestic Ingenuity. 

Blue pin-up bathing suit
Pin-Up Bathing Suit

Here is a great vintage swimwear tutorial from Kitschy Coo that can make you look just like those chic pin-up models from the 1950s, especially if you use some polka dot fabric! 


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