Pattern hack – cygne swimsuit as a bikini
The Cygne Swimsuit by Small Bobbins (design by Hari Ito Lingerie) can be hacked into a really cute bikini. I took pictures of the steps I took, including how I changed the back to accommodate a bikini. The pattern contains waist lines, so I decided to go for some high-waist bikini bottoms and added a band to the bikini top. I figured that suits my curvy figure best, but the bikini bottom can obviously also be made low-waist style.
1. Pattern adjustments for the bikini
For the bikini bottom, I cut the pattern at the waist and added seam allowance of 0.8cm (the width of my elastic).
The bikini top needs a bit more attention 😂
- For the top back piece, I elongated the center line of the back pattern piece — I traced that back line until it was 3cm (about 1.1in) longer than the underbust seam line. The underbust seam line is marked on the pattern (excellent pattern drafting, if I may say so) – this will make it relatively painless to adapt the back pattern. Now if you’re even more busted than I am, I would recommend to add bra closures and not cut the back pattern piece on the fold. Adding bra closure will give you more stability and will make it easier to put the top on.
- The top front piece needs a band, but the center front and side cups pieces remain the same. For the band I cut a 3in (7.5cm) wide band out of lycra (about 1m30cm/4ft 3.25in long) (more on this below).
2. Prepare the front pieces
The front pieces are sewn according to the instructions. First, sewing the center front pattern pieces together (reinforced with elastics, left photo) and the side cups are attached (right photo).
3. Prepare the back
The bikini top back piece is put right sides facing up (left-on-left) and then the elastic is sewn on. Make sure the sew the elastics on the “lining”-side. Then fold it over and zig-zag it to the right side.
4. Sewing enclosed side seams
Next, sew front and back pieces together at the sides. Use the burrito method for fully enclosed seams. The instructions can guide you if you’re unsure of the burrito method.
5. Sew shoulder seams & finish arm holes
Next, sew shoulder seams (as instructed) and clean up the arm sycles with elastics. The elastics is sewn onto the lining, then turn it over and zig zag it to the right side.
6. Prepare front band
So far, everything went according to the instructions. Now, let’s finish this with a nice band to tie the front and back pieces together. First, I measured the width of the front piece and the back piece. That came to 67cm. I cut two bands, 7.5cm wide (3in) and 66cm (0.7yards) long. I wanted to band to be a bit smaller than the width of the front and back pieces, which is why I cut it at 66cm (including seam allowance).
7. Mark front band
First, I closed the side seams of the two bands. Next, I marked front markings of where the cutouts are placed. The front piece has a cutout – so you need to mark that on your band.These markings will help you place the front piece and ensure everything’s lined up correctly. Also, before you sew the band to the top – maybe double check 😂 I almost made a stupid mistake at this point..
8. Sew on band
Now sew on the 2 bands. Make sure the top pieces are placed inbetween the two bands (right sides facing each other). I sewed in an elastic here as well for stability. I think you cannot get around this if you’re full-busted.
9. Finish band with elastics
Now it’s time to try on your bikini top. Mark how wide you’d like your band to be. I was quite happy with my 7.5cm (3in) band (= 5cm (2in) on my finished bikini). So next, I sewed an elastic to the lining piece, turned it over and sewed it in place with a zig-zag.
Your bikini top is done!
1. Prepare bikini bottom: back and side seams
The bikini bottom is sewn according to the instructions: First, close the back seam (enclose raw edges); then, sew side seams using the burrito-method. Next, close the gusset as described (enclosing seams).
2. Sew leg openings
Next, sew elastics to the leg openings. The elastic is sewn on the lining side. Make sure to stretch it as you sew the curves.
3. Finish bikini bottom
I decided to go with a simple elastic-finish on my bikini bottoms. Alternatively, you can sew on a lovely band using the same lycra. If you go with the elastics, turn the bikini bottom over to the lining side, and sew on the elastic, all the way around the waistline. Next, turn it over and zig-zag the elastic in place. Now, before I did this, I put the top and bottom on to see how it looks and to make sure the bikini bottoms fit my waist.
Your bikini bottom is done!
Time to go sunbathing now,