Friends, as you may recall, this green floral tropical print was my original choice for my vintage bathing suit project -- not the bikini, but rather the Advance one-piece. Then it got bumped by the black floral print. I thought I'd use the green print -- oh, so, Dorothy Lamour -- for my final bikini, and I had it all pressed and ready to use this morning when it just started to look so...obvious. I wasn't feeling it.
I dug through my stash and stumbled upon this vintage curtain panel I picked up at the flea market a few months ago, in an unusual cotton insect print. It even came decorated with mini pom poms.
I decided to try making the bikini out of that. But what would I line it with? In my stash I found some plaid cotton shirting I'd bought a few years ago and lost interest in.
Serendipitously, the two patterns complement each other!
I'd cut my main pattern pieces from the insect print, when I discovered I didn't have quite enough to cut all the straps. That's when I decided to make the suit fully reversible. It took a little extra work to do, but I really like the results.
My straps now have the insect fabric on one side, and the plaid fabric on the other.
I'd planned to sew a little elastic on the inside of the bikini top to prevent gaping. Since the top was now going to be reversible, I attached the elastic (pulling it gently as I stitched) when I sewed the two fabrics together. Before I turned them right sides out, I understitched the elastic to the plaid side so it wouldn't roll over.
It worked great and there's just enough pull to keep the top snug along the upper edge.
The center tie is also two-sided.
Here's the nearly-completed top: Insect print side up...
And plaid side up.
The bigger challenge is to make the bottoms reversible. More about that tomorrow.
Readers, have you ever made a reversible garment? I'm not a big reversible person (who wants to reverse one's sweat stains?) but for some kinds of garments -- like this swimsuit -- it can work.
I wonder how many people wear reversible garments and never actually reverse them. You?
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!