How to Sew Strappy Bikini Bottoms in 2 Different Styles

Edgewater Avenue
by Edgewater Avenue
10 Materials
20 Minutes

Welcome! In this tutorial, I am going to teach you how to sew strappy bikini bottoms. The pattern we are using comes with a few different options, so I'm going to show you two different ways to make them. Let's get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Presley bottoms pattern
  • Swimwear fabric (a quarter of a yard/23cm) [two types of fabric if you want to make the bottoms reversible]
  • Swimwear elastic
  • Seam ripper
  • Loop turner
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scissors
  • Clips or pins
  • Acrylic ruler
  • Sewing machine (optional: with a serger)

Style 1

Cutting out the pattern

1. Cut the pieces and straps

Cut the front and back sides of the pattern pieces, you’ll need two of each. If you’re making your bikini bottoms reversible, cut one in each pattern piece in each fabric. Now cut all of the straps; there are eight in total. 

Sewing a basting stitch

2. Make a basting stitch (optional)

Before you go in with your serger or zigzag stitch, I recommend doing a basting stitch instead of pinning or clipping. 

Sewing the swimwear elastic

3. Sew

Sew the pieces together using a four-thread overlock stitch; if you don't have a serger, you can use a zig-zag stitch. I have an elastic foot that helps me attach the swimwear elastic perfectly. 

Fold the straps in half lengthwise with right sides together and sew elastic to the raw edges. Then match fronts with fronts and backs with backs right sides together and sew and attach elastic to the areas shown at 3:39.

Turning the straps right sides out

4. Turn right side out

Use the loop turner to turn each strap right side out. If you don't have one you can use a safety pin instead.

Attaching the straps to the bikini bottoms

5. Attach the straps

Separate the straps into six shorter straps and two longer ones. Three of the shorter straps will go in the sides, and then the two longer ones will come out of that section on the top.

Once you know where everything is going, insert the straps into the back piece. 

Equally space the three straps on the sides. Use as many clips as you need and don't be afraid to break up this process, focusing on one strap at a time. You can pre-mark with a pen where you want the straps or sew a tacking stitch before you sew the final stitch.

Once you're happy with placement, sew every strap down. I recommend using a straight stitch. 

How to make your own bikini bottoms

Here you can get creative with how you want the straps to be placed; add more straps, make thinner ones, or braid them. If you plan on doing that, be aware you might need to tweak the strap sizes from the pattern.

Trimming the excess fabric

6. Trim the excess

Trim the excess. This will make your sides come out cleaner and help avoid bulkiness.

Sewing the bikini bottoms

7. Sew the pieces together

Sew the gusset closed with another basting stitch. Then insert the back piece inside the front piece and align each of the straps where they need to go before you start.

Make sure your right sides are together, and use your clips to help you keep everything in order. Use a straight stitch and sew in the sides once more, and sew across the gusset too. Once done, trim the excess.

Turning the bikini bottoms right sides out

8. Turn right side out

Seam rip a one to two-inch (2.5-5cm) hole along an existing seam. Through this hole, take everything to the right side. Close the hole either by topstitching it or hand-sewing an invisible stitch.

Style 2 

This version is easier to make because there aren't as many straps. The directions are similar but the placement of the straps is different.

Cutting out the pattern

1. Repeat as above

Repeat steps 1-4 above.

Attaching the straps

2. Attach the straps

Insert the straps into the back piece. The two longer straps will go at the top opening, and the two smaller ones will go inside each of the sides. With your back piece inside out, clip the straps in place. 

Once you're happy with the placement, use a straight stitch down all the straps. Then trim the excess.

Attaching the pieces together

3. Attach the two pieces together

Turn the piece right side out and use a basting stitch to sew the gusset closed. With your front piece still inside out, place right sides together, and insert the straps into the sides of the front piece.

You're going to take one strap from the top and one from the side and insert both of those into one side of the front piece. Do this with all four straps using clips as needed.

Once the sides are clipped, align the gussets. Then straight stitch across each of the sides as well as the gusset and once that's complete, trim the excess. 

Turning right sides out

4. Turn right side out

Seam rip a one to two-inch hole (2.5-5cm) along an existing seam. Through this hole, turn everything right side out. Close the hole with a topstitch or invisible stitch.

DIY strappy bikini bottoms

DIY strappy bikini bottoms from the side

DIY strappy bikini bottoms from the back

That completes both pairs of DIY bikini bottoms I made today. Here is the first style.

How to make strappy bikini bottoms

Strappy bikini bottoms tutorial

How to sew strappy bikini bottoms

Here is the second.

How to sew strappy bikini bottoms

They are both so cute. Plus, you can get really creative on how you choose to design these; you can make more straps or fewer straps, you can make them thinner or you can add beads.

This is an awesome base pattern for many similar designs that kind of mimic the same shape. 

Suggested materials:
  • Presley bottoms pattern
  • Swimwear fabric
  • Swimwear elastic
See all materials

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