Sewing Swimwear Part 2 - High Waisted Bottoms | Valeria Garala | Skillshare

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Sewing Swimwear Part 2 - High Waisted Bottoms

teacher avatar Valeria Garala, Textile designer & pattern maker

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Supplies Needed


    • 3.

      Printing Sewing Pattern


    • 4.

      Cutting Your Fabric


    • 5.

      Sewing The Bottom


    • 6.

      Matching Front & Back


    • 7.

      Sewing Elastic


    • 8.

      Matching Sides


    • 9.

      The Art of Topstitch


    • 10.

      Sewing Waist Elastic


    • 11.

      The Grand Finale


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About This Class

Now that we've sewn other things together, do you crave an upgrade to intermediate level?

In this class we will learn the basic steps in creating your very own swimsuit, starting with the bottom / undie.

I will also share with you my top sewing tips so you can continue making projects more and more complex each time.

The skills we will learn in this class are:

- How to topstitch and why we need it

- Working with multiple fabric at the same time and sewing enclosed seams (hidden inside)

- Practicing our elastic sewing and tension

- Choosing the direction of print we like best for our garment

For the class project we will sew together a swimsuit bottom which is high waisted and double sided too! Practicing each step the skills taught in this class :)

If you haven't sewn at all before, I recommend you first take the "sewing basics" or "bikini brief" to get a hold of basic concepts troughout sewing. There you'll learn things we will use here such as direction of greatest stretch, seam allowances, printing the sewing pattern, retracing them, back tacking, to name a few.

And, if you have already sewn and would like to refine and tune your skills or learn new techniques in order to create more and more garments I'm sure you'll have a blast too!

Ready, set, SEW!

Intro Music By - Peyruis

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Valeria Garala

Textile designer & pattern maker


Hello & welcome !

I am a Textile and Surface Pattern designer based in Mexico City. I am passionate about all things DIY, reason why I sew my own clothing & lingerie, design prints to decorate my home and even make my own mylk, (DIY-ing even in the kitchen!)

My favorite thing about creating is defenitely the share the process & knowledge part, I can happily say that my most interesting finds and skills have been product of the sewing community sharing their knowledge and experience,  this is exactly why I want to share here with you the pure joy of creating and sewing your own wardrobe, specially your own lingerie.

For the latest works-in-progress & to see what i'm up to you can find me at my Instagram



&n... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: - Hello, everyone. Welcome to the first of two classes to create this double sided to piece asymmetrical swimsuit for yourself. In these classes we will learn how to topstitch, work with multiple fabric to enclose our seams, practice sewing our elastic and working with directional prints to pick the way we like it best in this, the first part, we will create the undie - let's get started. 2. Supplies Needed: - for this class, we need a few materials, exterior and inner fabric. I recommend one in solid and one with a print, like this. We will also need elastic. I am using 5 millimeter width regular elastic. If you are able to get some swimwear specific elastic, you're welcome to use it. Sportswear and lingerie specialty stores usually have it. It's not knitted, but kind of a white plastic elastic strip. Now, for the fabric. We are going to use some sport lycra. My black one is chlorine resistant, but this type doesn't come in. Fun prints is usually just solid colors. If you can't find chlorine resistant, the regular sport Lycra. Will work perfectly, and here is my print up close. This is regular sport Lycra and, We'll just do the work very, very well. - Here, We can see how it's knitted and if you find any fun prints, you're also welcome to use them 3. Printing Sewing Pattern: - here on our class,, below the project description to the right. Under create project. We have all our files needed for this class. I strongly recommend reading the "before starting" to know all the information needed beforehand We also have our pattern to print that home and assemble, or our full scale pattern, Whichever you choose, Please retrace your pattern with your size so you don't have to print again the whole pattern, and this way with tracing paper It will be easier for us to work with, - so get all your pattern pieces ready and I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Cutting Your Fabric: - here we have our pattern pieces cut. I have this front piece and the back piece - I know which is which. By the curves. The front has a steeping curve than the back. We will place in this straight line the fabric fold and cut one in exterior fabric and another In the inner fabric. the same with the back - cut one in exterior fabric and another in inner fabric. This way We will have the front and the back, cut both in each fabric, solid and print. They are interchangeable. since it is a double sided swimsuit - But for the purpose of this class, we will refer to the print as the exterior, and the black as the inner fabric. So let's cut our fabric. - - What I'm doing here is touching underneath. where This is the cut. So I don't place my pattern on top and risk getting my pattern badly cut up until here, I'll place my pattern and do my cutting. - notice I placed my pattern right in the fabric fold, and again as close to the border as you can cut with your scissors, fabric scissors precisely Okay, so here we have our mirrored pieces, the front and the back. - What we'll do next is place it like this, Both right sides facing up and match them right sides together with the pins, in order to sew with straight stitch and back tacking at the beginning and end, we will do it in this way with 3/8 of an inch seam allowance. Let's do the print pieces. I have my print fabric pieces already cut, but wanted to show you another way. We can handle prints. This is the back. And I didn't like that. Two birds were right here in my bottom. I felt that it wouldn't be nice when I was wearing it, so I wanted to relocate the print and make it more irregular. I have this other seems suit, which I made and has a very directional positioning of the print and didn't like that the repetition of the print was that obvious. So this has a very small rapport - Rapport is the way the print repeats itself along the fabric. This is why every bird repeats very close to the other. So what I did was place the pattern pieces not straight in my fabric. If you have the same issue, you can do these by tracing your pattern, and how you would like the print to be placed in your garment and add 3/8 of an inch seam allowance along the edge that should be folded, this is for us to achieve sewing both back pieces together without stealing space from the actual pattern. Otherwise, we would be sewing a smaller garment. So every time you do cuts like these, please remember to add the seam allowance. So this is my hack in case You have a similar pattern situation. I'll do the same with the front piece. So it's more of a random print, also adding seam allowances and attaching both front pieces with a straight stitch right here on my sewing machine. Here I have my front piece sewn. If you have no issue with the direction of the print, you can cut all your pieces just like the black ones right in the fabric fold and mirror your pieces in one cut, like this, without doing all these maneuvers. Here, we can see how are pieces mirror each other regardless of the way we cut them, back and front from the print. Let's go to our sewing machine with these pieces too, matched right sides together, just like we did in the black inner pieces. 5. Sewing The Bottom: I know my machine very well. So I know that from the needle to the edge of the pressing foot there are 3/8 of an inch. Which are marked here, and the fabric rests right here on the edge. So check on your machine. These markings or something You can reference to - another way to know we are in the right. Seam allowance is to trace with a ruler and pencil right here, aligned with the allowance. Here I placed myself on my seam allowance, and as always, our first 2 stitches are made manually. Remove my pin and back tack to secure the stitch, and at the end back tack too. Here we can see our stitch inside and outside. This doesn't need to be zig-zag since our gusset needs no stretch. This area won't elongate So I always sew these in straight stitch to give more structure and shape. This is a very elastic and buttery fabric. See? So the more we can help it to maintain its form, the best results we will get. So let's move to our next lesson. 6. Matching Front & Back: in the same way we just did with the sewing of the black inner fabric You'll sew the print exterior fabric. So you have both pieces sewn separately like this. Here it is My exterior. - And we will place them right sides together, like this one on top of the other. And we will pin all this curve up until this corner. Same with this other curve, but no the sides. No. Only the curve. From this point to this, and from this to this, make sure everything matches like this. We don't want any fabric showing in the other side. This will be sewn in zig-zag with same 3/8 seam allowance and then sewn again. But with adding the elastic, If you feel very confident you can sew the fabric + the elastic at the same time. But my personal preference and tip is doing it separately, first fabric and then elastic, to ensure good finishing instead of fighting to separate fabrics and elastic tension At the very same time, - I don't like to complicate things even more so preferably sew first with only fabric. And then again, with the elastic - first, I like to pin the corners on each side. Then this center so stitches match, and we have a pretty neat finish. matching seams from inner and exterior fabric - and open like this all seams we will place our pins one on each side of the seam, so it remains open. - - Here we can see the stitches, the seams are touching each other. Remember to place all of this right on the edge, and then fill in the middle - just like this, right on the edge. So it's not showing on the other side on either sides. Here we see from corner to corner, and it's ready to go into the machine with the same seam allowance 3/8 of an inch and with a zig zag stitch Same case on the other curve. Before sewing, I want another close up of this seams matching, just like this And place your pins on each side of the open seam to secure them, and keep them open, like this. This is what you should end up with paint on each curve, leaving the sides alone and We'll go to the machine and do our sewing. Remember, zig-zag stitch, 3/8 of an inch seam allowance I'll put my threads in the back, and I'm placing the edge of the fabric in the edge of my presser foot. I'll put it down. Select my zig zag, and first sitches manually, also doing a back tack in the beginning to secure the seam. Remove the pin and the Let's go. - I am not paying attention to my needle. I am paying attention to the edge of my fabric, matching the edge of my presser foot. - Here, I can rearrange everything again and keep going. here that I got stuck, if that happes to you, just remove and start again. Two stitches manually and back tack to continue here, I got as close as possible to the pin. Remove them, and press with my finger For it to float easily through the machine in that heavier stitch. - Here, we can see that same stitch from both sides, and back tack at the end - This is our seam on the black side, the interior - and the exterior in white. Let's go see the elastic We will be using This is regular elastic 5 millimeters and knitted and just stretches like regular elastic. If you can get the swimsuit's specific elastic, - which is a white strip of plastic, that also works - here we have our whole piece, both sides with zig zag. And this is how we will place the elastic with zig zag stitch. right here. Not on top of the previous stitch with zig zag nor closer to the edge We need it in the seam allowance space closer to the zig zag We did just now, like this, and we'll do zig zag right here. All in all our piece, also leaving alone the sides, and Only stitching the curve. These is the side we'll leave alone. So let's go back to the machine. And sew right here the whole curve with the elastic. 7. Sewing Elastic: what I want to show you here is how to define the width of the elastic zig zag stitch - Here I am removing my presser foot. It would be like this and adjust my width. this would be to wide, almost touching the edge. So I'll do it a bit smaller. Something like this. But this is way too small. Keep adjusting. - That is way too big Something like this could work. You too do your width test to choose one and we're ready to go. - Here's my fabric, my elastic and I will start sewing from about here If I start at the very beginning, I believe it will get stuck under here, so I'll start from this point. I won't be using pins to secure the elastic to the fabric and if it needs help flowing through, I'll help by pushing the threats on the back by pulling the threads on the back. - Now, here at the beginning, we won't stretch out. We will sew as it is. firmly placing it so it won't wiggle and back tack It needed help, So I'm pulling and keep going Now, After those stitches, I want to add a little bit of tension, but not stretch it. I just want it to lay firmly on the fabric. Not like this, and most importantly, not like this. Do not stretch. These pattern has no ease. We want it to be fitted to the body since its a swimsuit, but by stretching we would make it even smaller. And we don't want that. We want it to rest in the seam allowance firmly See how, by stretching I'm I'm making it smaller? so just lay it firmly like I'm showing, flatten your fabric and start sewing. - Here I left my presser foot down to readjust my fabric and elastic. I'm sure it will need help to stitch this because it has more fabric, like four layers, the ones from inner and exterior and the open seam allowances on each side. So I'll help by pulling a little bit to the back. Here we back tack, And cut the elastic, these stretches but it's not tiny. It's the right amount of stretch on its own size. Let's do the other side the same way and We'll meet up at the table for the next step, which is turning it inside out. Here is our piece with elastic in both legs. And now we will turn it inside out. Putting one hand on the inside from one side, and with my fingers feeding fabric and Pull it out on the other side Here, The stitches are on the inside. - Later, we will secure these with a topstitch. Here we have all our seams and We can see both sides, so let's move to our next lesson. 8. Matching Sides: Now we will continue with sewing the sides. This is the back. this is the front and What we'll do is remove one side from the top and match the two in the middle, In this case, the two exterior print fabric, right sides together, and in the corner we pin Same in here, and these corners from the inner black fabric, right sides together also pinthem Together - we end up with these straight lines to sew matching all sides, very important here. Too match these seams. here is a close up I want these seams touching - and 1 seam allowance resting on each side, So it's less bumpy here we have it, all pin together and we'll sew with straight stitch in here with 3/8 of an inch seam allowaance, let's go to the machine, here we will place our fabric as always in the seam allowance, 2 first stitches manually and straight stitch back taking at the beginning. Remove my pin, getting as close as I can to these elastics. I'm pulling the back to help it flow, needle down, leave the presser foot and now my elastic is right in front of the needle. I pull a bit more and repeat, Needle down, removed pin and continue stitching while pulling This is how I helped the machine making the stitches, at the end Back tack again, Here we have our back tack stitch, and this is our seam with 2 elastics resting on each side. The pulling helped a lot on these on getting these right. Let's sew the other side and meet at the table. This is one side, this is the other, and here it is almost done. Now it's a great time to try it on before top stitching and closing it. If there is any issue with the fit right now, we can verify and adjust. If all fits well, let's move to the next lesson, which is top stitching. 9. The Art of Topstitch: I am showing you here What a top stitch is on another garment. Another swimsuit I made This is with zig zag since we needed to stretch and It's useful to secure the sides of the garment on the side It corresponds if we were on this side, the inner black one without the topStitch the fabric from the exterior, The print could show on this side and create lumps. The topstitch prevents the fabric from moving. It is done as close to the edge, but it doesn't have to be right here on the verge of the edge. On our garment, we will topstitch along all this part, the curves from the legs in both sides. - Here, we need to frequently touch the elastic and send it on this direction and the fabric in the other direction. For it to be sewn as flat as possible and not like it's traveling to the other side. Whether you go on this side or this on the machine, keep in mind to flatten the fabric and make it as neat as possible on both sides. So remember to flatten in your garment, sending the elastic on one direction and the fabric towards the other. We're doing the whole curve with zig zag, and I would recommend to start at the bottom seam when finishing. We will overlap a little, the back tack seems, and it won't show sinces in the bottom. Remember to adjust a lot of your materials. Now regarding thread I will be using black on both sides. But if you have a more contrasting combo, I recommend matching the threat to your fabric. Since this stitch is definitely going to show or if you want contrasting the color of the threads, be very careful with your sewing So you have beautiful finishes and very important step for us to be able to topstitch is undercut the elastics, meaning cutting a bit of the remaining elastic beyond the seam, just like this, removing a bit of the excess when we fold. It's less bumpy, and it's easier to sew here we will flatten our bottom seam, the one that joins front with Back and place our garment On this place. - I'm guiding myself with the little window I have here on my presser foot. Before I was using the edge of the presser foot as reference. But since I want to topstitch closer to the edge and leave less of a seam allowance, I am moving a bit more to the left. If you have no window like mine, just use a bit of tape to mark the line where your fabric should be, so we'd follows that line. We are substructing about 1/8 of an inch for this topstitch. As always, First 2 stitches are done manually and this way for the fabric, this way for the elastic. I'll stretch it a bit for it to flatten - and remember to back tack. I will keep pulling a bit from behind to help it flow. This is a bit bumpy, since it's the seam. - Remember to always put needle down to secure the fabric. If you will rearrange the fabric - here I am flattening the fabric again with my needle and preserve foot down, helping me to keep it where it is. - Here, you can see my topstitch very close to the edge. Looking very good. Pay close attention to how you are sewing your garment, but do not sew it like this, stretching a lot, because that will create a weird way seam - Make sure it just lays flat. here we arrived to the side seam where we undercut our elastics. It's very important to lay it, as flat as possible to prevent bumps or fabric pockets, or any seams not sewn in this area, and sew very slowly just like this. Get as closer to the seam as possible, and preparing yourself from over here to flatten it, pull a bit from behind and then to the left to help it flow. now We can relax because we could manage And, I will continue to the very end until I meet again My first back tack at the bottom seam completing the circle. - I am very close to finishing, and as you can see, it easily flattens itself. I will back tack up to here to overlap stitches and secure the seam. I'll put a bit more to the back in order to help it go through. - I did a bit too much back tacking here, but works pretty good. This is my top stitch and we just need to do the other leg just like this and we'll go to our final lesson, which is sealing the top edge. - 10. Sewing Waist Elastic: - This is our almost finished piece with topstitch in leg curves and Only remains doing the elastic at waist and closing up - with the same elastic we did before, We will. sew from the print side in the edge of the waist, also with zig zag and then we will fold on top to topstitch alogn - including the inner black fabric also folded. Remember doing so very close to the edge without stretching too much - 00:00:35.380 --> 00:00:36.330 not like this, but neither to lose, it needs tension and a bit of stretch to fit. Let's go to the sewing machine here, Let's place our fabric in this direction. And here in the side seam, I place my elastic - 2 first teaches manually and back tack and pull a bit from the back to help. Now I want you to stretch just a bit. We need it a bit , more tense than what we did in the leg curves. Just like this. I am also guiding myself with this window in my presser foot. My tip for these parts is to place your fabric a bit to the right so it won't move away and use teach only the elastic without the fabric. - Keep a bit of margin of the fabric to the right of the elastic to ensure you are stitching both together - Stretch little by little like this, needle down, and readjust - this way you can ensure everything is getting sewn. Continue like this all around the waist. Here my finger reaches the food presser and again readjust to stretch just a bit. We are reaching the end again. Needle down, Remove excess elastic from the beginning and place my elastic stretching it a tiny bit and overlap elastics. If I have the beginning of the elastic here, let's sew to over here to secure the overlapping and back rack on top of both. Here we have the beginning and end. We only need to cut these excess and it's done. - From here we can see the sewn elastic, and now, this is front exterior, inner front, inner back. and exterior back. So, let's start from the exterior back, folding the elastic to the wrong side to the very edge. So it's right on the fold. Done that, Let's fold the inner black fabric about 1 cm to the wrong side So they match together. seams inside Here I am matching the seam sides and pinning. In woven fabric, This would be done with ironing and would be easier for them to match. But with these fabric full of spandex, they don't leave. Iron marks, so we can't do that. But this should work just fine. The 1st one is the more complicated one. After that one, it gets easier. I recommend you match side seams first and then fill in the middle - - those I feel more comfortable pinning vertically as you can see. The more you pin, the easier it gets. This for example - feel free to pin how you find more convenient. I'm mixing vertical with horizontal. However you see fits best. We will fold all around the waist just like it's shown to enclose our seams on the inside and finish our swimsuit bottom. - Now that we have it all pinned, we will top stitch as close to the edge as we can. Just like in the left curves with zig zag stitch from them to be able to stretch and remember to remove the pins while you sew before going under the needle for a safety, let's go to our machine for our next lesson, which is the grand finale 11. The Grand Finale: - taking the same reference as the previous topstitching I am using again this little window on my presser foot needle down and first 2 stitches manually remove pin and back tack. I also remove this pin and flatten as much as I can. I'm pulling from behind to help. - The beginning is a bit bumpy since it's a lot of fabric and elastic, but help your machine and continu topstitching. I recommend sewing slowly since it's the final topstitch. To have a neat finish on the waist, - needle down, remove pin and make sure the fabric is well placed and adjusted. Here I am getting as close to the pin as I can before removing. - here, Try to place your fabric always to the front, in a straight line so it doesn't start curving. Have this as straight as possible to start. I'll continue like this all around the waist - - here, Now that the other side seam approaches with crosswise pins I'll get as close as I can before removing them, and remember to pull from behind to help, I sew really slowly to help the stitches Here, for example, it started crooking, so I am stretching still with the pin on and sew as close as I can to that pin Then remove it and with my nail adjusted to stitch it correctly. And remember to do all these with your needle still down - Here, I removed my last pin. And sew as flat and straight as I can Here I will overlap again. The seams to secure them. And Back tack on the overlapping. for this We just need to remove the excess thread and. That's completely normal if it happens to you. And here we have our incredible undie for our 2 piece swimsuit even though here it looks wavy, our body will create resistance and stretch it so it fits perfectly and looks flat against our shape. - - Now that the first part is done and we have half of our swimsuit, let's move to the next part. The top. Done! Thank you very much for watching. If you have any questions, you can reach me here or on my instagram. And I would really appreciate if you leave a review here for me to know how I'm doing my explanations. Thank you again very much for watching and see you soon!