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Swimwear Notions & 2 Ways to Sew Elastic into Swimwear

Adding elastic and boning to swimwear, a photo tutorial by Skirt Fixation

This post is all about the notions you need when sewing swimwear.  Grab your copy of the Grace Tankini here.

First let’s talk about elastic.


You want to be sure to use elastic specifically made for swimwear when sewing the Grace Tankini.  Cotton swimwear elastic is stretchier than other elastic, and holds up better to the ravages of chlorine water.  The Grace Tankini pattern uses 1/4″ swimwear elastic on the neckline, armholes, and leg holes.  You can buy it at your local sewing shop, and online.  You can even buy it by the roll on Amazon if you plan to sew a lot of elastic!

The other place elastic is used in the Grace Tankini is on the shelf bra.  Since this width is a little harder to find, you can either use regular 3/4″ elastic, or buy it by the roll on Amazon.

There are 2 ways to sew elastic into swimwear, and we’ve created a video tutorial to show you both ways.  Try them both, and use your favorite method.

The other notion you might use when sewing swimwear is boning.  Boning is useful for giving a shelf bra extra support on the sides.  When there is wrinkling in the bust area on the sides of a garment, that area could benefit from boning.

Prym Dritz Featherlite Twill Boning White

You can buy boning by the package or by the yard at your local sewing store.  Boning often has a cloth cover over a plastic or nylon insert.  Here is how we suggest adding boning to the Grace Tankini:


Adding boning to swimwear, a photo tutorial by Skirt Fixation

Zig zag your side seam allowances to the back of the shelf bra.  By doing this, you create a channel to insert the boning.  Continue with the pattern until you have inserted the underbust elastic.

Adding boning to swimwear, a photo tutorial by Skirt Fixation

If your boning has a cover, pull it back.  Cut your boning to match the length of the channel you created, minus about 1/2″ at the top of the side seam where you will be installing your armhole elastic.

Adding boning to swimwear, a photo tutorial by Skirt Fixation

Slide the boning into the channel.  That’s it!  Finish constructing your Grace Tankini, and forget worrying about having enough support!

Some people consider the notions to be the trickiest part of sewing swimwear, but we’ve made it easy for you with these swimwear notions tutorials.

Grab your copy of the Grace Tankini here.

Some affiliate links are used in this post to supplies we really love and use often.  If you click on one of our affiliate links, we might make a few pennies at no extra cost to you.  Thank you!

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