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Bra-A-Week: Week 25 & a Bikini for Kristie!

Jul 12, 2015 | Swimwear Makes | 6 comments

Hi All!

This week I have a submission for the Bra-A-Week Challenge!! A bikini I made for my sister Kristie – Happy Birthday Kristie!! 🙂 <3

I made this bikini based off of her measurements, and she is close to a RTW size 34C.

She chose this fabric at Ann’s ages ago when she was helping me pick out prints- and said “oooh I like this one- I’d want it to be a cute bra-top with a tie in the centre!’

And many months later on her birthday.. Voila!

This is a partial band bra (there is no band that runs under the cups) with a short wire for a low- front, which is fairly essential if you want the tie-front look with a small tie.

The addition of a tie was super simple! I just made the little tubes out of swimwear fabric, tied them like I wanted them and pinned them onto the bridge piece where it looked right. Then you just stitch it into the seam allowances and cut off any excess!

The cup for this bra is very simple- a vertical seamed cup, and I made this quite a rounded shape. I used cut & sew foam on the inside and covered it with the outer fabric. I added the detail of doing a double line of topstitching on the outer fabric cup seam, which I think gave it a really RTW look.

Gold accessories for this one! and of course all the edges are finished with self- binding, except for the bottom of the back band which I finished with my trusty Filpar rubber elastic!

I finished the waist and leg holes of the bottoms with Filpar as well.  I made these lower in the waist and higher in the leg than my usual cut of bottoms, and really narrowed the sides so I could add some ties to complete the theme!

I’m pretty confident that she’ll love the suit! I’m just hoping that the fit is bang-on!! I’ll let you know when I get a picture of it on her!

Also don’t forget to check out the rest of the Bra-A-Week Challenge this week! Michelle is a wonderful host and there are lots of lovelies over there to see!


Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday!
xo Erin



  1. Ilna

    Lovely bikini. Your sister is a lucky girl!

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks Ilna!!! She loves it 🙂

  2. Lauriana

    It's a lovely bikini, I hope your sister will enjoy wearing it!
    Just two things: 1. Seeing this shape, I would have chosen a cup with a diagonal seam or let the vertical seam end at the top point of the cup, any specific reasons why you picked this vertical seam construction?
    2. You often use self-binding in both bras and swimwear. It's a great look but it leaves me puzzled. I've always read/been told to finish edges in lingerie and swimwear with elastic (expect cup edges) to keep the shape and the needed snug fit. Does self-fabric binding provide enough stability at, say, the top of the bra band? And how do you apply it when it has to keep its stretch, work well as a finish and not get too bulky?

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks! And great questions!!

      1. I picked a vertical seam for this cup because I made another bra earlier this year (week 7 Ivory lace bra) and I really liked the shape of that bra and it was a shape my sister really liked. I also chose the vertical seam because it is a good seam to take a little dart out of the neckline edge (which I like to do for anything that is going to have halter straps, because the angle on the strap pulling towards the neck will tend to make a neckline gape) That is also why I had the seam come to the neckline edge rather than to the top corner of the cup (because that spot on the neckline edge is the area it will generally gape when you have a halter strap and I could take the dart out right there in that seam!). I also try to avoid ending the seam it at the top point of the cup because I find that it can get really bulky there to attach your strap!

      2. As for self binding- I absolutely love it as a finish- but it does have a place. It will not be quite as strong or supportive as an elastic, so I probably wouldn't use it for the larger sizes, or anywhere that you want a really snug fit. For example, I will almost never use binding on the leg holes of a swim bottoms because generally you need a little more snug fit there- although I might use it if it is a cheekier style where you aren't worried about it staying under the cheek 😉 At the top of the bra band it will depend. It also depends on the quality of your swimwear fabric. I use a high-quality 80%nylon 20% spandex generally matte swimwear fabric with a lot of stretch and rebound, and a binding is essentially three layers of that fabric as your elastic- if you think that is enough elastic power for your needs then it should work well- as I say, I might not use it on a bra that has a lot of heavy lifting to do- but for the medium and smaller sizes it's a great option. When I apply it I usually do it with a similar amount of stretch that I apply to my elastics- just a hint of tension in places where I don't need it to have stretching power (neckline) and then a bit more tension where I want it (top band, waistband).

      As for bulk I find binding to be much less bulky. With elastic you have to fold over your fabric- which leaves your elastic sandwiched between your layers of swimwear and lining fabric (4layers + elastic), whereas with binding you only have one layer of your swim lining and outer fabric, then the three layers of swimwear fabric from the binding (5 layers no elastic). So the elastic is a much thicker seam edge- especially when it comes to going over a foam cup. With the binding you don't have to worry about accounting for going over your channel or the foam cup- it's a very clean, and easy finish.

      I hope that answered your questions! let me know if anything wasn't clear or if you have more questions 🙂 I feel like I should write a book on this!

      🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. Ashley

    Swimwear is so intimidating to me, but this is GORGEOUS!! Well done!

    • EmeraldErin

      Thanks Ashley!! It's not as hard as it looks!!


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