One Suit, Two Cups

Pattern: McCalls 3566

McCalls 3566 Suit YourselfWell I thought this post would be about my issues with putting bra cups into a bathing suit for the first time, but that was actually one of the easiest parts of this pattern.  Since my first attempt at a bathing suit was so successful, I thought I would try a different style from this pattern.  I thought the triangle top would be a good one to try, but I felt it would need some cups…for shape.

Bra cups

Unfortunately, this pattern did not provide an easy adjustment to add these.  There was an option to add foam, but that is not something I have seen or could find online.  The directions called for sewing each piece of lining to each of the separate front pieces.  This was not an option since I needed to sew the cups between the material and the lining.  Sewing the two lining pieces together was a bit difficult, but I got it to work.  And with a few stitches, I secured the cups in the right spot under the lining, and being careful not to let the stitches show on the front side.  I could use that front seam to my advantage – no stitches showed and the cups were securely in place.

Now the real hard part of this suit was the straps and that darn drawstring.  I spent hours flipping those inside out.  My fingertips were completely red when I finally pulled the last bit of material out.  I’m not sure I will be making another one of these – unless I can figure out some sort of device that can easily flip stretchy spaghetti straps.

Bathing suit bottoms
I decided to serge the exposed end of the crotch this time in order to avoid the raw edges. This piece is stitched at the bottom seam and the pulled to the front.

My second attempt at the bottoms were a big win.  However, I would not be upset if I never saw another piece of elastic after this.  I also decided to use my own sewing machine on this project after locating the stretch stitch.  The stretch stitch on my mother’s super machine is definitely a lot nicer and has a much better finished look on the top stitch.   I may have to use it again if i decide to make another bathing suit, which bothers me a little as I like to use my own tools.

About This Pattern

So I mentioned this briefly in my other post, but I am not too impressed with the directions on this pattern.  It is definitely not a great pattern for beginners.  The first suit I made was confusing enough, but the directions on this top would have been extremely difficult for a beginner to follow.  It was unclear how to form the triangles and I still feel like there was some missing directions on how to finish the back section.  I ended up just making it up as I went and doing some hand sewing to tack things and finish edges off.  I also got a bit turned around with some of the pictures and I feared at one point I was sewing the whole thing sideways.  Anyone with sewing experience (especially working with knit fabric) could definitely move through this with good results, but if you are unsure about reading patterns, you may have some difficulty.

Well I have another bathing suit to welcome the summer in!  Luckily I have a bit more color this time.   So let me know – any tips you can share for your own experiences with swimwear?

Bathing Suit triangle top


3 thoughts on “One Suit, Two Cups

  1. Love the stripes! I’m about to embark on the Bombshell swimsuit and was wondering if I could use bra cups, as the swimsuit ones were a bit on the small size. I even experimented with wetting them to see if the bra ones held more water and they actually dried out far quicker than the swimsuit cups!


    1. These were pretty thin, which may be the key. I think they are bra cups, but it said you could use in a swimsuit. I ordered them on Amazon. I may test these out in the water this weekend….


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