Way back in the summer of 2016, two long years ago, I set out to make the one-piece Soma Swimsuit by Papercut Patterns. I’ve always been much more of one-piece gal than a bikini gal. (I just don’t really feel the need to show that much skin.) I worked on it for hours and hours and followed all of the online tutorials but I could not get it to fit me in a way that made me feel comfortable and have my bust supported.
So I set it aside. And there it sat until this summer. I was in the middle of another swimsuit sewing debacle/challenge and decided it was time to resurrect this project and finish it. I’m generally pretty good about finishing projects. I used to have a huge pile of WIPs. But one day I decided that the WIPs were dragging me down and I needed to move on from them. So I finished them or gave them away and I haven’t looked back. It’s now very, very rare that I start a project that I don’t finish. I often finish projects that I don’t love or even particularly like. But they’re freakin’ finished. And I no longer need to think about them.
So anyway. Back in 2016, I had also made a lounge bra version of the Soma bikini top view 2. I wear the lounge bra all the time (post here). The curved bust pieces are surprisingly supportive. It’s like a bandeau with straps but more supportive. I cut between a size S and M and the fit is great for me.
To resurrect this project, I separated the bodice from the pant and used the pieces of the bodice to cut out the bikini top. It was very easy to turn the bottom of the one-piece into a regular bottom. I actually have two bottoms in this blue fabric because when I was making the one-piece, I forgot to add length to the rise and my first version ended up too short. For the final version that became these bottoms, I added about 2 inches to the rise of the pant. I really love how high they are because it's almost like wearing a one-piece.
This top just pulls over the head and has no closures. To make the straps for the top, I used this tutorial from Papercut Patterns. It worked great and I love that it's color coordinated. Papercut has a lot of great tutorials for sewing you Soma right here. I highly recommend checking them out. While you're at it, you should also listen to this episode of the Love To Sew podcast for more tips and inspiration. In my attempts to make the one-piece work, I also followed this tutorial to add a bra insert. It's a great tutorial but it just didn’t provide enough support to make me comfortable. For reference, I wear a 36D in ready-to-wear bras so there’s a lot of support needed.
By the way, I've been asked a few times on Instagram what kind of elastic I use so I thought I might as well mention it. I use cotton swimwear elastic. It's a beige color and you can find it here on Amazon or at Joann's. It's also important to use a stretch needle to avoid getting skipped stitches.
I’m really happy with how this bikini turned out and had a lot of fun wearing it on my recent trip to Maui. I definitely want to make the view 2 bikini top again as lounge bra because I know I’ll wear it a lot. Both of the fabrics are swimwear fabrics that I picked up in the downtown LA fashion district at least two years ago. I love that the yellow print says “Wildfox” because my cat is named Fox. Plus it’s just so fun. And if we’re going to play around with prints, swimwear is a great place to start.