DIY Lace Bottom Bikini Swimsuit

It’s spring and every spring I clean out my closet (or at least when I am avoiding painting trim – so sick of painting). Today I found a swimsuit I’ve had for over a decade. I was about to toss it in the Goodwill pile when I thought, what the heck, maybe I can re-purpose it (another thing I should avoid: starting more projects but Mike’s at work so he can’t stop me). Anyhow, I found a pair of lace panties that had also seen better days and I pulled out my sewing stuff! BTW, this is very simple, if you can only sew one straight line (or almost straight) you can do this.

What you will need:
Bikini bathing suit bottom – preferable with string sides and sits on hips
Stretch lace underwear bottoms, any kind will do but thongs just mean less seam ripping (i.e. less work)
Sewing machine
Sewing pins
Seam ripper

Here are the pieces that I started with:
bathing suit and lace

Grab your panties and find the part where the lace is joined to the body of the material – you’ll notice that it has a zig zag stitch. This is the type of stitch you will be making and it’s the preferred stitch for anything with stretch since it allows the fabric to stretch (at least in the horizontal direction). In case you are curious the lace on your thong is the same type of 4-way stretch lace they use on those super cute bathing suits.

bathing suit zig zag stitch

See the zig zag stitch circled in red? We are removing this so we can separate the lace from the panties. Don’t remove it from the lace side, remove from the material side so that you leave the lace intact. Turn it over and see the zig zag on the other side? Grab your seam ripper and start pulling out the threads.

bathing suit zig zag stitch2

If you prefer, once you’ve cut a couple you can go from the inside seam between the two fabrics:bathing suit seam rip

When you’ve freed your lace, you’ll have something like this:
bathing suit lace and suit

Now, grab the swimsuit bottoms and starting at the front, fold the front piece in half – this is how you will find the center of your piece.
bathing suit finding center

Take your lace and find the center of that and pin the two pieces together. Let the lace go on the outside of your suit with .25-.5″ seam allowance and the rest becomes the new waistband:

bathing suit pinning center

Now pin the lace to the suit on the outside edges of the front triangle – just where the strings start. Turn the suit over and find the center of the backside and pin the lace the same way.

Using your zig zag stitch, it’s stitch #4 on my sewing machine sew the two pieces together, make sure you backstitch on either end:
bathing suit 4
bathing suit sewing zig zag

You only need to sew the lace onto the suit between the string ends (between your edge pins).  The lace will not be attached where it sits on your hips, just like when it was attached to the panties.

When you’re done, cut the strings off. Enjoy your “new” suit.

bathing suit with lace diy

Ps: I also added the scrunch butt to this bottom. If you want to know how it’s super easy you just add a .25″ wide piece of elastic 2/3 down the center back (starting at the top) sew with a zig zag stitch and make sure you pull tension on the elastic as you see so it creates the scrunch when you’re done.