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"The Making of a Bikini"


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Planning
First of all, you are really awesome for taking the time to read this post. I mostly blog about the swimwear brands I adore because they are inspiring, established, stylish and fun to wear! But what many people do not know is that I too can make an awesome bikini! I decided to blog about the process for others to see. The first step is to imagine a design. I often think of an idea and sketch it out. I wait and think on it some more because my creativity is constantly flowing. I knew I wanted to make something unique, functional and helpful to women. For example, Lauren at Lagoa Swimwear made a bikini top with a zippered pocket...genius!

When designing this bikini, I took into consideration that many women do not want a bikini top that ties around their neck and I thought about how I could make a much-asked-for "sporty but girlie" top. It helps that I love my job as a swimwear style and fit specialist so I constantly take note of what women need/want. One of the things that makes my Versakini bikini top great is that I can wear it multiple ways and many women want that, too. I designed the back of this bikini so that it can be adjusted for size and can also be worn as a bra-style or racer-back. I made it white because that is one of my favorite pure and glamorous colors for sun kissed skin.

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Pattern Making
Since I wanted the top to be sporty for active women such as surfers and paddle boarders, I used my perfect fitting Platinum Sun sports bra to make a pattern by tracing around it and cutting up the white stretch swimwear fabric appropriately, all while picturing how I could pin it and sew it in my head. For the bottoms, I used my favorite Copacabana Beachwear Brazilian bottoms for a pattern. I've been trying to spread the word that these bottoms are a great design to make your butt look good and it's adjustable on the sides for fit. Next, I got to work cutting long, thin strips of fabric to make the 6 bikini strings I would need.

Eco-fashion is the way to go. There is often a lot of extra/scrap material wasted from cutting a pattern. That's why I love companies like Maaji and Dana Lou Fit that are careful not to be wasteful when creating fashion. I carefully laid out my patterns to use as little fabric as possible. The scraps can be reused instead of thrown out. I have large enough pieces leftover to make something else and I even made a little garter out of the leftover lace.


Next, I needed to make the base and add details. I faced the fronts of the fabric toward each other, lined it up and pinned it. Now, for my favorite part...sewing on my Brother sewing machine. I usually like to go super fast but it's been a while so, I took my time. Slow and steady wins the race. Once I sewed all the edges together with the strings tucked inside, I was able to turn each piece inside out for a perfect seam/edge. I then hand-sewed the tiny opening closed.

To me, it's all about the little things. That's what can make a simple bikini special and what has made specific bikini brands special to me. For example, my Camila Swimwear bikini has a tiny anchor attached and everyone points it out when I wear it. Companies that do little nice things for girls is definitely noticed and appreciated as well. The entire bikini seen here is made with a shimmery teal thread as a small detail that compliments the solid white fabric. I then added a subtle but beautifully noticeable lace detail for my "sporty but girlie" look. When worn, the lace strings really stand out and it looks gorgeous criss-crossed on the bare skin of a women's back.

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One Step at a Time
A lot of brands we love were started and built by a talented woman! Amazing women like Dana Lou from Dana Lou Fit, Roxanna from Copacabana Beachwear and Karen from Fab Bikini are researching, hand sewing your bikinis, advertising and putting their hearts into every step of their business. It takes time, effort, patience and practice. I've literally been "swimming" in fashion design since I was little; from winning awards to constantly learning along the way. No woman will feel confident in a swimsuit if the style and fit is not right. I made sure I tried this bikini on each step of the way, focusing on the top first and then on to the bottoms.

Getting photos is a crucial but fun step. I chose the cutest model I know, Foxy! I've learned from starting this blog that success doesn't happen over night and I appreciate all the inspiring, hard-working women out there that have helped to show me that. I love seeing how great Kelsey is at growing the Versakini brand and I get inspired by Dana for creating her fabulous Eve7 Swimwear after surviving breast cancer. Plus, I admire all the generous donations I see going to good causes one bikini sale at a time. 

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Finished Product
I am seriously so proud of my finished product and proud of myself. It's not "perfect" and neither am I, however, it does feel good to physically create something from scratch that I imagined in my head. Sometimes you just need to go for it, try your best and make yourself feel good. When the person I looked up to the most turned out to be the biggest disappointment of my life, I literally stopped making bikinis. Friends of mine were worried that I would never touch a bikini again but their faith in me and kind words helped me to push forward.

I chose to redirect myself to start my swimwear blog and acquire my current job which is perfect for me. I'm happy I was able to still look up to myself and other do-gooders. Befriending wonderful, down to earth women like Joy at Bikini Company and Jen with Just Bones make for such a positive and hopeful future. With every new bikini came a positive connection and with every post came an inspirational lesson. I humbly know I never could've or would've made this one without the encouragement, help and support of so many. To be able to feel proud of yourself is an ultimate confidence boost and that is one reason I have no problem strutting around in a bikini. Everyone I've mentioned along with my amazing family and friends are such a meaningful part of my life. It's wonderful what we women can do when we help and encourage each other. As you can see, there is much more to "making a bikini" then one may think. Agree?

Comments

  1. What a cute bikini... love this post and thank you for the shout out. You are one inspiring woman! xoxo-DanaLou

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, thank you Dana! I'm so glad you like it! You are an inspiration as well...such a beautiful, thoughtful and driven warrior. Keep up the great work! Your kindness and support is always appreciated. :) Xo!

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