The Ava Pattern is my favourite pattern to use for making bikini bottoms. I find the cut to be comfortable and flattering on my figure. Perfect for chasing toddlers around on the beach, or just a more retro vibe.
In this short video tutorial I’ll show you how to sew the Ava Pattern as a swimsuit bottom. It’s very simple, but I use some different techniques to finish the waist and legline so it looks less lingerie and more beach.
You’ll need a couple different supplies. First of all, you’ll need swim-appropriate fabric, so something like a nylon spandex/lycra blend is ideal. In my Cindy Bikini Post, I outline some places to buy swimsuit fabric. You’ll also need swimsuit lining, in the same yardage as your exterior fabric.
You’ll also need swim elastic, so something that is chlorine resistant, though really almost any plain elastic will do. Just looking for something 1/4″-3/8″ wide. The elastic is not visible on the finished garment, but I try to get something that coordinates with my exterior fabric – white for light coloured bathing suits and black for darker fabrics. I also use a twin needle. I’ve used the Ava Pattern for my swimsuit, but really any panty pattern you like should work!
Here’s the Tutorial! Subscribe to my channel to be the first to see new videos.
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Looking for a weekend summer sewing project? I’ve got just the thing for you!
I made one of these bikinis last summer and I wore it SO often to the beach with Isabel. We are lucky to have a nice sandy beach just down the road and we spend a lot of time down there (not so much this rainy summer though!).
I used my Cindy Pattern to make this bikini top. My Cindy Pattern is a fairly simple to sew underwire bra with full coverage through the cups and a long-line band. This bra is designed to be sewn with stretch fabric through the cups. It’s a personal preference of mine, I’m not a big fan of foam or rigid cups. I like a softer fit and look.
I altered the pattern just slightly by omitting the centre back pattern pieces and cutting off the “tabs” on the upper cups.
I love this pattern as a bikini top because it is supportive and offers coverage while still being stylish and a little sexy.
You’ll need the same basic materials as you would if you were sewing the top as a bra, but with a couple of substitutions. You’ll need swimsuit fabric – so a fabric that is normally a nylon / spandex / lycra blend. You’ll also need swimsuit lining – I use it to line the cups. The band is lined in power mesh. Get a little bit of extra fabric to use as your binding and straps. I also use some rubber swim elastic, but pretty much any plain elastic will do! Look for something 3/8″ or narrower.
I’ve decided to offer this tutorial in a two part video series on my YouTube Channel. It’s quite long, with each part being about 30 minutes.
My local Fabricland sells an assortment of swimsuit fabric and some lining, but I find they tend to be pretty expensive. The Sport Lycra from Spoonflower (which I used here) is amazing and comes in endless prints. I’m pretty sure Fabric.com also has an assortment of swimwear fabrics. Spandex World is also a great resource, though if you’re in Canada, shipping can be expensive. I also always recommend supporting Etsy sellers!
Here is Part 1 of the tutorial:
And Part 2:
In this video series, I show you how to sew self-binding with encased elastic. I like this finish for swimwear as it provides some extra stability to your openings, and when top stitched with a twin needle, gives a professional finish. These finishes and techniques can easily be applied to other sewing patterns too!
I was excited to take some of these pictures in my very lush back yard and newly decorated back porch. The previous owner of our house did an amazing job landscaping. Other than maintenance, there’s not much to do with our yard. It’s a gardeners delight. Isabel loves to run around the paths and play explorer. Just last weekend Dan and I spent some time putting up some curtains, lights and other bits and bobs in the back porch. When I first saw this house it’s part of why I fell in love with it. It feels like my very own cottage.
A few weeks ago I posted a short video about how my sewing table is set up. A few people mentioned wanting to see my entire space… I was a little reluctant because to be honest, it is a mess. Last weekend, Isabel came down to do a little work with me and exclaimed “Mommy! Why’d you make such a mess again!” So I tidied up a bit, and decided now was as good a time as ever to show you around.
My sewing space is not glamorous, but it is big, bright, and all mine. It’s a bit of a mess, and less organized than I would like, but I really have no right to complain. I’m fortunate to have such a space at my disposal! One of the benefits of living almost in the middle of nowhere is that we can actually afford a fairly big house on a lingerie-maker & mechanics two salaries.
I am super fortunate to actually have two spaces in my house that I use for work – my entire basement and a room at the corner of our house with lots of light, which is perfect for photography. In our old house everything was crammed into one bedroom. It feels really good to have the space to have a home for everything, and to be able to shut the door at the end of the week, and (try) not to worry about work for a bit.
The best part of this video is that Oliver made a cameo!
Two weeks ago he had surgery to remove some teeth as well as a lump on his head that turned out to be a mast cell tumor. It was scary waiting for the results after the lump was removed but I was relieved to find out that out of all the mast cell tumors he could have had, his was the “best” kind to have in that it was extremely slow growing and they were able to remove the entire mass. Oliver is 10, and his age is starting to show… But now that he has recovered he seems to have more energy again which is great!
I think it was a year ago or so that I first posted a photo on Instagram of this camisole… As I mentioned in my video post a couple of weeks ago, I went back and forth on a bunch of things (darts, fullness, etc.) and toyed with various ways to write up these rather complicated instructions. The pattern itself is very simple – just two pattern pieces! But there are just so many ways you can sew it – dressed up or dressed down!
So far, of all of the variations I’ve sewn, I think this one in Cotton + Steel Rifle Paper Co. challis is my favourite. Even Isabel has asked for one in her size! I absolutely love this print and fabric.
The pattern comes with instructions on how to add a ruffle – I give suggestions as to how long to cut your ruffle, but you could even experiment with cutting an extra long ruffle band to turn the top into a flowy, bohemian summer dress.
I experimented sewing these tops out of linen, chiffon, double gauze, gauze, challis and silk charmeuse. I think my favourite fabric to work with for this style is rayon challis. It is just so light and drapey. Silk charmeuse is a close second.
The Kate pattern is an excellent pair for with any of my woven bottoms, like the Jane or Miyu panties. But remember, you can also use a woven fabric for the front of my Claudia Panties too! It works great in silk.
You can purchase the Kate Camisole pattern directly from my website HERE or on Etsy!
To view a video-tutorial outlining the basic construction methods, hop on over to my Youtube Channel!
I’ve been working really hard on two new patterns… one of them (my camisole pattern) is a year in the making! I’m currently just finishing up writing the instructions and am still waffling back and forth on some aspects of the design and construction. I always like to design patterns that can be sewn in multiple ways – I find it to be a fun creative exercise seeing how much variety I can get out of a simple pattern. This can create some difficulty when putting a pattern together. The patterns I sell are much different than the patterns I would make for my own use, or even for production. I put a lot of time and effort into explaining things so that a sewists of a variety of backgrounds and experience levels can sew my patterns. As with all of my patterns, I try to teach techniques instead of spoon-feeding how to recreate a garment. I love seeing the unique ways all of you interpret my designs!
I made a short video discussing my new patterns that are so close to being ready for release.
I’m super excited to start prepping for my swimsuit sew along! My fabric should be arriving this week, so once I clear a few projects off my table I’ll set a date.
I posted a little tour on YouTube of how I have my sewing table organized. I’ve worked out a pretty good set up over the years. Once I get tidied up a bit, I’ll show you the rest of my space! It’s not glamorous, but it works!
When I first started making lingerie about 8 or 9 years ago, nice knits were really hard to find. So I was determined to develop some patterns that would let me use all of those pretty, printed woven fabrics in lingerie.
The Jane Pattern was first released in 2013. It’s a simple bikini cut that never goes out of style. The best thing about this pattern is that it can be sewn in nearly any woven fabric… but my favourites are silk charmeuse and chiffon.
I’ve just updated the Jane Pattern to include additional sizes, more in depth instructions, and a few different ways to sew them!
The new instructions will walk you through how to add a ruffle ot the hip, how to add a keyhole cut out to the back with bias ties or a simple bound edge. With this pattern, my goal is to teach you techniques so you can apply these design ideas in different ways to this pattern, and other patterns you may already own!
I’ve felt super inspired by this pattern. It’s a great base for adding lace overlays, appliques, or any number of embellishments… or leave ’em plain and let the fabric do the talking.
I’ve added a few new videos to my YouTube Channel to walk you through some of the more complicated aspects of this pattern.
The Lola fits like a cheeky boy short. It is designed to be sewn with a simple hemmed legline, but can also be trimmed in lace.
The newest variation will walk you through how to sew these with a cut out over the hip.
This pattern walks you through 4 basic variations, but you could combine techniques to truly customize your style! My goal with all of my patterns is to teach you the techniques so that you can create really unique styles. I know that’s what I want when I buy a pattern!
In addition to the updated instruction and style variations, I’ve also graded the pattern up to an XXL.
These look similar to the Claudia Panties, but the fit is quite different. First, it has a two piece back which is quite cheeky. The Claudia has front seams, whereas the Lola has back seams. Lastly, the Lola can be sewn with a simple turned hem, whereas the Claudia needs elastic around the leg.
You can purchase the Lola Pattern HERE or through my Etsy Shop. If you have previously purchased the pattern and would like the update, please contact me with your order number and I’ll provide you with the update!
Annnnd…. If you check out my YouTube Channel, I’ve just posted a pretty in-depth video all about how to sew these cheeky undies!
The Celeste is a skimpy bikini cut panty that gets sewn out of stretch knits. In the paid version, I show you how to sew the legs with stretch lace trim or elastic stabilized hems. I show you how to finish the waist three ways: fold over elastic, stretch lace trim, or picot elastic. As a BONUS I’ve included a pattern piece so that you can sew them with a scalloped lace back.
The FREE version will walk you through how to sew the panties with lace trim and a fold over elastic waist.
This is a great beginner pattern with lots of flexibility and versatility.
The Celeste Panties can be finished in a similar manner to the Claudia Panties (my favourite!), but have quite a different fit. I’ve made a short video discussing a few of the differences.
I’ve been so inspired lately, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything I done that I want to do!
This has been on my To-Do list for a while now: a re-vamp of the Ava Panties Pattern (Grace, Bambi & Lola are next on my re-vamp list). I’ve added an additional size and more indepth instructions, including multiple variations!
With the Updated Ava Pattern, I’ll walk you through how to finis the waist and legs in fold over elastic, how to add an optional scalloped lace overlay, and how to sew the panties with cutouts and adjustable strap waist.
I just uploaded a video to my YouTube Channel, walking through how to sew a basic pair of Ava Panties.
I also have released these items in my Made to Order collection. I have a very limited amount of this fabric, so don’t want if you want it! You can find this set in my Etsy Shop by clicking HERE.
You can purchase the Ava pattern on my website, or Etsy. If you have already purchased the pattern and would like an updated copy, please send me an email or message me on Etsy.