Soma Swimsuit Test: Bikini Top Variation Two


I am so excited to share Variation Two of the Soma Swimsuit with you today!  This is my last test garment for this pattern, and I think it’s definitely the coolest and most flattering, at least on me.  The fact that its structure is naturally somewhat supportive probably helps.

Enough talk, though.  Here it is:

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two


I really love how this came out.  It kind of makes me wish I had more of this fabric so I could use it to try making a tankini, but I’ve used it all up, and Girl Charlee, the site I ordered my fabric from, doesn’t have any more.  I will say, though, that while I love the combination of these two fabrics, the coral one, which is a midweight, is much easier to sew with than the lightweight chevron print.  Lesson learned.  I think my final products with the midweight fabric were much better and more professional looking than what I managed to make out of the lightweight, too.

So, details on the top:

I followed the directions, but used Lauren’s idea to prevent any, um, textural show-through in the front.  She used about four layers of lining and one layer of the outer fabric in the cups.  This was a bit tricky, but I persevered, and it came through alright in the end.  My machine was able to handle all the fabric layers, which was a huge relief.  I think the only other thing I did differently, was that I sewed a double line of stitches on the top and bottom elastic.  I hadn’t sewn down far enough and the elastic was flipping up a little bit at the chevron fabric.  Hopefully this will help.  Here’ s the suit before the final edging elastic went in:

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two

So, here are my questions now:  If I were to make this into a tankini (kind of like this), could I add a little more support like an underwire or a shelf bra?  Would that even be a good idea?  I definitely don’t know what I’m doing in that area (it doesn’t help that I forgot to put the shelf bra into last year’s suit, either).  How much chance is there that I can force it to work?  I think I would make it one size bigger next time, so I want to make sure it still has good support.  I want everything held in place!

I’ve contemplated taking a break from this pattern and making one or two of the Jalie swimsuits, in the hopes that those patterns might show me my answer.  The Soma suit has a great stylistic edge, but Jalie has years of experience on its side.  I also think I might need to change gears completely for a short time.  My head is starting to swim with all these bathing suit questions (no pun intended), and I can hardly walk into a clothing store without snapping a picture of inspiring bathing suits.  I really, really, really want an awesome suit that I love by summer (and I want to be awesome at sewing bathing suits), but I may be on the edge of bathing suit burnout, so perhaps I’ll sew up a few t-shirts or a skirt as a break, and then get back to it.  Does anyone have any tips on adding support to women’s suits or do you have a favorite bathing suit pattern?

I will admit, learning how to sew these things is very empowering.  I think I might be getting a little arrogant (my pride is outflanking my skills).  I look at the price of bathing suits, and I think, “Yeah, right!!!  I can make that!  And it will cost less, be cooler, and be unique!”  Yeah, maybe I need to step back a few paces…

Still, check out my work as a whole:

Soma Swimsuit Test Suits

It feels good to have done all that, even with the imperfections.  And giving myself the opportunity to practice makes me feel like I can get the obligatory mistakes out of the way on the path to ultimate bathing suit domination.  Someday, even Anthropologie shoppers will wish they had my suits!  Wahahahaha!!!!

And on that note, I think I’m going to sign off and look for something different to sew.


13 responses »

  1. Haha, Lisa, you are too funny! 🙂 Nothing wrong with being proud of your work and excited about learning new skills. Swimsuits are such personal garments, so it’s great that you can now make them to suit your specific tastes! I’m excited to keep following along on your swimwear sewing adventures. As for adding support, the only thing that comes to mind is the built-in bra of the Nettie pattern, but you’ll probably find something closer to what you need in the Jalie patterns. Good luck!


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