How to sew bathing suit fabric – 10 best tips & tricks

Hai sempre desiderato fare un bikini fai da te, ma non sapevi come? Ecco 10 dritte e trucchi importanti che ti aiuteranno ad imparare come cucire i costumi da bagno su misura!

Always wanted to make your own swimsuits, but are afraid to try? Here are 10 important tips and tricks that will help you learn how to sew bathing suit fabric for amazing customized DIY swimwear!

There are a few things that tend to terrify sewists. When they start out, sewing stretchy fabrics seems outright impossible. (If this is your case, make sure you read my post on how to sew knits and other stretch fabrics perfectly.) For the more ecologically-minded who want to start sewing cloth diapers or cloth menstrual pads, sewing the waterproof PUL fabric is a nightmare. (I’ve put together my best tips for sewing PUL without problems in this post.)

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For the apparel sewist, there are a few scary types of clothing. Coats. Jeans. (I got over my fear of sewing jeans a couple of years ago when I tested the Birkin Flares pattern.) Bathing suits.

Always wanted to make your own swimsuits, but are afraid to try? Here are 10 important tips and tricks that will help you learn how to sew bathing suit fabric for amazing customized DIY swimwear!

Most apparel sewers are used to sewing stretchy fabric, but bathing suit fabric is a beast of its own. It’s REALLY stretchy and, as bathing suits fit skin-tight, the seams need to be able to stretch a LOT. The second scary thing about bathing suits has to do with the general fear women have of showing off their bodies for what they are.

I finally got over this fear this summer and learned how to sew bathing suit fabric, sewing myself and my kids swim caps, bikinis and one-piece bathing suits. And guess what? After learning a few tips and tricks, it isn’t anywhere near as scary as I thought it would be! I wish I had started sewing swimsuits sooner!

Have you been considering sewing bathing suits for you and your family? Are you a little terrified of trying? Check out my ten tips for how to sew bathing suit fabric, and you’ll be making your own DIY swimwear!

Read moreHow to sew bathing suit fabric – 10 best tips & tricks

Refashion shorts into a DIY skirt with godets

Hai dei pantaloncini vecchi che non usi mai? Trasformali in una gonna che vorrai indossare ogni giorno, GRATIS! Scopri come cucire una gonna a godet da un pantaloncino!

Got old shorts that don’t look good? Refashion them into this DIY skirt with godets, and you’ll start wearing it all the time! A great “new” garment for FREE!

I love skirts so much! They are fun to mix and match with different tops, I feel free to move around without any leg restriction, and even very casual skirts look nicer than jeans. They are SO FAST to sew and often even faster to refashion from other unused garments!

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Take the above DIY skirt with godets. Can you believe that this garment used to be…

Got old shorts that don’t look good? Refashion them into this DIY skirt with godets, and you’ll start wearing it all the time! A great “new” garment for FREE!

…this unfortunate pair of shorts? Ick!

I’d bought them because I really liked the contrast color waistband and belt loops. (Oh, and also because they were on a great clearance sale!) I hadn’t quite considered the fact that I don’t wear my tops tucked in, so those details could never be seen. And I soon realized that I didn’t like the way they felt or looked either. Then one hem started coming undone, and they stayed in my drawer for years.

Got old shorts that don’t look good? Refashion them into this DIY skirt with godets, and you’ll start wearing it all the time! A great “new” garment for FREE!

Inspired by some of the amazing jean skirt refashioning ideas I’d saved onto my Refashioning Pinterest board, I decided to open up the legs and add contasting godet panels. Because the legs were on the tight side, and also because I really love this green batik fabric, I decided to add godets not only in the front and back, but also at the sides, that way I could easily create an A-line shape and make the contrasting panels look more intentional.

And I LOVE how it came out! It’s such a comfortable skirt and I love how it looks. I actually made this about a year ago and I’ve worn it a TON since then.

Got old shorts that don’t look good? Refashion them into this DIY skirt with godets, and you’ll start wearing it all the time! A great “new” garment for FREE!

One of the great things about making your own clothing (or refashioning them) is that you can make perfectly matching accessories! So I sewed a twisted turban headband with the same batik fabric to wear along with my skirt! I love it when people ask me how I got an accessory to match my skirt so well, and I can tell them that it’s because I made them myself!

So, what do you say? Do you have some old shorts or pants that you never wear from one reason or another? Let me show you how to transform them into a DIY skirt with godets that you will want to wear all the time! Let’s get started!

Read moreRefashion shorts into a DIY skirt with godets

Refashioning for kids: turn old pants into shorts

Non buttare i pantaloni dei bambini troppo corti o con ginocchia strappate! È facile trasformare pantaloni in pantaloncini in pochi minuti con il braccio libero della macchina da cucire!

Kids grow out of their trousers and rip holes in the knees quickly. But don't throw those ruined clothes away! It's quick and easy to turn old pants into shorts with the help of the sewing machine free arm!

Kids grow so quickly. Sometimes it feels like I’ve just sewn or otherwise procured a garment for my kids and it is already small for them. Or stained. Or ripped.

That’s why I love quick refashioning sewing hacks to make clothes for children as quickly as possible. Oh yeah, I also love saving money that way.

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And one of the most well-known and easy refashions is to turn old pants into shorts. This is truly one of the most simple sewing transformations possible.

What a time-saver! Make pants for kids from sleeves! Refashion tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

And even better than a single refashion, is a DOUBLE refashion! Because the shorts that I’m showing in this tutorial were originally sweatshirts! (Check out my super convenient tutorial on how to make pants from sleeves here!)

Kids grow out of their trousers and rip holes in the knees quickly. But don't throw those ruined clothes away! It's quick and easy to turn old pants into shorts with the help of the sewing machine free arm!

And in addition to their being a double refashion, the holes in the knees were also patched up. Afterwards, of course, the other knees also tore. (Find out how to make homemade patches with machine appliqué here.)

Kids grow out of their trousers and rip holes in the knees quickly. But don't throw those ruined clothes away! It's quick and easy to turn old pants into shorts with the help of the sewing machine free arm!

How quick it is to turn old pants into shorts! And so easy that it’s a perfect project for beginners! And everyone loves getting a little more wear out of clothing that would otherwise end up in the trash, right? Even if the ones I show here are not the most gorgeous shorts in the world (the pants having been used a LOT), they are great for my little boy to play outside and get sweaty and dirty in!

Ready to prepare a bunch of summer clothes for your kids from their outgrown pants? Let’s get started!

Read moreRefashioning for kids: turn old pants into shorts

The easy way to hem a circle skirt in 15 min. with bias tape!

Does just the thought of hemming a curved edge scare you? It doesn’t have to! This is the easy way to hem a circle skirt in just 15 minutes with the help of bias tape! www.cucicucicoo.com

Does just the thought of hemming a curved edge scare you? It doesn’t have to! This is the easy way to hem a circle skirt in just 15 minutes with the help of bias tape! www.cucicucicoo.com

How many circle skirts do you have in your wardrobe? If you have only one or- gasp!- none, it’s time to start sewing them!

As I showed last year in my tutorial on how to sew a circle skirt (with free pattern!), it’s actually very easy to sew them and they are so much fun to wear and twirl in! There’s just one little problem with sewing circle skirts: hemming them.

Does just the thought of hemming a curved edge scare you? It doesn’t have to! This is the easy way to hem a circle skirt in just 15 minutes with the help of bias tape! www.cucicucicoo.com

A circle skirt is quite literally a skirt made from a circle of fabric, which means that the entire hem is one very long and continuous curve. And, while hemming a straight edge is really easy, especially with my special hemming trick, hemming a circle is a bit different. And time-consuming.

Does just the thought of hemming a curved edge scare you? It doesn’t have to! This is the easy way to hem a circle skirt in just 15 minutes with the help of bias tape! www.cucicucicoo.com

Luckily there is a super easy way to hem a circle skirt, a way to get around this problem with no measuring.

Yes. You read correctly. NO MEASURING.

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Normally you can’t even see this special hemming trick because it’s hidden on the inside of the garment. But if you get a little carried away twirling in your super fun circle skirt, you might catch a glimpse of it.

Does just the thought of hemming a curved edge scare you? It doesn’t have to! This is the easy way to hem a circle skirt in just 15 minutes with the help of bias tape! www.cucicucicoo.com

BIAS TAPE! Not only does it save many headaches when hemming curved edges, but it’s such a pretty detail on your garment!

And because you don’t have to keep on measuring, ironing and pinning, measuring, ironing and pinning over and over, it’s actually incredibly fast! In fact, if you already have single fold bias tape ready, it’ll only take you about 15 minutes or so to do! Wow!

So, are you ready for the life-changing trick?! Let me show you the easy way to hem a circle skirt!

Read moreThe easy way to hem a circle skirt in 15 min. with bias tape!

Refashion Tutorial: Make a T-shirt Infinity Scarf

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! #sewingtutorial #infinityscarf #refashion

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

Some people are obsessed with clothes and have overflowing closets. Other people obsessively buy shoes and have dozens and dozens of them. I, myself, have a thing for neckwear.

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Except for the hottest, most humid summer months, when I can’t bear to have anything on my skin, I love the feeling of having something around my neck. I have tons of necklaces (some of which you can see on my DIY driftwood necklace hanger) and tons more scarves.

About a year and a half ago I got hit by the infinity scarf bug. I have no idea just how many I’ve sewn, but I have more than I can possibly keep track of and have given many more away as gifts.

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

See? Here I am in May 2015 (May 30 from my Me Made May 2015 challenge, to be precise) with a series of light springtime infinity scarves that I’d made that day. (I was also about two months in out of the 18 months or so it took to grow out my short pixie haircut!)

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

I had some strips of fabric left over from these pant-to-skirt refashions that I did for my daughter, so those became scarves with one printed side and one solid side, an effect that looks wonderful when they get looped around the neck. (Find out how to sew infinity scarves with one or more colors here.)

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

But the infinity scarf that I got (and continue to get) the most compliments on was this Spanish-style one with red pompom trim. I cut up the entire shirt, right up to the neck and including the sleeves, and pieced the pieces together along with the trim to make a loop that was wide enough to fit over my head twice. You can see the bit of lace under the neck tie incorporated in the scarf in the bottom picture above.

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

A lot of people asked me how I made the scarf and I got more than one request for a tutorial. So now that I’ve explained how to sew knit fabric without any overstretching, bunching, snapped threads or holes, I thought that it was about time to finally explain how to make these!

I’ve given instructions on two styles of T-shirt infinity scarf. The first is a pretty simple two-color version that only takes about 15 minutes to make. The second is a more complex version of the first, using pieces from any number of shirt. You can get really creative and use up fabric scraps, or even salvage usuable parts of stained and/or ripped t-shirts.

These scarves are wonderful gifts, too, so raid your closet for shirts you don’t use anymore and sew up a colorful and unique T-shirt infinity scarf for everyone you know this holiday season! Let’s get started!

Read moreRefashion Tutorial: Make a T-shirt Infinity Scarf

Refashion tutorial: make pants from sleeves

Make pants for kids in a flash from sleeves! No pattern necessary! Refashion tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

Save time when sewing your children's clothes with this refashion tutorial: Make pants from sleeves for (almost) immediate results! No pattern necessary! #refashion

It’s fall again and I’m having the same problem I have every. Single. Year. My kids have no pants that fit them correctly.

Both of my children are average height, but are very thin. This doesn’t create many problems in the summer because shorts and skirts don’t have to be long. However, when it’s time to wear long pants (or trousers for you British folk) again, we find that all their pants that fit fine in the spring are now too short. And most store-bought pants that are long enough for them are too wide in the waist for their long, thin build.

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So either my kids go to school with ridiculously short pants (which doesn’t bother them, but it does bother me), I buy them some new ones (which rarely fit properly and anyway I decided years ago not to buy any new clothing), or I sew them new ones. However I’m usually particularly busy with the hectic start of the school year, and have a hard time finding time to find a pattern, modify it to fit their thin bodies, and cut it out.

What a time-saver! Make pants for kids from sleeves! Refashion tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

That’s when this comes to the rescue: old sweatshirts. Because adult sweatshirts have sleeves that are a great length for pants for young kids (up to about age 5) and they already have a wonderfully comfortable cuff at the bottom. (Or, if not a cuff, a finished edge, like in the pair seen below.) So your discarded clothing (or a super cheap thrifted sweatshirt, like this one that I bought for €1 to make my son’s Minion costume) can become fantastic sweatpants for your child!

What a time-saver! Make pants for kids from sleeves! Refashion tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

They’re so comfortable for kids to play in and you don’t even need a pattern to make them! You can simply use a pair of pants that fit as a cutting guide!

What a time-saver! Make pants for kids from sleeves! Refashion tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

What a time-saver! Last year I made four pairs of these pants in about one hour and my boy was set for that season’s pants!  (Yes, that is a patch of white hair my son has. He was born with it. I didn’t bring him to the hairdresser to do it, as some people have asked me!)

So what are you waiting for? Let’s make pants from sleeves for your children!

Read moreRefashion tutorial: make pants from sleeves

Attach elastic to a waistband – no casing or twisting!

Learn to sew the easiest elastic waistband ever- with no casing or twisting! www.cucicucicoo.com

Learn to sew the easiest elastic waistband ever- with no casing or twisting! www.cucicucicoo.com

Can you imagine what it must’ve been like to wear clothes long ago, before there was any elastic? Sure, there were buttons and laces to tie up, but my favorite garment fasteners, elastic and zippers, are relatively new inventions. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must’ve been to get children dressed… and undressed, and dressed and undressed… without elastic waistbands!

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I LOVE elastic waistbands! They’re comfortable, give more flexibility in sizing, and are easy for kids to get on and off by themselves. They come in all different widths and even in awesome colors and prints, so you can make them part of your garment’s overall look.

Learn to sew the easiest elastic waistband ever- with no casing or twisting! www.cucicucicoo.com

As part of my Learn to Machine Sew series, I’ve already published two lessons on elastic waistbands: sewing an elastic casing and sewing an exposed elastic waistband. The technique I’m showing you today, which I’m calling an attached elastic, for lack of a better name, is yet another way to create an elastic waistband and, like the others, it has its pros and cons.

Elastic casing waistband:

Pros: elastic can be easily removed to adjust sizing, ugly elastic is hidden inside, no need to split elastic/fabric into fourths

Cons: must measure and iron fabric to create the perfect width of casing, elastic can twist up inside the casing

Exposed elastic waistband:

Pros: doesn’t require extra fabric to cover the elastic so is good if you’ve cut the garment too short, shows off cool elastic, no measuring or ironing of fabric necessary

Cons: possible lost stretch, need to split elastic/fabric into fourths, more difficult to remove the elastic if adjustments are necessary

Attached elastic waistband:

Pros: very fast and easy, ugly elastic is hidden inside, no measuring or ironing of fabric necessary

Cons: possible lost stretch, need to split elastic/fabric into fourths, difficult to remove the elastic if adjustments are necessary

I will be totally honest: this attached elastic technique is not my favorite way of sewing a waistband. In general, I prefer not to sew into elastic because some qualities can lose stretch when you stretch and sew over them. But the main reason is because I quite frequently have to adjust the fit of elastic waistbands. This can be either because the elastic has stretched out over time, my kids have grown or I made a measuring mistake when sewing the garment (hey, it happens even to the best of us, right?!). This is why I almost always sew a casing for waistbands.

However, do consider that this is my own personal preference and that there are LOADS of sewists who prefer this method over the others, so it’s really a matter of personal preference. I suggest trying them all out so that you can choose the most suitable technique for each of your projects!

Follow the links above for learning more about the first two elastic waistband methods, or keep on reading to find out how to attach elastic to a waistband in the third way!

Read moreAttach elastic to a waistband – no casing or twisting!

Refashion tutorial: Turn pants into a skirt

Turn pants into a skirt in just 15 minutes with this easy refashion tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com!

Turn pants into a skirt in just 15 minutes with this easy refashion tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com!

It’s such a clichè, but it’s also totally true: how fast kids grow! And that of course means that they grow out of their clothes so quickly.

But what a shame to get rid of clothes that still fit them in the waist. And that’s why every spring I go through their wardrobe and turn all their too-short pants or pants with holes in the knees (anyone with an active little boy knows what I mean) and turn them into shorts or skirts.

Turn pants into a skirt in just 15 minutes with this easy refashion tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com!

Turning pants into shorts is pretty straightforward: cut off the bottom of the leg and hem it. The only real difference in turning pants into a skirt is that you have to open up the leg seams and then close them back up again.

It’s so satisfying to make these adorable little skirts, which are perfect for summer playing and twirling. And it only takes about 15 minutes because the waistband is already made! Yah!

Turn pants into a skirt in just 15 minutes with this easy refashion tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com!

Do your kids- or you- have any pants that are slowly making their way up their legs as they grow? Well, then, grab your scissors and we’ll fix them up right here and now! Now I’ll show you how to turn pants into a skirt! 

Read moreRefashion tutorial: Turn pants into a skirt

How to Sew an Exposed Elastic Waistband in 5 steps

How to Sew an Exposed Elastic Waistband in 5 steps: an easy alternative to fussy zippers and elastic casings! Learn how on www.cucicucicoo.com

How to Sew an Exposed Elastic Waistband in 5 steps: an easy alternative to fussy zippers and elastic casings! Learn how on www.cucicucicoo.com

Sure, you may know how to sew an elastic casing or how to install a zipper, but do you WANT to? Sometimes you just want to do things the fastest and easiest way. And sometimes you just don’t have enough fabric to do so. This is when you can resort to the easiest waistband method ever: the exposed elastic waistband!

This waistband is exactly what it sounds like: exposed elastic, which is sewn directly onto the top edge of your garment as a stretchy waistband. I’ve started using this solution a lot when refashioning because sometimes I’m just too lazy to pick out the old over-stretched elastic and just cut it off, or because I’m on the tall side and often need to add a little bit of length to my garment, and this method allows you to actually add on length instead of removing it to sew in a casing.

How to Sew an Exposed Elastic Waistband in 5 steps: an easy alternative to fussy zippers and elastic casings! Learn how on www.cucicucicoo.com

For example, when I totally screwed up a pair of leggings, which ended up too tight and too short, I added an exposed elastic waistband to avoid making an elastic casing that would end up halfway down my bum. A perfect fix!

Today, as part of my Learn to Machine Sew series, I’m going to show you how to sew an exposed elastic waistband in just five steps! You can practice this technique on any tube of fabric or do as I did, and add it on to a skirt (or pair of pants, shorts or leggings) that has an old elastic that needs to be replaced. Then in the next tutorial on Cucicucicoo, I’ll show you how to sew a skirt from scratch with this type of easy waistband.

How to Sew an Exposed Elastic Waistband in 5 steps: an easy alternative to fussy zippers and elastic casings! Learn how on www.cucicucicoo.com

Are you ready? Let’s start!

Read moreHow to Sew an Exposed Elastic Waistband in 5 steps

Refashion tutorial: Turn a dress into a skirt

Refashion tutorial: Turn a dress into a skirt with a comfortable elastic waistband - www.cucicucicoo.com

Refashion tutorial: Turn a dress into a skirt with a comfortable elastic waistband - www.cucicucicoo.com

Earlier this week, as part of the Learn to Machine Sew series, I taught how to sew a casing for an elastic waistband, and also how to calculate the seam allowance for the casing and the elastic length. So for today’s practice tutorial, I’m going to show you one of the most common refashioning techniques: how to turn a dress into a skirt!

Refashion tutorial: Turn a dress into a skirt with a comfortable elastic waistband - www.cucicucicoo.com

This is a really useful and easy refashion, even for beginners! If you’re a woman, or if you have a daughter, you most likely will have an ill-fitting dress somewhere in your closet. This dress was a hand-me-down and, while I love the fabric and the garment itself is pretty cute, it never really fit my daughter quite right. Now that it finally fits around her torso, it’s too short for her.

Refashion tutorial: Turn a dress into a skirt with a comfortable elastic waistband - www.cucicucicoo.com

So the easiest way to make this into a garment that she will actually wear was to refashion it into a skirt! She loves skirts and wore it as her first day of school skirt, as you can see above! (Hence the boring white t-shirt, which is her school’s warm weather uniform.) Do you have an old dress hanging around, too? Well, then read on to find out how to turn a dress into a skirt the super easy way!

Read moreRefashion tutorial: Turn a dress into a skirt

How to sew a refashioned DIY lace t-shirt top

How to sew a DIY lace t-shirt top from an old tee! A sewing tutorial by Green Issues by Agy for www.cucicucicoo.com!

Welcome back to the newest tutorial in the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series! If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen my notice that, due to the transfer of my website’s hosting and domain to a better, FASTER, service, I wasn’t able to publish earlier this week. But now everything is back up and running better than ever, and I’m thrilled to have Agatha Lee from Green Issues by Agy as our guest today!

Agatha is an eco-designer and passionate environmental educator, combining her love for making and the environment. She previously worked as a policy maker at the National Environmental Agency, Singapore for over 10 years before founding Green Issues by Agy, where she transforms textile waste into creative wearables. She holds regular talks and shares how you can get more out of your old clothes at workshops such as Fix It Friday and DIY Your Clothes. Her current blog series is Fix It Friday and Fashion Designers Do Good.

You may remember Agy’s name because I was fortunate enough to participate in two of her fascinating blog trains, “I didn’t throw it away” and “Making good.” I love Agy’s ecological spirit which shines through in her creative re-use of materials. So, without further ado, here’s Agy’s tutorial for a lovely hand-sewn upcycled lace top using an old t-shirt and a mended piece of lace!

How to sew a DIY lace t-shirt top from an old tee! A sewing tutorial by Green Issues by Agy for www.cucicucicoo.com!

Read moreHow to sew a refashioned DIY lace t-shirt top