so i made another one today and wrote this tute. i dont know how helpful it is i might make another tute for a different style when i make a swimsuit for my sister. so here it is:
1) gather your materials. some dance/swim fabric (usually a nylon/lycra blend), braided elastic that's suitable for swimwear, elastic thread, some newspaper/paper for cutting out a pattern, swimsuit hook, swimsuit padding. i didn't buy any lining fabric so i just used the same fabric as lining too.
2)create your pattern. take a swimsuit or underwear and trace to create a pattern. if you're using a swimsuit you'll probably have to stretch it out to get to the actual fabric size. if working alone, you feet are very useful for holding everything in place to do the tracing.
3) take the front bottom piece and trace it again on paper. on your body, measure from where the waistband begins to under your bust to get an approximate length and then draw out the additional portion in whatever style you want at approximately that length.
4) trace the pattern onto the fabric (i used a highlighter). then cut out adding about 1/2" allowance around the edges.
5) sew the crotch seam together of the outer fabric and lining. i used a straight stitch reinforced w/ zig-zag.
6) take both layers and pin them together so the seam is hidden.
7) the line you traced onto the fabric should still be visible. using zig-zag stitch and slightly pulling as you go, sew elastic just outside of that traced line. trim the excess fabric along the edges.
8) cutout the pieces for the top and repeat steps 6 and 7.
9) now put elastic thread in the bobbin (look up how to shirr if you don't know what to do). fold the elastic/edge over and top stitch over the edges.
10) create the strings by cutting ~1" strips and pulling them until they curl and tying knots at the end. fold the inner edge of the top piece over, encase the string and zig-zag stitch down. (i ran out of fabric here and had to go buy another 2" to make the strings..i used the string from another swimsuit as a place holder) try it on and figure out where the hook should be and sew that on.
11) cut a little hole in the lining of the top and stuff the padding in. **note: i also added boning on the side seams (where the front and back of the top connect) to help the top hold it's shape.
12) sew the sides of the bottom encasing the bottom strings. (sorry don't know how to explain this - just make sure the string can still slide through)
13) try both pieces on and stretch the center piece up until it fits well. attach the bottom piece to the top piece by folding it over and encasing the string and zig-zag stitching it down. (the back hook isn't sewn in yet in this picture because i forgot to buy one but it should be sewn in step 10)
voila! i think i might go back and un-stitch the top and put an o-ring in like w/ the first swimsuit. using just the string seems a bit insecure
here's a rough post it note sketch of how to make the black swimsuit:
going from top left --> bottom left --> top right --> bottom right:
1) a. draw a "triangle" top w/ the curved bottom (there are tuts for this if you look up diy bikini on google). then add a little extra on the sides for a little extra coverage.
b. cut out a strip that's about 3-4" wide.
c. make 4 strings (described in step 10 above)
2) a. after attaching the elastic and top stitching the edges (excluding the bottom curved edge) of the triangles [[steps 6,7,9]], baste along the bottom curved edge. pull one of the strands of thread to gather it and tie the thread in knots at the end to hold the gather in place.
b. fold the strip in half and sew it into a tube w/ straight stitch and reinforze w/ zig zag. then turn the tube inside out. (this piece will now be called the "band")
c. using a zig-zag stitch, top stitch the band over the triangle pieces at the top edge of the band.
3) attach the strings w/ a zig zag stitch. (the tops of the triangles should have a small opening so you can slip the string in between the lining and outer fabric) when you sew the strings to the band, slip the string into the ends of the tubes and then fold over so it's even.
4) attach the bottom piece to the top w/ a zig-zag top stitch. to make sure it was secure i top stitched it to the top of the band and bottom of the band.
hope that made sense! feel free to ask questions if you need clarification!