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Sewing Swimwear: Hacked Tilly and the Buttons Coralie


Sewing swimwear can be intimidating, but it is so empowering being able to sew a swimsuit that fits your body AND is cute!

I used the matte black tricot fabric and swim lining for this suit and it was amazing to work with. I was using my backup machine, so wasn’t super comfortable with it, and was also using a different method type of elastic, so had to unpick a lot more seams than usual! However, the fabric was super forgiving to the unpicking and sewed beautifully!

I used the Coralie swimsuit by Tilly and the Buttons, cut a size 5 at the bust and waist and blended to a size 6 in the hip. I also hacked the ruffle to end at the shoulder instead of going around the entire neckline. It was a super simple hack- I just decreased the size of the ruffle gradually towards the shoulder side, and blended it down to the seam allowance size at the very end. The only other change I made was lowering the front neckline by a 1/2”.

Modified ruffle piece on the right

My top tips for sewing swimwear:

  • use a new stretch needle
  • use a rotary cutter to cut your fabric
  • turn up your tension a bit so that the thread doesn’t show at the seams when the fabric is stretched over your body
  • cotton swimwear elastic requires a bit of stretching, so getting the tension right can be a bit tricky!
  • make sure the zig zag catches the bottom edge of the elastic, or it might show on the inside once folded over
  • don’t stretch the fabric as you sew

The suit is super comfortable, and I cant wait to wear it at the lake all summer!

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