Pattern Review: Sewing a 2 Piece Bathing Suit Pattern from Ottobre Design


Sewing your own swimsuit is selfish sewing at it’s best! I’ve been eyeing the two piece bathing suit pattern In Ottobre Design Magazine Issue 02/2011 for a while, wanting to try it. I finally sewed it up and now I love the results!


This bathing suit is numbers 19 and 20 from the 02/2011 issue of Ottobre Design Magazine. I’m pretty self-conscious of my body in such a small amount of clothing, and this pattern offered several features that I liked. I already own a bathing suit that looks very similar, but the top portion doesn’t have the front overlap that this one does, and it offers no side coverage at all. I feel more comfortable wearing a tank top over or under it, actually, it bothers me that much. But not the Ottobre version!

I spent a lot of time sewing the top portion of the suit, getting it just the way I wanted before I moved on. It has very pretty neckline shape, but as designed the bodice still spread open more than I was comfortable with. Luckily I noticed this before I sewed the bottom portion on. I simply overlapped the bust area more than called for and now it’s great.


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I slipped these handy foam bra cups inside the bodice portions, which also gives me more coverage. You can see the outlines of the cups a little bit from the sides, but I don’t mind. That’s better than the alternative and one more improvement over my store bought suit. 🙂


The entire suit is lined, including the full-coverage bottoms. These things hold my belly in, yay! As you can see from the picture, I did a quick zig-zag stretch stitch for the hem on the top. Then the bottoms came together so much faster than I expected, I took the time to thread up my double needle to do all of the hems. It’s really an easy step and I’m glad I did it.

I have other bathing suits that I’ll bring for back-up, but I may be wearing this one the entire cruise, I love it that much. In case you’re wondering, I used swimsuit fabric and elastic from The Fabric Fairy and the bra cups came from Joann’s (with a coupon, of course).

Do you sew swimsuits? Tell me in the comments.

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  1. Cary Rutherford says:

    I love the suit and the color.I’m going try this pattern always wanted to make my own suit because I hate the way store fit.

    1. Thank you! I’ve made children’s swimsuits before, but this was the first time to make my own. It’s so rewarding to end up with one better than store-bought!

  2. Lorna McMahon says:

    What a gorgeous bathing suit! I could not believe you made it… It looks sew professionally done. How fabulous! Hope you and the hubby have an incredibly wonderful time on the cruise, Caroline!

  3. Jackie Berdych says:

    I love your swimsuit! What a great job you did. Makes me almost consider doing the same, though I am not sure I am brave enough.

    1. Go ahead and try! I would just advise you to take your time and make any adjustments you need to get the right fit. It’s so worth it. 🙂

  4. I’m just wondering if I can upload a picture for Show off Saturday without having posted it elsewhere? Does it have to be on a blog or facebook or something?

  5. I love your swimsuit! I have this Ottobre issue and have that suit marked, too! It looks great! Enjoy your cruise 🙂

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