I finally made myself a crossover tankini swimsuit that is made for playing with my children in the water. It’s in the colors I love, but I don’t have to tug or cover or constantly adjust. I have always loved swimming, and I wanted to enjoy it with my children.

The biggest reason is that I wanted to be able to go swimming at the drop of a hat when my kids asked without worrying about shaving.

Me Made: Striped Tankini // Rad Patterns First Crush Swimsuit

I ordered this navy and white striped swim fabric* from fabric.com* a couple of years ago and finally used it. It’s a great fabric, and I loved it. I originally ordered two yards so I have at least a yard to still use later.

Maybe I’ll make swimsuits that all fit into a capsule so I can mix and match my tops and bottoms. I used this power mesh fabric* in white as lining. Also learn how to make a swimsuit.

Me Made: Striped Tankini // Rad Patterns First Crush Swimsuit

I used the First Crush Swimsuit pattern by Rad patterns. I saw it when it was released about a year ago and loved the crossover front. It reminded me of this striped swimsuit that I pinned on pinterest.

I wanted to recreate it as a crossover tankini since I like more coverage but prefer easy bathroom access. The pattern was drafted well, and I fit into the measurements.

I added an inch for height, 1/2″ above the straps and 1/2″ below the straps. I ended up taking the 1/2″ above the bust out. Because the straps were too long.

I couldn’t make sense of the instructions, and I couldn’t figure out if the crossover was supposed to end at my waist or just under my bust. I constructed the suit my way, had trouble because I made the elastic too tight and the straps were too long. I don’t know.

Me Made: Striped Tankini // Rad Patterns First Crush Swimsuit

I added fabric to the sides, removed the underbust elastic, took out some of the fabric. I added size A cups that did not look flattering to my small bust and the crossover wasn’t crossing in the right place. I took the cups out and decided to add some smaller push up swim cups I had.

I didn’t like how big the cups were, but I needed a better option. When I pinned them in I poked the gel part which then spilled out. But then the cups shrunk and were a better size.

Then I handstitched the crossover the cross and lay where I wanted it too. And it finally looks good. I unpicked and reworked a lot on the top and wanted to give up and throw it away, but I stuck with it and I’m happy with the result.

It works and I never want to sew it again. I really should have just used my book of basic swimsuit patterns* to get what I wanted. It probably would’ve been a lot easier.

Me Made: Striped Tankini // Rad Patterns First Crush Swimsuit

I thought the pattern came with swim shorts because that’s what I’ve been wanting. There were cheeky bottoms, but I knew I wouldn’t get the inseam length that I wanted so I didn’t use it. I used a free legging pattern and cut it into short shorts for the bottoms.

I was really worried at first about wearing shorts because I’ve read everywhere with how unflattering that style is. Well, I want to wear shorts so I can sit criss cross applesauce with my kids and not flash anyone. I want to sit and bend over to help my baby and have no worries.

I have since realized that since I have almost no hips, these shorts are not completely unflattering since they give me the illusion of hips. But I’d probably wear little shorts anyway so I can enjoy swimming with my kids.

Me Made: Striped Tankini // Rad Patterns First Crush Swimsuit

When I was pregnant with my children I didn’t get stretch marks on my stomach. I got them on the back of my legs at the top of my hamstring. My shorts slightly cover them, but that actually wasn’t my intention.

I want to wear them proudly and not hide them. The stretch marks don’t really show up in pictures, but in real life you can see them.

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Author: Heather Handmade

I'm a seamstress and mother. I sew, blog, thrift, upcycle, design fabric, and teach sewing classes. I'm also a self-proclaimed fabric fondler.

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3 thoughts on “Striped Crossover Tankini with Shorts

  1. I love your suit! It has the boy legs that are my favourite 🙂 Beautiful stripes too – perfection!

    Posted on July 14, 2017 at 3:45 pm
  2. I'm so glad you persisted! Now you have a beautiful suit! I want to make bottoms like that too!!

    Posted on July 13, 2017 at 11:51 pm
  3. I love the idea of a capsule swimsuit. That would be awesome to get a few mix and match pieces. I always wear shorts, It just makes my life easier. And lately, I just grab some workout shorts that have the liner, a sports bra and a work out tank to wear because I really hate shopping for swimsuits and haven't gotten brave enough to try and make one!

    Posted on July 12, 2017 at 1:52 pm