Tips for Sewing With Elastic for Swimwear

Created By:

Stephanie Burwell

Skill Level: Advanced

We are well into summer and if you are like me, a me made swimsuit is included in your sewing plans. The only issue for me is that every year it's like I have to re-learn how to make them since where I live, we only have 3 good months of swimming weather, which means that making swimwear isn't a frequent thing. Luckily, while making one of my swimsuits for this season I jotted down a few good tips that will help us sew our swimwear with ease everytime we go to make one.



Here’s a summary of the tips I found to be helpful:

  1. Evenly distribute the elastic and pull slightly while sewing.
  2. Use a Blue Tip sewing needle ( this comes standard with my Janome Memory Craft 9450).
  3. Use a Zig-Zag stitch ( or serge ) for all seams and hems.
  4. Steam, Steam, STEAM!


Keep reading for details about each step.


When your swimwear pattern calls for elastic, typically at the leg openings as shown in my image below, the pattern will instruct on the amount of elastic to use. When pinning this elastic, make sure to divide both the elastic and leg openings into 4 equal parts and match those sections up. This will make sure that the elastic is evenly stretched when sewing and will avoid too much bunching in any one area.



Attach that elastic to the wrong side of the garment and sew it using a zig zag stitch - pulling slightly as you sew. The trick here is to pull only between the 4 sections that you pinned, and then release your pulling once you get to the pin. Continue doing this along the entire leg opening.



For reference, the setting I used on my Janome MemoryCraft 9450 is a stitch width of 3.5 and a length of 1.7



Once sewn, turn the leg opening in towards the wrong side, enclosing the elastic. Now topstitch with the same zig zag stitch, slightly pulling as you sew.



And for the last step, the one you might not find in your pattern instructions is to STEAM. Steam all of your top stitches to flatten out any wrinkles that might have developed from the stretching of the elastic.



Once complete, you should have a custom fitted bathing suit that no one would believe came out of your sewing room and not from the rack.


Everyone is Talking about Tips for Sewing With Elastic for Swimwear

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Around the Table Dresden Placemats
Saturday, December 17, 2016

I like the concept, but the directions are "sloppy." Nowhere in the supply list does it mention the felt or the batting (how much?). Also, I would never use a high loft batting in a placemat, or a table runner, as I think that it would be too unstable for a glass. The next time I make these, I will cut out the batting (I use flannel) and spray baste it to the wrong side of the Dresden plate before I put the Dresden plate on the felt to cut out. I have not yet washed the finished placemat, and am hoping that the single layer of felt does not curl up, or become distorted after washing/drying.
Fun Great Gift!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teatime Quilted Tablecloth
Friday, February 24, 2017

I made this today but your cutting directions need to be changed. You only need 4 of color 1 and color 3 4.5 squares for the triangles. Also the inner border, you only need 2 cuts as WOF is long enough to cut each in half to fit the sides.
Great Machine
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've had this machine for only a week now. I bought it used from a lady who makes her own clothes, but she no longer needed the machine. During the purchase, she noted that she is almost sad that it's better to give it away because of how well the machine performed. (I also bought it along side a computerized machine of another brand.} She demoed the machine for us, showing it worked and gave us everything (including the box it came in!) She took amazing care of this machine. I have used it a few times now, and the directions for threading were easy to follow (albeit my hands are quite large so the lower looper was a pain, but that is no fault to the machine or brand.) And I recommend this machine to anyone who wants to learn to serge and wants a machine that can grow with them. I will happily use this machine time and time again.
S9 Review
Sunday, February 25, 2018

I love, love, love my S9! It's sews and embroiders beautifully and it's simplicity of use amazes me. I would recommend this machine for both a beginner and an experienced seamstress. If I would ask anything of Janome it would be to upgrade the programming to run a larger hoop size. I understand that it can't get much wider but there is most definitely room for it to go longer. That is the only limitation of this machine.
Monday, February 26, 2018

I purchased a Memorycraft 15000 a few years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made! This machine can do just about anything you would would ever want! I love the capability of using the Acuedit app to set up my embroidery pattern on my Ipad and then download it to the machine! I love how my embroidery looks upon completion and I love all the good lighting it has to light up your workspace. That way you don’t need to worry about where to set up your machine. It also has plenty of room to do machine embroidery on any size quilts! There are many decorative stitches from which to choose that are outstanding! It’s hard to choose which one to use! There are so many great features it is hard to decide what I love the most. If you want to buy only one machine to last a lifetime, I would recommend this one!
S9 Review
Sunday, February 24, 2019

The S9 is amazing. I learned to sew by hand when I was just 5 and in my grandmothers way as she was quilting. I took seeing classes in high school until they would no longer let me sign up. The S9 makes me appreciate my current skills as well as motivate me to want to learn more. This machine is awesome.
Horizon Memory Craft 15000
Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 is fantastic! I love, love, love this machine! When I came across the Eye for and Eye embroidery design today, I wanted to make it. However, the embroidery file is missing. Nothing downloads when I select the download button. Please help!
Treat Bag fun!
Monday, August 16, 2021

I made the Halloween treat bag for my new granddaughter and I’m sure it will last for years. No embroidery machine so I appliquéd the lettering. Need a little more skirt fabric for a better gathered look, and I used thin double-bias tape for the skirt hem, over edge stitch on skirt sides. I’m pleased with my results!
Very helpful tutorial
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I want to say thank you for teaching me this method of applique. I was able to do it with a small letters. This method is the best so far from all of those I've seen and tried.

The TWO Closest Dealers to you are:
223 Main st , WOBURN MA, 01801
Find Additional Dealers