Swimsuit upcycle.

Since last summer, I finally found a job, I lost 15 pounds (and counting), and have just been happier in general (thanks to my ex employer for laying me off, you did me a huge favor for my mental health….. cue Italian victory salute… Okay.. Enough… Happy thoughts)

So back to my bathing suit redo…. I bought a tankini about two years ago, on clearance of course. I liked it because the top was longer than most tankinis and not too clingy. Nice to hide my tummy fluff.


So, after many miles of hustling along the shore of eastern nc at 530 in the morning, I feel a little more confident in a two piece.


I also have a good handful of weddings to attend, so I really wanted to fashion a bandeau top from the thick strapped halter tankini, to avoid weird tan lines.

What I had….
Thread and needle
Sewing machine
A strapless underwire bra a size too large
Lots of coffee and good music.
An old sheer scarf that had some pulls.

What I did.

1. I took a seam ripper and removed the loops for the optional straps of the strapless bra. And cut away the tummy section of the tankini. I tried to keep the top, but it looked and felt too large… Not good for playing in the waves.



2. I held up the bra and pinned some darts close to the underwire (when the suit gets wet, I didn’t want any weird lumps to appear in weird places) to make a better fit.

3. From here on out, I kinda just draped and pinned and worked with the material till it laid how I wanted.

4. I sewed the material to the top of the bra, starting from the center and working to each side of the bra that fits under the arm pit.


5. I worked with material a little more, and pinned along the under wire on the inside of the bra.

6. I gathered the fabric in the middle to give the top a sweetheart shape and sewed down the middle.


7. I hand stitched the fabric on the inside of the bra, and I made sure not to stitch through the other side, I didn’t want to see the thread on the front side of the suit.

8. I cut the straps off the halter, matched up the width to the part of the bra under the arm pits and sewed to the suit and bra.

9. I worked with the straps to hide the back of the bra, and sewed some more. I left the clasps un covered, but left enough halter strap to wrap around, knot and hide the clasps. It’s a little bulky, but I really wanted the support and stability.

I might revisit the clasps if I end up loosing more weight.

10. Finally, I wrapped a piece of my sheer orange scarf around the center, made a small knot, and hand stitched in place. I really wanted a small bit of orange to trim the waist of the bottoms, but I didn’t want the fuss.


The salt water would probably eat it up anyway.

11. Hit the beach.


The suit held up great! In more ways than one. I went swimming, the ocean was rougher than what I like to swim in, but I had to test the support. I give it an A+ , for being a strapless top. It was tailored and I felt confident and crafty.

I really wanted to make a matching head band, but my skull has a weird shape and they always slip off.

Don’t be scared it was pretty easy. Give it a whirl and save yourself some cash! This is my new favorite suit. Labor of love, for sure. I wish I did this before I bought my new suit from a local boutique, even though I do love that boutique (Fran’s Beachwear in Emerald Isle) and supporting local businesses makes me feel happy.


So, if you mess this up, skip the department store, and help the locals.

What do you think?

Much love to my fellow beach babes.. Thanks for reading…


About bethanyd28594

Interior designer, crafter, bargain hunter, cooker, baker, veggie lover, visual merchandiser, furniture upcycler, beach goer, laugher, nature lover, Ben Franklin fan, love lover.
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3 Responses to Swimsuit upcycle.

  1. Pingback: Coming To A Close | The Road to the Future

  2. Such great alteration work! Love the before AND after suit 🙂 Best, Trèsors De Luxe!

  3. Thank you for the sweet words! More alterations to come soon. I’m ripping apart my closet to see what else I can revamp!

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