Thursday, December 13, 2012

SAAS (Sewing at Any Size) Fatkini Season Bandeau Top

You can find many more simple sewing projects by clicking the sewing link at the side of my blog.  

 It's almost here...the frantic messages screaming from televisions and newstands about post-holiday "beach bodies." These next three months or so always strike me as the most actively body-shaming time of the year in our culture. So in response, I say celebrate your beach body! It is your body, as it is, right now. Because people of any size, shape, color, etc. deserve to get out in the sun and sand, or down by the pool, and bare some skin!

To that end, this is the second in my series on Fatkinis. This is a super-simple bandeau-style bikini top.  You can find instructions for a halter-style string top here. 

First, the measurements.

Measurement A is just above the breast. A good way to find this point is to look where your cleavage starts. Measure around the chest, under the armpits.

Measurement B is from under the breast, over the nipple, to above the breast where you measured for A.

You will need stretchy fabric, but if you have larger breasts you may want to look for something more supportive than standard swimsuit fabric. You can even recycle an old tee shirt, sweat shirt or yoga pants for this. If you use a thin, light-color fabric, get it wet and drape it over your hand in bright light. This will tell you how see-through it will be at the beach. You may have to sandwich several layers of lighter fabric to keep from flashing nips to the world.

Cut a long rectangle of fabric that is Measurement B plus 1" wide, and Measurement A long.

You will also need 2 lengths of string or ribbon approximately 12" long and 4 lengths 6" long. These can be a different material or you can make it from the same material by folding over a 1/2" wide strip, stitching on the long edge, and turn it inside out. Stitch or knot the ends.

Fold all four edges of the long rectangle over 1/4" and press or baste. Fold the edges over again 1/4" to hide the raw edge and use a stretch or zig-zag stitch to hem.

Fold the two short edges over 1" and stitch with a stretch stitch at the hemmed ends, creating a tube of fabric at each end.

Thread one of the 12" strings through each tube.

Tie a 6" string around the center of the top. This will go between your breasts. This is optional, if you want a solid tube-top style instead of a sweetheart top, you can leave this off. 

If you need additional support for the top, you can use a much longer string, knot it tight at the center as below, and then tie the ends behind your neck as a halter.

Tie the top on behind your back. On each side, mark the spot directly under your armpit. Take the top back off again, and knot one of the remaining two 6" strings at each armpit mark. 

Put the top on again and adjust the ties as needed. When they are in a good spot, make sure you tie them in a solid square knot. If they're in danger of coming undone or shifting, put a few stitches in to hold them in place. You can cut off dangling ends if needed at this point, and use stitches or glue to prevent fraying.

You now have a complete bandeau bikini top, so rock it whenever you please!

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