Featured: Bow-tie Bikini by Laura Urbinati

If you’re intent is on looking your best at the pool this summer, you might take matters into your own hands and make a swimsuit that will turn heads no matter where you happen to be swimming or lounging. This bikini design* from Milan-based Laura Urbinati is fresh, young at heart and very chic. Decide whether you want to use two-way or four-way stretch fabric, which will impact the durability of your swimsuit. Four-way stretch (Lycra® Spandex) will be more elastic for running, jumping and playing in the water, while two-way stretch (cotton/spandex tricot) has a tendency to run if the wearer participates in lots of activity so it is better for sun-bathing.

You will need:

  • about 60 cm [2/3 yd.] of stretch fabric
  • about 30 cm [1/3 yd.] of “nude” tricot lining
  • 2.5 m [2 ¾ yds.] of thin swimwear elastic (0 .5 cm [1/4″] width)
  • 1 bra hook closure set
  • Coordinating nylon thread



Cut bra cup 2X self

Cut bra cup lining 2X

Cut side back strap 2X self

Cut bikini back 1X self

Cut bikini front 1X self

Cut bikini internal flap (lining) 1X

Cut bow ties 6X self

Cut shoulder straps 2X self


To make the bra and bikini:

  1. Cut swimwear fabric (self) along the solid lines  (note: cutting is done so that 1 cm. turns are included along the edges that are then folded to contain the swimwear elastic within the finishing). Cut the bikini internal flap and the bra cups in a “nude” tricot lining.
  2. Stitch the dart seam that is marked on bra cup pattern to create the shape of the cups, sewing together the cups on the center front (CF) and line the bra. Sandwich the back straps on left and right at the side seams between the self fabric and the lining.
  3. Then topstitch the entire perimeter and finish with the elastic turned and zig-zag elastic finish on the backstraps.
  4. Create the shoulder straps by cutting two strips of fabric as pattern to be folded upon themselves to obtain the finished width of 1 cm; then sewn for their length and attached to bra (see pattern, red dots).
  5. Cut 6 bow tie shapes. Layer in pairs and sew with RST, then turned right side out, tie the bows in 3 knots to be applied on bikini at the sides and the bra in the middle (CF).
  6. Insert a closure hook closing at both ends of the back straps.
  7. Line the bikini front by joining the crotch seam to the back and reverse-layer with the internal flap (at crotch seam) and baste along the sides to the self fabric.
  8. Join the sideseams and outline the waist and leg openings with elastic. Finally, turn the edges and zig-zag elastic finish.

* Italian size 42 (this is size 36 European or 6 US)