Get yourself ready for your beach holiday and make your own swimsuit, tankini or bikini on this new sewing course in Brighton.
Choose and supply your own sewing pattern, fabric and trims and we will take you through the construction process step by step including selecting the right size, cutting out, sewing with swimwear fabrics and applying elastic.
Do note this is not an overlocker/ cover stitch machine course and all sewing will be done on a regular sewing machine.
This is for experienced/intermediate sewists who are confident in using a sewing machine, have made multiple garments and can follow a commercial pattern.

Scroll down for further course details or for more information on our other sewing and fashion courses in Brighton, head to our courses page via the main menu.

DURATION: 5 weeks
DAY: Tuesday
TIME: 6-8.30pm
Summer: 4th June -2nd July
WHERE: Brighton Junction
COURSE FEE: £80 / £50 / £15

Please note that concessions are not available online.
Please see further information on fees and concessions online or in our brochure.


This course aims to:
Teach you the techniques and skills you need to sew your own swimwear using swimwear fabrics (polyester / nylon /lycra, swimwear lining) and various types of elastic.

Who this course is for?
This is for experienced/intermediate sewists who are confident in using a sewing machine, have made multiple garments and can follow a commercial pattern.

What will I be able to do by the end of this course?
• Measure accurately and select the right size of pattern
• Recognise the types of fabrics and haberdashery required for making swimwear
• Work with stretch fabrics
• Understand how to calculate % stretch
• Apply elastics
• Choose appropriate type and size of machine needle for the fabric you are using
• Choose the appropriate stitches for seams and elastic
• Identify and make any fit changes to your pattern
• Make swimwear!

Those who work more quickly may have time to make a beach cover up in the final session of the course. Further details on this will be discussed in class.

What materials will I need for the course?

To give as much variety as possible you will supply your own pattern, fabric and haberdashery for your swimwear.

Type of fabric:
Read your pattern to find out which fabric they recommend for your chosen style. It is important you follow their recommendations to help ensure your final garment fits as well as possible.

For the majority it will be a stretch knit, either a 4-way stretch fabric (e.g. spandex) or 2-way stretch; just ensure it is labelled as ‘swimwear fabric’. This will mean the fabric will be suitable to exposure to water, chlorine, salt and sun.

The ideal fabric will have at least 50% stretch and be a blend of nylon (80-90%) and lycra (10-20%). Polyester / nylon blends area also suitable but not always the best for longevity.

Swimwear lining is also recommended. This can be the same fabric as your main fabric or a mesh / heavier weight lining, depending on your preference or support needs.

Test the stretch and recovery – you want something that will stretch but return to its original shape.

You’ll also need some elastic for finishing the leg, neck and armholes. Polyester elastics can deteriorate so cotton swimwear elastic or clear swimwear elastic is more suitable. You will probably need 6mm (1/4”) or 10mm (3/8”) elastics – check your pattern for the required width.

There may be further haberdashery that you need to purchase such as thread, foam cups, clip clasp – please check your pattern and make sure you have everything you need.

Types of Pattern:

There is a huge range of patterns out there and these are some that we found available as PDFs to download and print yourself or paper patterns to purchase:

Be sure to check and purchase the correct size!! – swimwear has negative ease – the finished garment measurements will be smaller than your actual body measurements.

Simplicity 1374

choose from any of the main brand patterns:

Simplicity 1374

or from the independent brands:

Sirena Patterns have a selection:

Cashmerette – Ipswich bikini / swimsuit

Friday Pattern Company – Vernazza two piece

Named – Beverly Bikini

Seamwork patterns – Reno and Dakota bikini patterns:

Closet Case Patterns:
Sophie swimsuit / bikini

Sophie Swimsuit Pattern – PDF Download

Bombshell swimsuit / bikini

Tools and Equipment:
If you have the following tools & equipment please bring them with you: (you can borrow these from the centre if you would prefer)
• Tape measure
• Paper scissors
• Fabric scissors
• Small snips / embroidery scissors
• Pins (for stretch fabric if possible)
• Ball point / stretch sewing machine needles
• Hand sewing needles
• Chalk or fabric marker
• Sewing machine (you may wish to use your own to familiarise yourself with the stitches used in swimwear making) We have a range of Bernina and Janome machines to use at the centre)
• Notepad, pencil, pen

Is there any extra study outside the class?
You may wish to continue construction of your swimwear at home between sessions.

Who is the course tutor?
Jo Bunner spent 10 years as Fashion Designer/Pattern Cutter, specialising in ladies tailoring and outerwear: coats, suits and jackets following her graduation from the London College of Fashion. She is now a qualified Personal Image Consultant as well as teaching sewing and pattern cutting skills at local sewing schools. She has found that in helping others understand their own body characteristics it greatly enhances their sewing satisfaction.

What next?
Further pattern cutting or dressmaking courses – at Friends Centre
Bra Making Weekender
Lingerie – Making Knickers and Bralettes
Pattern Cutting– Wednesdays 6-8.30pm
Dressmaking for Beginners and Improvers – Fridays 10am-12.30pm OR 1-3.30pm
Dressmaking for Beginners and Improvers – Thursdays 6.30-9pm
City & Guilds Certificate in Fashion & Dressmaking Level 1 or 2

Tuesday 4 June 2019 - Tuesday 2 July 2019
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Sessions: 5

Full price: £80
Concession rate (if available): £50
Please note that concessions are not available online.
Click here for information on fees and concessions.

Brighton Junction


Book online or more information: Click here for more information or to book online (if available)

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