Laurie's Sandpiper Swimsuit from Helen's Closet

HelenGuest Bloggers, Sandpiper Swimsuit8 Comments

Laurie’s Sandpiper Swimsuit

It is always a treat when we get to welcome Laurie back to the blog to share one of her makes! Laurie is my mother-in-law and she has taken up sewing in the past year with great success. I love watching people discover the wonderful world of making your own clothes! It’s been so amazing to see her growth and determination to tackle new projects.

Laurie's beginner Sandpiper swimsuit!

This week I want to share Laurie’s Sandpiper Swimsuit with you! I think her experience sewing and perfecting the fit of Sandpiper is really relatable. She is a beginner when it comes to sewing swimwear but she was totally able to do it! She even said that she enjoyed sewing the elastic and that overall, she found sewing swimwear to be pretty easy and fun! 

You can grab the Sandpiper Swimsuit for 20% off this week during our anniversary sale! Sale ends midnight PST August 23rd, 2021. 

Laurie's beginner Sandpiper swimsuit!

Laurie’s Measurements are as follows: 

High Bust: 40” (101.5 cm)
Full Bust: 45” (114 cm)
Underbust: 38” (96.5 cm)
Waist: 38” (96.5 cm)
Hip: 44“ (112 cm)
Height: 5’7” (170 cm)

Laurie’s measurements put her in many sizes for both top and bottom. She made a muslin to check the fit using some scrap swimsuit fabric I had on hand. We have a whole page about making a muslin and assessing the fit in the Sandpiper instruction booklet. 

Laurie's beginner Sandpiper swimsuit!

Laurie sewed the top in a size 18 for her muslin and the bottoms in a size 18 at the waist and 16 at the hip. 

After sewing her muslin she decided to make the following changes: 


Laurie graded between sizes 18 at the underarm, 20 at the full bust, and 16 at the underbust. She cut a size 16 for the band on the top and used the wider band from view B.

Grading the Sandpiper Swimsuit Top

She then added 1” (2.5 cm) to the Sandpiper top at the bust lengthen/shorten line to get more length in the top at her chest.

Lengthening the Sandpiper Swimsuit

She also added ½” (1.25 cm) to the center front of the suit and blended it back to the side seam. This helped her get a bit more coverage for her bust.

Lengthening the Sandpiper Swimsuit Top Center Front
Laurie's beginner swimsuit project, the Sandpiper Swimsuit!


Laurie ended up sewing a size 14 in the bottoms. Because her waist size (20) is larger than her hip size (16), she often has trouble with high-waisted knit garments staying up. This is especially true for undies, leggings, and swimwear. After sewing an initial size 18/16 in the bottoms, she decided to size down to a 14 overall for a tighter fit. This helps the bottoms to stay up but she did note that it is causing the waistband to curl a bit on her. She said it is not uncomfortable, but worth noting! She also made the band wider on the bottoms to match the top. 

Laurie's beginner swimsuit project, the Sandpiper Swimsuit!
Laurie's beginner swimsuit project, the Sandpiper Swimsuit!

Other folks with a larger waist than hip size may also find that sewing a straight size based on their hip (or even sizing down) is the ticket to getting bottoms that will stay put. 

Laurie chose this amazing swim print called ‘Twister’ from Discovery Fabrics for her swimsuit. Isn’t it just so fun!? I love how bright and playful it is, and it totally suits her personality (pun intended). 

Laurie's beginner swimsuit project, the Sandpiper Swimsuit!
Laurie's beginner swimsuit project, the Sandpiper Swimsuit!

Laurie is totally smitten with her Sandpiper Swimsuit and she is looking forward to making more! She says the top is SO comfortable now that she has adjusted it for her body and she could see making bras and tops using this pattern. It was worth the effort to get the fit right and finally have a swimsuit that she feels comfortable in! In her experience, swimsuits often have a breast-forward design that can make swimming and playing on the beach near impossible. Either that or they are boring and make her feel old. Now, she feels secure, cute, and SO ready for all the water activities! Thanks for sharing, Laurie!

A beginner swimsuit project from Laurie, the Sandpiper Swimsuit!

You can grab the Sandpiper Swimsuit for 20% off this week during our anniversary sale! Sale ends midnight PST August 23rd, 2021. 

Sandpiper Swimsuit Sewing Pattern
About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

8 Comments on “Laurie’s Sandpiper Swimsuit”

      1. Laurie’s measurements are very similar to mine, with a bigger waist size than bust and hips so that is *so* useful to read this!! I’m 5’6″ but everything else almost the same! I’m wanting to make an easy no fuss 2 piece swimsuit for travelling so this looks just the ticket 🙂

  1. Hi – I’d love to try to make a bathing suit and the high waisted bottom are perfect for me. However unless there’s a trick that I don’t know about, how do you get out of a racer back when you’re/it’s wet? This is a serious question! Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks

  2. Laurie is adorable and the suit is fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m a super beginner so really not sure I can tackle swimwear yet. Still finding regular knit fabric a challenge….but maybe someday….

  3. Thank you for sharing Laurie’s adjustments and the adorable finished project. I have nearly the exact same measurements, so it’s super helpful for me to have this as a good starting point instead of having to start from scratch.

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