I am really excited to share this make with you today, it’s the Seamwork Dakota Bikini bottoms and Reno bikini top. These two patterns were actually the reason I signed up for Seamwork Magazine in the first place. I love the cut of both patterns and could see myself making many versions to mix and match. I didn’t get around to making them last summer, so this recent trip to Mexico was the perfect opportunity to make these up! Special thanks again to Laurie Best for taking these beautiful photos in some seriously windy conditions, you rock!
If you are unsure about the look of high waisted bikini bottoms, let me try to convince you. These bottoms are beautifully retro and far from dumpy. Combined with the cut of this top, the overall suit is really very flattering and super comfortable. I like the coverage of the high waist and I totally feel like a pin-up girl playing on the beach. If you are adamant against the high-waisted trend, I think this pattern could easily be modified to any height, the shape around the bum is aces.
I made version 2 of the bottoms, without the front paneling. If I were using a solid fabric I think the panels in version 1 would be a nice touch, but with this crazy geometric print I was pretty sure they would get completely lost. The nice thing about version 2 is it sews up really fast. Just attach the lining to the suit fabric and then put the whole thing together with two side seams and some elastic, easy breezy. As usual, I sewed this using a zig-zag stitch, no serger required! When doing tight garments like swimsuits with the zig-zag, I often go over each seam twice. This gives me some piece of mind that the seam won’t burst mid-swim!
The Reno Bikini top is slightly more complex but is still a relatively easy sew. Don’t be intimidated by all the tiny pieces and the boning channels, the instructions provided with the pattern are clear and easy to follow. The boning does help the suit maintain it’s shape but I think you could skip it and be OK. Seamwork advertises this top as a three hour sew and that was accurate for me. I also added some thin foam cups for extra coverage. I have shared a step by step sew-along guide to this bikini top with the foam cup insertion included, check that out if you are interested!
I love the fit of the Reno top, it works well for my bust size (36-C), and I like the shape around the neck and around the back. I especially appreciate the way the sides sit on my figure, they perfectly cover my back ‘bat wings’ (terrible name, but it is the fold that can happen where your back meets your waist) and I am sensitive about that area. The boning helps keep the shape around the sides and it was cool to put some in, I had never done that before!
Now, how about this print?! The colors and stained-glass geometric shapes are really cool, it was fun deciding where to place the pattern pieces. My main objective was to avoid a big orange diamond right on my nipples or center of my butt, lol, mission accomplished.
If you are not familiar with Seamwork Magazine, it is a great monthly sewing magazine that is free to all! It features a variety of articles related to sewing, fashion, and creative pursuits. In addition to the monthly content, there are two patterns released with each edition, and those are available to paid subscribers for a reasonable price of $6/month. In fact, you get two pattern credits each month to use on the new pattern releases or any patterns released in previous issues. You can see a full inventory of their patterns here.
Have you considered making the Dakota or Reno? Check out the full sew-along to see how the Reno bikini top comes together.