Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction

We hope you are doing well with the Soma Swimsuit Sew Along. We are moving into the construction part of it and how to make your suit look like RTW. Once you make one suit you’ll most likely never go back to buying a swimsuit. You’ll love the fit so much. So, let’s have Rhonda take it away.

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction

Have you ever gone into a store to buy a swimsuit, looked at the price tag and wondered why such a teeny tiny little garment costs so much? For most of us, swimsuit shopping is an all around horror. Finding a suit that actually looks great on our body is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And then once you find one that looks at least decent, with the support that we would like to have, and is made with relatively good fabric, we walk away shaking our heads at how much we had to spend.

The Soma Swimsuit from Papercut Patterns is designed with a woman’s shape in mind. The leg opening is cut so that it accents the the most attractive area between the leg and hip. If you decide to go with the 1-piece version, the surplice design of the bodice is lovely on every body type. Just think about the success of the Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress! So all in all, if you are tired of trying on suit after suit at the store with miserable results, by all means, give the Soma Suit a try.

You’ll find that if you’ve never made a suit before, they are really quite easy to make and go together very quickly.

Let’s begin with the bottom of the suit. This will be the fastest lining job you’ve ever done as it’s all done in 1 step.

Begin by laying the front and back bottom pieces right sides together.

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction

Then take the front and back lining and place them with right sides together. Now lay the 2 lining pieces over the wrong side of the back bottom piece. So, on 1 side you will have the 2 main fabric pieces laying with right sides together, and on the other side, the 2 lining pieces will be laying with right sides together.

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction

Stitch all 4 pieces together along the side seams and the crotch seam with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction

Once sewn, trim the seams down to 1/4″ to 1/8”.

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction

Now flip the lining pieces to the right side and the bottom portion of the suit will be sewn and lined all in 1 easy step. Incredible! At this point, we will lay the bottom of the suit aside.

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction


There are 2 important notches on the bodice of the suit which you see me pointing to below. In order to properly align the top to the bottom of the suit, you must be sure and mark both notches.

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction


Instructions for adding cups to the suit are not included in the pattern instructions, but it is quite easy to do. Most of us enjoy a little extra support, so it’s a step that in the end is well worth the effort.


You can purchase cups at your local fabric store. But there is another possibility…use the cups of an old bra! Quite often the elastic is gone in the bra, but the cups are in great shape. So why not use them? Just cup the cup away and you’ll be set to go.


To sew the cups into the suit, you will need to first sew the lining to the fashion fabric of your suit bodice pieces at the shoulder. Once the lining and fashion fabrics are attached, hold the bodice up to your chest and mark where you would like for the cup to be placed. It’s best if you are wearing a bra for this step.


Once you have determined where the cup should be place, pin the cup to the inside of the lining as you see below. Be sure to keep the roundness of the cup. So in other words, do not flatten out the cup as you pin it to the lining.


Once pinned in place, simply zigzag around the cup.

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction


The cup has been zigzagged to the wrong side of the fabric. On the right side, you can see that the lining fabric is laying flat.


Take your scissors and snip into the center of the lining fabric that is inside the zigzag stitching and cut around the cup close to the edge of the stitching.

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction


Once the lining is cut away, the cup is revealed.


 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction


In our final post, we will sew the top of the suit to the bottom of the suit and add the elastic.


If you are making the 1-piece suit, elastic will be added to the leg openings and the waistline.

Foldover elastic will be attached to the top of the suit and will also be used for the straps. So as you see, a suit really does go together very quickly.

There is a little trick to sewing the elastic to the leg opening to ensure a smooth fit, so be sure to check out the next post for that information.


Hope you are enjoying your journey through making a suit. I can’t wait until mine is finished!


Until next time…

Sew On!

Rhonda Buss

 Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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One Response to Soma Swimsuit Sew Along Week 3: Construction

  1. Susan says:

    Being a pear shape, my measurements are always under three different sizes,…always!