DIY (upcycled) High-Waisted Bikini Bottoms

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High-waisted bikini bottoms are very much having a moment this summer. Apart from the obvious style bonus, they also cover up more if you have insecurities about wearing a bikini. I couldn’t find any quite high-waisted enough that I really liked so I decided to DIY a pair for myself. I made these bottoms out of a high-waisted tube/bodycon skirt that I picked up in a thrift shop for €1 so apart from being totally unique, they are very purse friendly. If you don’t have a skirt to work from you can easily use these patterns with some suitable fabric of your choice (just trace up a pair of bottoms you already own, and that fit you, and just add a few inches to the waist to make it high-rise).

Let’s go!!

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Trace around the skirt onto the paper to get a guide for the hips and waist of the bottoms. Measure on your skirt where you want your bottoms to stop and mark this on your paper. I wanted mine to be a little bit high rise so I marked up about 2cm from where they might normally sit.

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Draw the curve of your bottoms to meet the crotch. The easiest way to do this is to trace around a pair of bikini bottoms you already have or some underwear. Add on 1cm for a seam allowance.

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Fold the pattern in half before you cut it out so that it is perfectly symmetrical.

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It should look something like this. Now let’s make the back pattern!

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Trace around the front pattern, mainly around the waist, hips and sides. The curve of the back will be wider so it covers your bottom a bit better! And it will probably also be a bit longer in the back, but don’t worry too much about this now, because we will be adding in an extra piece later on. Again, I traced around some underwear I had for shape, but I curved it slightly more because I want a slight Brazilian shape to these bottoms to make my booty look more like a booty 😛 Fold the pattern in half again before you cut, and don’t forget the 1cm seam allowance.

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This is what the back will look like.

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And here is the front and back together. they’re very similar, but the back is just that bit wider, for coverage. I made the front of mine kind of wide too but you can make it a bit narrower if you like.

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So next I traced the patterns onto the skirt with a marker. Don’t worry about what kind of marker it is or if it will be seen because it won’t once we turn in the edges.

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Fold the skirt side seam to side seam like the photo above to cut. It makes it a bit easier. You can pin it if it’s perfectly in half and cut through both layers at once, or take it one at a time to be really precise.

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And this is what you’ll be left with. You can easily make sue it’s even this way, and trim off any excess if it’s not.

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This is what the bottoms look like now, before we sew anything. I would advise now that you try them on, and see if the bottom will overlap comfortable by 2cm (seam allowance).

Sew the bottom seam together to finish off the bottoms. Use a straight stitch on your machine but be sure to stretch the fabric a little as it goes through the machine.


The final step is just to turn in the edges of the fabric to neaten the bottoms. My fabric had two layers so i trimmed back the inner fabric (the black one here) a little bit so the top fabric folded over more neatly. I use a straight stitch again all around the two legs holes to finish it off.

I finally got to wear my bikini bottoms when I visited Scarborough last weekend so here are a few pictures we took at the beach. It was such a beautiful day but i was the only person in a bikini.. The things we do for blog photos.. I hope you guys enjoyed this little DIY and if you give it a go yourself be sure to let me know or tag me on Instagram @gemma_dreamlovestyle xx

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Scarborough Beach

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