Friday 29 August 2014

How To: Minimale Animale-Inspired Mesh Bikini Top

Who doesn't love Minimale Animale and their 90's inspired swimwear, put your hand down and leave this site immediately. The rest, head over to the fabric store for the following:

Mesh and regular swimsuit fabric (four-way stretch), ridiculously small quantity  |  Elastic for the straps (you could use just a regular firm elastic - If you're blessed with some feminine curves too much elasticity will result in next to no support), I used ready-made bra straps, awesome for adjusting quickly  |  Elastic for the edges (about 1.5cm in width)  |  Padding x 2 (with as much push as you want, I used very basic flat ones)  |  Thread & sewing machine

I. Mark a triangle shape on the padding. Cut out.
II. Use cut triangles to trace the shape on the swimsuit fabric. Do one triangle and flip, repeat, resulting in a diamond shape. Cut out with a 1cm allowance. There should be enough space in the middle to fit the strap (2cm at the narrow spot is good).
III. Cut smaller triangles out of the mesh fabric, and you should end up with the following. Make sure you cut the mesh triangles long enough to make the tunnel for the strap (about 2 cm).
IV. Fold the allowance you left around the 'diamonds' and iron flat (you can iron swimsuit fabric no problem as long as you do it through some cotton, like a dishcloth).
V. Cut 4 pieces from the 1.5cm wide elastic at the length of the mesh triangles. Fold the pieces trapping the mesh in between, pin in place.
VI. Sew a straight stitch right next to the edge. Repeat for all 4 pieces.
VII. Totally forgot to take a photo of this, but make an approx. 1cm fold at bottom of the triangle, and sew a straight stitch along the edge - this will be the tunnel where the strap goes through. See image below of the end-result. Place the mesh triangles on the diamond-shaped pieces symmetrically, wrong edge of the fold you made at the bottom facing down, and sew a straight stitch from the peak of the triangle to the bottom. Make sure you stop sewing at the stitch of the 'tunnel' so your strap actually goes through.
VIII. Attach the strap at the top of the triangle with a solid straight stitch, going back and forth a couple times. Repeat for other strap.
IX. Place the padding triangles in the middle and fold the diamond-shaped parts over them, making the tips meet at the top and leaving the padding in between.
X. Once folded, sew a straight stitch about 1cm from the bottom fold on the swimsuit fabric, completing the tunnel for the strap to live in. Repeat for the other triangle. Attach a safety pin to the strap (chopstick also works with the strap taped to it) and guide it through both triangles.
XI. This step is optional - if you want to make a basic halter-type bikini, all you need is two straps that attach at the tips of the triangles and one that goes through the folds at the bottoms of the triangles, (measure from an existing bikini). You won't need to worry about any clips or other closure mechanisms. I wanted to do an X-back, so I created a loop at the end of the strap that just went through the triangle pieces, sewing a straight stitch at the end of the strap as shown below. See last image for what this looks like when worn - the final step is to add clips of some kind to the ends of the straps attached to the tips of the triangles in the front (or if you have adjustable straps like me, you can just sew the ends together). Then just criss-cross at the back, slip through the loops, and attach together.
XII. Hand-stitch the triangles together through the mesh. Use an as small as possible stitch to make this as unnoticeable as possible.
Order a pina colada.



  1. I love your tutorials and your minimal style, feels nice to have something so clear and so neat!

  2. Thank you Ariane!! Lovely compliment:) I'm happy you enjoy!


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