Swim SewAlong Day 4: Elastic and Strap Binding & 5 out of 4 Patterns X Factor Review

Hello friends! I’m back with Day 4 of the Swim SewAlong!

Every day this week, I will be walking you through the construction of the Greenstyle Cami Tank and the Jalie Gigi Swim Bottoms, through video tutorials, blog posts and support in the Fabric Fairy Facebook Group. You can use any patterns you’d like, but those are the two I’ve chosen to demonstrate through video, because they include alot of techniques common to many swim patterns.

I also have some prizes to offer at the end! What’s not to love?

If you need fabric and supplies, you can get 10% off through 3/27/22 with the code “MarchSAL” at the Fabric Fairy.

Sew-Along Schedule

Day 1: Prep and General Information on Sewing Swim (with bonus master swim pattern list, and Jalie Victor shorts review)

  • YouTube Video link HERE

Day 2: Assemble Pattern and Cut Fabric, bonus Edgewater Tegan Pattern Review

  • YouTube Video link HERE

Day 3: Sew Main and Lining, Sewing Binding, bonus Greenstyle Moxi Shorts Stack!

Day 4: Inserting Swim Elastic (YOU ARE HERE)

Day 5: Hemming/Topstitching

Adding Elastic and Sewing Strap Binding

Today, we will be adding our elastic into our Cami Tank shelf bra, Gigi bottoms (legs and waistband) and sewing our strap binding pieces on the Greenstyle Cami Tank.

I’ll be using rubber swim elastic for this part of the project (see my Day 1 video for an explanation of why I prefer the rubber elastic), but I also recommend the Fabric Fairy’s woven elastic for projects that call for a wider width than the shop carries for the rubber type of elastic.

A couple quick tips:

  • “Excercise” your elastic before cutting it or inserting it into your project. This helps it go in evenly, and keep its shape over time
  • Quarter openings when there is an even amount of stretch to be applied over the whole area, like in a waistband. For leg openings, or other areas where an uneven amount of stretch is reccomended, keep tension in the elastic around areas you want to “hug” your body (like your bum!), and less in areas that need to lay flat (like the front crotch of your bottoms)
  • Consider adding elastic into your project if you are converting a standard pattern into a swim one.
  • If you are applying elastic into a waistband that has a main and lining piece, as I do in the second pair of Jalie Gigi bottoms, apply the elastic on the side of the main fabric, not the lining, so it rolls to the inside
  • I turn my differential feed all the way down to 1 when applying elastic into my cami straps, so it doesn’t gather as I sew.

I hope these tips are helpful!

After today, all we have left is hemming and topstitching! You’re all doing great, and I’m really enjoying engaging with ya’ll in the sewing community we’ve built together! Keep sharing your progress, and if you’re feeling adventurous, consider cutting out a second project!

Note: There is still some light flickering in this video. My apologies!

5 out of 4 X Factor Swim Top

In preparation for the SewAlong another pattern I constructed was the 5 out of 4 X Factor Crop. This is meant to be a sports bra or a dress, but I hacked it to be a swim pattern simply by changing the type of fabric I used!

It’s a great pattern- one of those little numbers that looks complicated, but is actually pretty easy to construct once you’ve built confidence in your binding skills. The same methods I demonstrated in yesterday’s video for the Cami Tank can be applied here, where you can create a single fold knit binding. Adding swim elastic in is optional, and since I was out at the time, I didn’t bother. Given the width of the straps, I haven’t found the lack of elastic to be an issue, as the fabric and lining both provide the stretch needed to get the top over my body without breaking any stitches.

I really love the sporty style of this make, and decided to highlight it with some bold color blocking. I used Olive Green Kira Swim for the binding, Lemonade Yellow for the upper back, and Cobalt Blue for the front. I made two matching pairs of Gigi bottoms, one in the Cobalt blue and one in the Olive Green, for a mini swim capsule. Since I was in the process of filming this SewAlong with the cobalt bottoms, they aren’t pictured, but they coordinate perfectly! The front of the top is lined in the black ecofit, which feels nice and silky against my skin. I did not add in any cups, though you certainly could do so with an extra lining layer.

The only gripe I have with this pattern is the straps cut into my armpits a bit where they curve under my arm. Next time I make this I’ll scoop out that part, to be more similar to the Power Bra, so I won’t get any chafing while I’m paddling. I love the support of this style for athletic pursuits, and will make it again in the future with this adjustment. In fact, I like this style so much, I may make the dress version soon (a rarity for me, because I hardly ever wear dresses).

Wrapping it Up!

Well, that’s it for today! I’m really enjoying interacting with ya’ll in the group, and look forward to seeing all those swimsuits start to take 3D form, so please post progress photos! If you’re catching this later, you’re always welcome to drop me a line letting me know what you’re sewing- I love hearing about new patterns and answering questions!

I’d d also love it if you took the time to subscribe to my blog and my YouTube Channel– that way you’ll stay up on any new posts or videos, and I can connect with you on those platforms to answer any questions!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I sew and share my tips for the joy of the craft, but a little extra affiliate encouragement goes a long way to helping fund these projects, so I really appreciate when you use them!

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