14 Mar 2024 • • by Amy

Turning Faye into a Skims Bralette Dupe

Faye Swimsuit Pattern - Plus size bikini

Our Faye Swimsuit is not only the perfect pattern for all your bathing suit-making needs, but it can also make a great bra! We're sure you've heard the buzz about Skims (yes, the company owned by Ms. Kim Kardashian). They have incredible marketing and seem to be launching new products every day, but it's not always the most affordable brand. Heather bought a Fits Everybody bra to see what all the hype was about and as we were inspecting the construction and fabric-wrapped elastic, we couldn't believe how similar it was to our Faye bikini top!

Whether or not Skims really fit everybody or not, we know we can make bras or swimsuits that perfectly suit and fit our unique bodies, proportions, and needs. Whether we experience back pain or are sensitive to a particular material, learning to make our own bras liberates us and empowers us to create a customized fit, feel comfortable, and express our personal style no matter our size! It also frees us from the cycle of fast fashion and allows us to create sustainable, long-lasting garments that won't break the bank. So now that we've preached the gospel as to why we love sewing both swim and lingerie, let's get into this!

Faye Bikini in Two Views

Faye can be made in three different views. View A blends a high-rise bikini bottom and a bikini top with straight straps. View B is sporty and fun with a low-rise bikini bottom and a bikini top with a strappy back and supportive underbust band.

The crossed-back straps are perfect for when you need a racer-back bra. These straps are infinitely adjustable and can be placed where you need for maximum support and comfort. If you want to make these adjustable you could add hooks and loops to your straps so you could change them out or switch the way they work.

How to Replace Bikini Straps with Lingerie Elastic and Notions

To make this pattern a little more lingerie and a little less swim, use bra strap elastic instead of self-fabric and swimwear elastic. You could also add bra-making notions to make your straps adjustable! You would need two rings and two bra-strap sliders to accomplish this. You will need 1.5 yards of strap elastic for sizes 0-20. For sizes 14-32, look for 1/2" wide bra strap elastic for more support; you'll need 2 yards total.

When it comes time to make the straps, cut 2 pieces of strap elastic using the supplied guide. Cut off a 3" piece from each length.

Take one of the longer elastic pieces and insert one end through the center bar of the slider. Wrong sides together, fold raw edge down by 3/4". Secure in place by stitching back and forth a few times using a short stitch length, or with a bar tack. Trim excess elastic.

Slide the ring through the free end of the elastic.

Thread the same end over the bottom edge of the slider, under the center bar and over the top edge of the slider as shown.

Take the shorter piece of elastic you cut earlier and loop one end of one shorter strap through the ring. Fold the raw edge down 3/4". Secure by stitching back and forth a few times using a short stitch length or with a bar tack. Trim excess elastic.

Repeat for other strap and set aside. You will use these instead of fabric straps when sewing together Faye!

Underbust Elastics for a Faye Bra

The beauty of the Skims bra is that elastic never touches your skin; it is also covered in lightweight fabric, making it extremely comfortable to wear all day. In the Faye instructions, we explain two options to finish the Faye bikini top: underbust elastic (View A), and a fabric band (View B). Here's how to get that Skims feel.

For lighter support, you can install the underbust elastic as indicated in the instructions for View A. There, we recommend wrapping the elastic in fabric, but you might want to use plush back elastic and have that touching your skin instead.

For more support, try the View B band. You can also try inserting a soft elastic into the band for even more support!

Fabrics for a Faye Bra

The fabric used for the Skims bra is a very lightweight stretch nylon/elastane blend. It's not a fabric you're likely to find in most fabric stores, but you can use any stretchy knit fabric with a high spandex content and good recovery. Think cotton and bamboo spandex blends, or even swim fabrics!

Core Fabrics has lots of options for this project. Choose a performance, wicking fabric like their recycled polyester activewear fabric to make a sports bra that helps with sweat chafe. Use a stretch mesh to make a very *sexy* option, or layer it with a solid colour for a fun look. For a bra you can wear at the gym and into the hot tub later, choose recycled nylon swimwear fabric to ensure chlorine doesn't damage your garment (make sure to use swim elastic for anything you plan on wearing in chlorine or salt water!)

We hope you have fun experimenting with swimwear and lingerie! Once you master all that elastic can do you can get creative with your patterns. Exercise wear, swim, and loungewear are all just a fabric choice away from each other and once you find your perfect fit you can batch your way to a whole wardrobe of high-end garments that don't cost you a fortune. Keep up with the you-know-whos, but do it your way. Happy sewing!

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Faye Swimsuit

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