Now that the bikini bottoms are almost finished, it is time to start the cups and the cup covers. For this classic retro-styled Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, I am using the MT triangle cups from Bra-makers Supply. Even though foam cups would not have been used in the 1960s, today’s beach bunny wants form inside the cups. These foam cups are made of a denser foam that stands up to having fabric pulled over it without collapsing. That’s the worst – when the cup collapses! The cups are chlorine-resistant, of course!
Lay the fabric right side up over the foam and cut roughly around the cup perimeter so you have a more reasonable amount of fabric to work with. Start pinning at the top and smooth the fabric to the bottom corners. You will notice an excess of fabric in the middle bottom of the cup. That is completely normal and the amount of excess will depend on the amount of stretch in your chosen fabric.
Pin out the excess fabric and form 3 small pleats (or 5 or 7 – even numbers are best).
Alternately, if you lay the fabric on the cup upside down, you can pin out a dart over the cup. It is very easy to do and has a more tailored look. Yes, the dart is curved, even when pinning.
Mark the dart and the perimeter of the cup with a wash-out marker.
Remove the fabric carefully from the cup (you won’t have to remove the fabric if you are doing the pleasted version).
Stitch the dart, tapering to virtually nothing at the point of the dart. This will prevent the dart from “pooking”. Trim the dart seam allowance and pin the fabric back on the cup, smoothing out any wrinkles. See, cup covers aren’t that difficult, are they?
Zig-zag around the perimeter of the cup, stitching from the foam side. This will prevent the fabric from creeping and creating bias wrinkles. Trim off the excess fabric.
Now you have to make the second cup look symmetrical and even with the first! This Yellow Polka Dot Bikini is starting to shape up!
Next time, I will share how to make elasticated straps!