Sewing Swimsuits:
The Supportive One-Piece


Learn how to sew a one-piece swimsuit that’s comfortable and flattering with sewing expert Beverly Johnson. You’ll begin by discovering how to choose your pattern and fabric before making custom length and width adjustments. Beverly will show you how to construct a supportive bust with pre-formed foam cups or a built-in bra. You’ll even learn how to adapt your own bra pattern for your swimsuit if you choose the built-in bra option. Next, you’ll pull your suit pieces and lining together and create flattering curves whether you sew a suit with princess seams or a tank-style (maillot) design. Beverly will also help you modify the leg curve to suit your shape and add elastic to leg openings, neckline and armholes. Then, find out how to insert a built-in bra and finish your one-piece. Finally, Beverly will show you how to use stylish color-blocking designs in your swimwear and troubleshoot common fit issues. Learn it all with Sewing Swimsuits Supportive One Piece Taught by Beverly V Johnson Craftsy.

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Sewing Swimsuits: The Supportive One-Piece

Sew swimwear that fits better than store-bought! Learn techniques for working with swimwear fabric, adding supportive cups, shaping seams, and more. Learn it all with Sewing Swimsuits Supportive One Piece Taught by Beverly V Johnson Craftsy.

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see Required Materials | see Lesson Plan

  • 6 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials, including a supply list, measurement chart, and cutting and construction guides
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from Beverly in our virtual classroom

Intermediate – you should be familiar with sewing but not necessarily have sewn with knits or on stretch fabrics.

Enhance your sewing repertoire with detailed techniques, from classic to innovative, with your Fairy Bra Mother Beverly Johnson.

Lesson Plan

Meet swimwear sewing expert Beverly Johnson! You’ll begin class by taking four key measurements, choosing a pattern for your one-piece suit, making fit modifications and learning how to draft a bra-style back if desired. Then, you’ll see how to choose swimwear fabric and get tips for layout and cutting.

Pre-formed foam cups are another option for support in your suit. Beverly guides you through choosing foam cup styles, orienting them correctly and stitching them to the basted lining of your suit.

For larger busts, the built-in bra option is a fabulous way to get great support. Beverly will explain the best choices for these cups and frames. Then, she’ll show you how to adapt your own bra pattern for swimwear and construct the bra for later insertion into your suit.

It’s time to put your suit together! You’ll begin by joining the lining to the suit pieces with pinning or spray-basting. If your suit style has princess seams, you’ll learn to stitch them for perfect curves. Then, you’ll stitch back, side, crotch and shoulder seams.

Your suit is nearly complete! You’ll make any necessary adjustments to the leg curve for comfort and flattery. Then, discover Beverly’s techniques for choosing, applying and finishing swimwear elastic to leg openings, necklines and armholes. If you’ve chosen to add a built-in bra, you’ll find out how to insert it.

With your first suit complete, Beverly will share plenty of ideas if you haven’t quite found the fit you love. Explore common issues and the drafts to solve them. You’ll learn about color-blocking options and be inspired to create a wardrobe of fashionable, flattering, supportive swimwear.

More Info

What materials are used in this class?

  • Swimming suit pattern (Many independent and mainstream sewing pattern companies offer swimwear patterns. Beverly demonstrates with the Denise Swimsuit from her own line.)
  • 3/4 yd (70 cm) main fabric (or as needed for your pattern)
  • 3/4 yd (70 cm) swimsuit lining fabric (or as needed)
  • 3 – 5 yds (2.75 – 4.5 m) swim elastic
  • 1 swimwear clicker or g-hook for a suit with a bra back
  • Foam cups and underwires for pre-formed foam cup bra option
  • Cut-and-sew foam, fabric, wire casing and underwires for free-floating bra option
  • Powernet fabric (optional)
  • French curve or other design curve ruler
  • Glass-head pins
  • Polyester thread
  • Stretch sewing machine needles, size 75/11


Whenever you’re ready! The lessons are available online any time, and your access to the class never expires.

As long as you need! Your access never expires, so you can come back again and again.

Ask your questions in the Craftsy online classroom and you’ll receive instructor feedback. Your fellow students are also likely to jump in and offer advice from their experiences.

Other available classes


How to Sew a Fitting Band by Fit2Sew

How to Draft and Sew a Fitting Bra by Fit2Sew