Wednesday, September 6, 2017

DIY Lululemon Strappy Back One Piece Swimming Costume

Climbing girl’s problem alert. One of the side effects of regular climbing and doing calisthenics is that your lats get bigger. I definitely welcome this as when it comes to climbing, the bigger the guns the better (up to a point of course ;) However, as a result, my old swimming costume got too small for me so I have decided to turn it into a DIY getting drawing inspiration from a Lululemon one piece.  I love the back straps on their design which you can fit to measure. I have used an old hand me down swimming costume so apart from a few supplies, I didn't have to buy anything new. 

The original piece from Lululemon 

What you need 

One-piece swimming costume 
Elastic thread 
Chalk or something to mark the pattern 
Elastic (thin but at least 1cm wide)


     Old hand me down costume 

How to 

1. Mark how low you want the back slit to go. Take into account that the fabric stretches quite considerably. I have used a DVD case to mark a rectangle ( super professional I know ) as I wanted to replicate the rectangular shape of the back.  If you are using the same template,  place the cover in the middle of the back so that you have equal distance from the side seams and cut it out. Depending on the stretch of the fabric you might want to start with something smaller to make sure that the opening is not too big. 

1. Hem the edges using an elastic thread. I did it by hand but it would probably be neater if you used a sewing machine. 

2. Put the swimming costume on and mark where you want the front straps to start from. Make sure that you stretch the swimming costume in the same way as you will want to wear it. Give yourself a seam allowance which needs to be big enough so that you can attach the straps. Hem the edges. 

3. Now you can fit the straps. This is the most laborious step as you have to keep putting the costume on and off making sure that the tension is just right and even on both sides. Start with the top strap and attach it at the back first. I have literally just sewed it onto the hemmed edge on the inside so that you can't see it from the outside. Put the swimming costume on and tension the strap to the front. The straps are attached diagonally (elastic located at the top left of the right side of the chest goes to the top of the left side on the back). Make it as tight as you want and cut it. Repeat on the other side. In order to make the nice pattern at the back I have weaved the elastic in the following pattern.

There are 6 straps in total and the number corresponds to the straps at the back.

1 xxx 4
2 xxx 5
3 xxx 6

1 over 6 under 5 over 4
2 under 6 over 5 under 4
3 over 6 under 5 over 4

Work your way to the last straps, always in rows (so 1-4, 2-5, 3-6) in order for the straps to have an even tension. You need to weave the pattern as you go along. 

It took me quite a while to work out how to do this but I am really pleased with how it turned out. I used up a piece of clothing which was probably destined for landfill ( not sure just how many times you can pass on a swimming costume) so I am really pleased with it.  The end result is really sturdy as tested on several different beaches and a wild swim at Slippery Stones in the Peak District. :) 




  1. You are such a better model than the original one! Pretty! Go wild!

    1. Hahs thanks! I really enjoy wearing it, there is something really satisfying about wearing something you toiled over ;)