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50's polka-dot bikini for Joyce!

Added Apr 13, 2010

by olystyrene

Sydney, Australia




  • Joyce_dsc02024_grid


Second time I’m posting this as this site never seems to be happy to let me update my photos! Anyway…

I recently made this delightful 50’s style cotton bikini for my friend Joyce. I used printed cotton and white cotton lace (both bought at op shops aka “thrift stores”). This is a replica of one I made for myself during summer, although mine was made from an old 60’s dress (same colour and print).

To make this I modified a 70’s halter top and shorts pattern. The halter on the pattern was a bit too skimpy for my liking and the hook and eye closures are actually really annoying when worn. So, I increased the height of the cups (and added ruffly lace edges for a cutie-pie vibe), and extended the bands so they could be tied at the back and around the neck. The halter was a bit fiddly, especially where the bands were attached to the cups – lots of matching of curves and hand stitching (slip stitching facings etc). Although it is definitely worth the effort.

The shorts are quite simple: high-waisted with darts and a back zipper. I added lace ruffle bits to the leg sections to match the halter. I think this also creates a bloomery feel without the puff-puff of bloomers.

I will attempt to post some better photos at a later stage… _

I do hope Joycey digs this little ensemble!

Material Notes

2nd hand printed cotton, 2nd hand cotton lace trim, 2nd hand zipper




Garment Type
Beach, Casual, Classic, Romantic, Vintage

10 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Jan 31, 2011, 06.04 AMby Dan Barker

    Sooo cute! I love the vintage style. Check out retroswimwear.com, they have adorable retro and vintage swimsuits!

    1 Reply
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    Jul 26, 2010, 03.33 PMby lastephanie

    red is such a fabulous color, beautiful job i love it.

    1 Reply
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      Jul 26, 2010, 11.29 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you muchly! Red is always a winner in my books!

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    Jun 16, 2010, 10.47 AMby integerclub

    OMG yes mama-san, I do dig it!


    1 Reply
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      Jun 16, 2010, 12.40 PMby olystyrene

      Hells yes! I can’t believe you found this! Actually, I wanted to warn you to check you mailbox cos it should arrive in the next couple of weeks!

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    Apr 15, 2010, 01.29 AMby Laura Baker

    HAWT! i think im in love with this project! great choice of fabric, too!

    1 Reply
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      May 24, 2010, 12.37 AMby olystyrene

      Thank you! I love when amazing second hand fabric finds you!

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    Apr 14, 2010, 10.11 AMby helenadoll

    aww it’s so cute and playful, she’ll love it!

    1 Reply
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      May 24, 2010, 12.38 AMby olystyrene

      Ooooh I do hope so!!

  • Missing

    Apr 13, 2010, 11.58 PMby rugrat

    I can remember my mother wearing something very much like this during those hot Texas summer days. I am 61, fat and sassy now, but have 6 grandaughters now – Thank You for the nice memories. You sew wonderfully!

    1 Reply
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      Apr 14, 2010, 12.16 AMby olystyrene

      haha! what a comment! ;-) you’re welcome and thank you!

  • Missing

    Apr 13, 2010, 07.23 PMby misahpea

    Love it! I think 50’s bikinis are awesome— yours is fantastic. Are your shorts self drafted?

    1 Reply
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      Apr 13, 2010, 11.05 PMby olystyrene

      No, not self drafted. I used an old 70’s pattern and adjusted it to Joyce’s proportions (although I don’t know whether it will fit as she lives on the other side of the world!). But the pattern is VERY basic – darts at front and back, back zipper and waistband with button.

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    Apr 13, 2010, 05.11 PMby nenasew

    Awesome suit. Love the red polka dot.

    1 Reply
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    Apr 13, 2010, 01.24 PMby littlewren

    This is adorable! my sketchbook is filled with diagrams of possible 50’s/60’s style swimwear… my suit needs an update! I’m excited to see you used cotton not stretch fabric… how well does it swim? I figure if it’s made well enough it should stay put and that is the point of having stretch, right? It looks Beautifully made- no doubt if yours will stay in place! I LOVE the polka dots! I’m a big fan! :)

    1 Reply
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      Apr 13, 2010, 11.13 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you muchly! I can be very pedantic when it comes to sewing… ;)
      I find that cotton swims just fine; it will stick to your bod-bod in a way that lycra doesn’t, but not uncomfortably so. I’d wear undies under the shorts still if they were made in a light coloured fabric, juuuust in case…

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    Apr 13, 2010, 12.57 PMby katensew

    I love it — but I like 50’s outfits anyway. It seems that retro will be the rage !

    1 Reply
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      Apr 14, 2010, 12.16 AMby olystyrene

      Yes, I am in love with all things 30s – 50s! Timeless elegance!

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