1960’s Bikini: Advance 3169

I have a hard time finding bathing suits that fit properly. I wanted a two piece but something more modest. Vintage bathing suits have a lot of style plus they give good coverage. I found the top to my bathing suit at a little shop in town that’s almost never open. It’s from the forties or fifties and made of a woven hawaiian fabric. I wanted to make some bottoms to go with the top so I used some black cotton broadcloth for the outside and yellow shirting for the lining I had bought at the thrift shop next door. The pattern I chose to use for my bottoms was Advance 3169 from the sixties. Why not mix up the decades?
These bottoms were almost as complicated as an evening dress! There are 4 darts in the front, 8 darts in the back, elastic on the back of the legs, and elastic also in an enclosed waist casing sandwiched between the lining and the black outer fabric. The bikini bottom is entirely lined and closes with a center back zip and a hook and eye. One I learned about working with this vintage pattern is that woven bikinis of yesteryear were often cut on the bias giving them more stretch. It uses up more fabric but makes the fit subtly more comfortable. If the bottoms were cut on the straight of grain they would feel a lot more constricted.

I really enjoyed wearing this bathing suit to the beach yesterday because it felt substantial, and it held in my mommy tummy!  I would have liked to do a photoshoot there but couldn’t risk having my toddler get sand in my lens. My last camera unfortunately was ruined at the beach.
I’m loving this higher waistline.
I do plan on making the matching top still. But I will have to adjust the fit by doing a FBA.
Here is a photo of the pattern used for the bottoms
I’m showing the directions because I think old pattern directions are neat and to show many how many steps are involved for a relatively small garment!


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  1. DaneMum says

    Great bikini bottums! WHAT are you talking about?? Mummy-tummy??!! You have a wonderful figure and look great! No mummy-tummy there!

  2. Marie says

    You look fantastic and i don’t believe you have a ‘mummy tummy’ ;o)

  3. Sew Country Chick says

    Thanks gals, I do have a little pooch but these bottoms are sucking it all in!

  4. Mongs says

    absolutely gorgeous. So vintage chic and one of a kind swim suit.


  5. Misty @Creative Itch says

    Cute swimsuit! Thanks for sharing @’Sew Cute Tuesday’!