Charlie Bottoms Written Directions


-Charlie Bottoms PDF Pattern

-3/4 yard of swimwear fabric

-1/4" swimwear elastic

-Regular polyester thread

-Overlock machine OR zig-zag stitch on a regular sewing machine

*Click here to find direct links to the tools mentioned, including machine recommendations!

Step 1

Assemble your pattern by cutting out the pieces, taping them together, then cutting out the size you would like to make. Now is the time to choose between the mid waist and high waist options! See Page 4 on the pattern for a guide on which pattern pieces you will need.

Step 2

Cut your pieces. If you want to make the bottoms reversible, make sure to have two different swimwear fabrics to use. In total you’ll cut 2 of each pattern piece, one in each of your fabrics.  

When cutting, you want the waistline of the pattern to be parallel with the grainline of the fabric.

1/4" seam allowance is included in the pattern so there is no need to leave extra unless you prefer to do so.

Step 3

Now match each piece with right sides together, coordinating lining and outer pieces.

You will first sew the center seams together. No need to use elastic for this seam! Use an overlock stitch or a zig zag stitch.

To save yourself time later on, leave a 1.5" hole open along the center seam of the lining back piece.

Once finished, you should be left with 4 pieces, 2 fronts and 2 backs.

Step 4

Now that all of our pieces are prepped, it's time to assemble them together.

Match front pieces with right sides together, and same with the back pieces.

Sew and attach elastic along the marked areas- the leg holes and waistlines.

We recommend using regular polyester thread and either a 3 or 4-thread overlock stitch. If you don't have an overlock machine, don't worry! You can use a zig zag stitch instead. More on that in this video.

During this step you'll also attach your 1/4" elastic to these same areas. This can be done using an elastic foot to sew and attach elastic in one step, but if you don't have one then you can break the process into two steps, first sewing the fabric together and then going back and attaching elastic.

Sewing elastic can be tricky and you might have some questions! To get all the information you need in one place, we recommend watching the elastic series on YouTube. It answers all sorts of questions, goes over how to sew elastic, and also demonstrates some troubleshooting in case you run into problems. You can watch that here:

Step 5

The next objective is to attach the front piece and back piece to make one complete bottom.

First, flip the front piece all the way to the right side.

Then, insert it inside of the back piece, making sure right sides are together. Line up the sides and the crotch, then pin.

Sew across all four layers of fabric on each side and on the crotch. This will attach the front to the back!

One way to make this part easier is to use a basting stitch to sew the inner layers before sewing across all four layers. More on that in this video:

Step 6

You may have left a hole in the back piece during Step 3. If you did not, seam rip a 1.5" hole somewhere along the center seam for the lining side of the back piece. Your front piece is still nestled inside!

Through this hole, take the bottoms all the way to the right side.

As a final step, finish off the hole using an invisible stitch or a straight stitch on your sewing machine.

And that completes the Charlie Bottoms!

If you have questions about sewing or construction, our Facebook group is a fantastic resource for new and experienced sewers alike. You can join here:

Thanks for following along with this tutorial, happy sewing!