Maxine Top Written Directions

The Maxine Top is a staple- a bow tie, reversible bikini top that goes well with any pair of bottoms. It is very beginner-friendly too!

If you prefer video instructions, click on the image below to watch the video tutorial. Note that these written directions use a different method than in the video, however both methods have their merits and are equally easy.


-Maxine Top PDF Pattern

-1/2 yard of swimwear fabric

-Swimwear elastic (recommended for the best fit)

-Seam ripper

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

Step 1

Assemble your pattern by cutting out the pieces, taping them together, then cutting out the size you would like to make.

Step 2

Cut your pieces. If you want to make your top reversible, make sure to have two different fabrics to use. Cut two in each pattern piece- 2 for the left bust, 2 for the right bust, and 2 for that back. You will also cut your strap pieces according to the measurements provided in the pattern.

Step 3

Match each of your pieces with right sides together. Pin and then sew along the marked areas. Attach your swimwear elastic to these same areas. You may decide to stop the elastic before it reaches the area for the ties, as this will prevent bulkiness.

Step 4

Fold the straps with right sides together lengthwise, and pin and sew the raw edges together. Attach elastic.

Then, use a loop turner to take each strap to the right side.

Insert each strap inside of each strap opening on the bust pieces, while the bust pieces are still inside out. Pin and then sew to secure the straps in place.

Step 5

Flip your bust pieces out to the right side. With your BACK piece still inside out, insert each bust piece inside of it. If you do this correctly, right sides should be together.

Step 6

With the front piece still inside of the back piece, guide the sides so they're matched up. Pin them down to secure before sewing. You should be pinning through 4 layers of fabric.

Step 7

Now sew the sides straight across. You should be sewing across 4 layers of fabric. This will attach the front and back piece at the sides.

Step 8

Now we can take the top all the way to the right side. To do this, seam rip a small hole where the tag would usually be.

Note that the size of the hole in the image below is NOT to scale, ideally make a hole as small as you can while still being able to pull everything through it.

Step 9

Through the hole, pull your top all the way through to bring it to the right side.

Step 10

With your top all the way to the right side, place your straps where you'd like them to go on the back piece. 3.5-4" in from each side seam is typically good placement for straps.

Seam rip a 1/4" hole for the strap, and insert it inside. Then, through the big hole we seam ripped, sew down the straps into the back piece while inside out. Afterwards, take your top back to the right side.

Step 9

Now all that's left is finishing off the hole. You can either to a top stitch or you can use an invisible stitch.

That completes the Maxine top!

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: