Oakley Bottoms Written Directions


- Oakley Bottoms PDF Pattern

- 1/2 yard swimwear fabric

- 1/4" swimwear elastic

- 1" swimwear elastic (optional, to put in band)

- Cutting tool like scissors or rotary cutter

- Seam ripper

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

- Regular sewing machine capable of a zig zag stitch (required for foldover seams)


Assemble your pattern and cut your desired size.

Then, cut 2 of each pattern piece in your swimwear fabric. 1/4" seam allowance is included. If you're making your swimsuit with two different fabrics, cut 1 of each pattern piece in EACH fabric.

At this step you will also cut your 2 band pieces required for this style, and the exact measurements for those are provided inside the pattern.

Step 1

First we need to attach our bands onto our front pieces and back pieces. Pair up your fronts with fronts and backs with backs.

We will do the same thing for both the fronts and the backs, but we're going to do different stitches for each. Starting with the back, lay the band onto the waistline of one of the back pieces, right sides together, and pin. Then take the other long edge of the band and lay it onto the other back piece, again right sides together. Pin and then sew a basting stitch to secure the band in place.

For the front piece you will also arrange the band onto the front pieces with right sides together, just like for the back pieces. However, instead of a basting stitch you are going to use a mix of stitches. As shown in the illustrations, you want to sew a basting stitch in the middle but on the edges you want to sew an overlock or zig zag stitch. We recommend you sew the overlock/zig zag inwards about 2-3", but it doesn't hurt to do more than that.

The reason why we aren't just sewing this band with an overlock the whole way is because it may get bulky when we sew across it again in a later step.

Step 2

Now that our bands are attached we're going to put the front piece aside and just focus on the back piece. This style is designed to have foldover seams on the back piece, so if you want to make concealed seams you'll want to skip this step and treat the back piece and front piece the same way.

First we want to secure in our band so it doesn't move around when worn. With your back piece still inside out, tuck the band down inside. You will match up the two basting stitches we made previously. Then, using an overlock or zig zag stitch, sew across to secure the band in.

Step 3

Our band is secured and now we need to sew the leg holes. To sew foldover seams, first use an overlock stitch or zig zag stitch and attach elastic onto the wrong side (lining side). For this seam you might want to slightly stretch the elastic if you prefer a more secure fit on the bum.

For more information on how to sew elastic, click here.

Part 2 of this foldover seam is folding over the elastic onto the lining side, then using a zig zag stitch to top stitch the seam down. If you have a coverstitch machine you can do all this in one step.

This will complete our treatment of the back piece, so now we can move on to the front.

Step 4

The front piece has concealed seams, so we are going to work with it while it's inside out. First, sew down the leg holes and attach elastic using an overlock or zig zag stitch. For this seam you do not want to stretch your elastic unless you prefer it.

Step 5

Now we're going to secure the band in the same way we did for the back piece. Tuck the band inside, and instead of sewing all the way from edge to edge we're just going to sew the middle. It would be great if your stitching met up with the overlocking we did when attaching the band, this way there aren't gaps.

The reason we don't want to sew all the way across is because we need to fully access those sides, which includes the band. If we sewed it all the way across we wouldn't be able to pull the sides out like in the next step.

Step 6

Now take your back piece and insert it inside of the front piece, right sides together. Align it at the sides and gusset and then pin to secure. You'll then want to sew the sides and the gusset down. You can use either a straight stitch or an overlock stitch for this.

This illustration shows how the band of the front piece is able to peek up and fully align with the band on the back piece. This is why we didn't sew all the way across!

Step 7

Before we take this piece to the right side, we're going to make our last effort to get this band secured in. Using an overlock or zig zag stitch, sew your band together again as if you were continuing from Step 5. You won't be able to sew all the way across, but get as close as you can.

Step 8

Now we can make a 1-2" hole with our seam ripper, and take the bottoms all the way to the right side. Finish off the hole by top stitching it with a straight stitch or zig zag stitch, or you can sew an invisible stitch by hand.

That completes the Oakley Bottoms!