Sailor Top Written Directions

The Sailor top is an intermediate/advanced style that features a structured V cut in the front. It is made reversible style too!

You can find the video tutorial for the Sailor Top at the link below:


-Sailor Top PDF Pattern

-1/2 yard of swimwear fabric

-6-10" of plastic boning OR V-shaped structural component

-Swimwear elastic (recommended for the best fit)

-Seam ripper

-Loop turner OR safety pin

-Overlock machine

-Regular sewing machine

You will need both a regular sewing machine as well as an overlock machine for this tutorial. If you don't have an overlock machine, you can use a zig zag stitch on a regular sewing machine. Make sure you at least have a regular sewing machine, because we will be using a straight stitch in this tutorial.

Step 1

Assemble your pattern and cut your pieces. You'll cut two of the front piece (Piece 1) and two of the back piece (Piece 2). You will also cut your strap piece according to the measurements provided in the pattern.

Step 2

Match your front pieces and back pieces together, each with right sides together. Pin and sew along the marked areas.

When sewing the sharp V, it is recommended you use a straight stitch. Then, trim the seam allowance afterward. This will allow the V shape to sit how it is intended to, without any bunching.

If you plan on attaching elastic, attach it the marked areas EXCEPT for the V.

You're also going to fold your strap lengthwise, matching right sides together. Sew the raw edges together and attach your elastic. Then, use a loop turner or safety pin to take them to the right side.

Step 3

With the front piece still inside out, take each of your straps and insert them inside each of the strap openings. Sew them down to secure.

Step 4

If you're using boning, now it is time to attach it together in a V shape. This is important, as if there are two separate sections it will not hold it's shape. Use a straight stitch to attach them.

We chose to include plastic boning as part of this tutorial because it will help keep the shape and it is a material that is easily accessible. Ideally, you would instead use a V-shaped structural component, but these can be difficult to source for swimwear. Our sister shop, Swimwear Notions USA, will soon be carrying these components on Etsy.

If you don't have access to boning, it is recommended you follow Step 5 to help keep the structure as much as possible.

Step 5

Take the front piece to the right side. Insert your boning or structural component so it frames the V shape inside the front piece. Then using a straight stitch, stitch around the boning to create a channel that the boning can sit inside. This will secure it so it does not get dislodged.

If you aren't using a structural component, still complete this step to provide more structure.


Step 6

Next it is time to attach the straps into the back piece. At this step, the front and back are still not attached.

Take your back piece to the right side. Seam rip where you want your straps to go. Typically, we recommend placing them 3.5" in from each the side seams. Place the straps inside, then sew them down from the inside to secure. You will be able to access the inside through either of the side openings.

Step 7

Take your seam ripper and rip a 1-2" hole in the back piece, where the tag would usually go.

Step 8

Now to attach the sides. We won't need to use our 1-2" hole for the first side, but we will for the second.

Line up the front and back pieces so they're laying flat with right sides together. Everything should be right side out. Match one side together, then flip the back piece so it encompasses the entire front piece inside of it. Make sure all four layers of the sides are kept together, then sew across to secure the sides from the inside. This is called the sandwich method. You will be able to take the top back to the right side through the remaining open side.

For the remaining sides, you will do the same thing but you won't be able to take it the right side except through the hole we left.

If you find yourself lost during this step, you can reference the visual at 11:05 in the accompanying video tutorial.

Step 9

After you've sewn the remaining side, you will be left with something that looks like #1 in the visual. The front piece is entirely stuffed inside of the back. The hole we left in an earlier step will come in handy now! Through this hole, take the entire top to the right side.

Step 10

Finally, finish off the hole with a top stitch or invisible stitch.

Thank you for reading this tutorial, if you have any additional questions you may email customer service Additionally, we'd invite you to join our Facebook group, "Learning to Sew Swimwear with Edgewater Avenue" where over 1,000 members with all kinds of experience share advice, answer questions, and talk about all things DIY swimwear. You can join here: