Vogue 9192, How to Sew Swimwear using 6 essential tips

African American woman with crochet braids on Driftwood beach in Vogue 9192 swim suit

The best thing about the end of summer is things start to cool off a bit, and what a perfect time to sew and wear perfectly customized swimwear like Vogue 9192. This sewing pattern is solid. It’s easy, I promise, it’s only a few pieces, and the instructions are very well written. Kudos to Vogue Patterns for a home run on this one. 

I’m unsure why I avoided sewing this one for a while because it’s been in my pattern stash for a hot minute. Maybe, it’s the fear of sewing swimwear altogether, and perhaps it’s that finding a swimsuit every year is a bonafide hot mess. 

This swimwear pattern has something for everyone.  There is a bikini option, a peek-a-boo one-piece, a single-shoulder one-piece, and cover-up options.

African American woman with crochet braids on Driftwood beach in Vogue 9192 swim suit

But, the thought that you could sew swimwear that fits you–your personality, style, and body type– is a little fascinating. Besides, if I failed, no one would know, but this was not a fail.

Ankara, but it is rarely printed on a knit, so I was immediately drawn to this fabric.  It has a very earthy, ethnic look to it, and it fit my mood at that moment. 

It’s a high-quality print, so I also used it as the lining, creating excellent modesty and opacity. 

Do’s and Don’ts of Sewing Swimwear like Vogue 9192

1. Do use your walking foot.

 I love my walking foot, the dual feed sewing foot. It keeps the slippery fabric together. While it’s not a requirement, it is a handy tool and well worth the investment if it doesn’t come with your sewing machine. When putting together swimwear like Vogue 9192, it’s a blessing. You can practice on a scrap of swimwear and get your tension and settings right before you sew the swimsuit. Additionally, this foot is terrific for any slinky fabrics, including knits, charmeuse, and silks. 

2. Do use the proper type of elastic. 

I’ve learned to substitute all sorts of sewing notions as a sexist. Unfortunately, this is not one I substitute. Instead, use swimwear elastic where it’s called for. I repeat. Do not skimp on this. Your thighs will beg for relief and curse you later. Swimwear elastic is troublesome to get in some areas, but it’s well worth the special order.

3. Do use the proper width elastic. 

I know it may be tempting to use whatever elastic is in your stash. Again, this will distort the seam allowance and create bulk and gathers where you don’t want thickness. Stick to the pattern envelope notions.

4. Do take your measurements…correctly. 

Remember everything you don’t like about store-bought swimwear and amplify it in a customized make. Bottoms that ride up. Overflowing cups. All that. Fix it on your customized swimwear. My bottom half is different than my top and middle. So the top of the one-piece is a size 10, and the bottom is graded to a size 12. A size 10 would have created a wedge-y nightmare! Take those measurements.

5. Don’t pull or stretch the fabric as you sew. 

You will most definitely regret this later. It will be baggy and ill-fitting. This is why having the walking foot/dual feed foot is so crucial.

6. Do use a zigzag stitch. 

It may be tempting to sew this with a straight stitch, but those stitches will pop on you as soon as you try it on, and then the entire swimsuit starts raveling in weird places.

Vogue 9192 Details:

Pattern Details: Vogue Patterns V9192 View C, size 12

Notions: Ring accent from The Sewing Studio in Maitland, Florida

Fabric: Swimwear Knit from Gail K Fabric, Atlanta, GA

This swimsuit was unfinished for a while because I could not find the correct ring notion for the shoulder strap. Challenges. I have to give The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore in Maitland, Florida, credit for having so many great fabrics and notions. The people here are knowledgeable and extremely helpful. I’ll have to write an entire post on this fabric store gem.

Petite Adjustments:

This is one of the few patterns I made almost no significant alterations to. Why? My torso is almost standard size. My petiteness is mostly in stature. Sometimes I have to make a back-to-waist alteration, but I chose not to on this pattern because my backside is full. So, where I usually would not have to account for my rounded bottom, this time, it balanced out when I did the measurements.

African American woman with crochet braids on Driftwood beach in Vogue 9192 swim suit

The only other possible adjustment would be the strap length, especially since there is only one. And I know someone is going to say I could have made the entire thing shorter by adjusting the body of the swimsuit, but honestly, that makes absolutely no sense to me. I would have to change the front, back, and all the lining. By taking 1″ out of the shoulder strap, I got a perfect fit without making many alterations.

African American woman with crochet braids on Driftwood beach in Vogue 9192 swim suit

A few more changes for Vogue 9192

I also eliminated the bra cups. Maybe I’ll add this next time because I get a little nipple show if the water is icy even with the lining. But, sorry, those are just the facts. If you have flat nipples, this probably is not an issue.

Petite sewing warnings: Usually, we have to make some crotch adjustments. Make sure you understand your crotch length measurements. If you’ve made pants or undies, it’s the same measurement and can prevent a saggy baggy swimsuit. 

Overall, again this Vogue Pattern is solid. I plan on making it again, and I also plan on making View A. This swimwear pattern is excellent for beginning sewists. Everyone deserves a beautiful customized swimsuit. It’s only a few pieces to cut and sew. All that’s left to do is find the fabric you like.

Resources for Sewing Swimwear

To get you started, here are some great places to get swimwear fabric:

  1. Gail K Fabrics, Atlanta, GA (no online store)
  2. Fine Fabrics, Atlanta, GA (no online store)
  3. Fabric Fairy (online)
  4. Fabric.com (online)
  5. Girl Charlee Fabrics

Other patterns I might try in the future include: 

  1. Kwik Sew 3780 or Kwik Sew 3608
  2. Butterick 5795
  3. McCalls 7417

My favorite swimsuit pattern is McCalls 8329. This pattern also has a bikini option.

African American Woman in a pool in McCalls 8329 one-piece swimsuit

Have you made this swimsuit? Are you terrified of making swimwear? Drop a comment below! 
Happy Sewing!