For your free pattern, please scroll down to the second set of bullets.
Okay, I admit, summer isn’t here — at least not where I live in Idaho, anyway — but a girl can dream, can’t she? I’m dreaming of summer, imagining myself laying in a lawn chair, and anxiously awaiting the opportunity for more free time to sew!
And today’s project is really just a new take on an older blog post here. When I first designed my swimsuit top, it came with some Marilyn Monroe “booty shorts” style swimsuit bottoms. You might remember seeing this set:
Since then, I created a pattern and tutorial for making a Barbie-sized pair of underpants, which you can make out of jersey fabric — perhaps even using an old pair of panties with elastic still in them — as you can see below:
But when I made today’s bikini project, I used the bodice pattern for the Marilyn Monroe retro bikini, and added straps using 1/4 inch pink elastic. Take a closer look, and you’ll see what I mean:
Then, for the swimsuit bottoms, I’ve used the shorts pattern and created a casing not just at the waist but also at the bottom of each leg of the shorts. Again, a closer look at the swimsuit bottoms will show you what I mean:
So for today’s project, if you want, you can follow the tutorials for making the swimsuit with the green and white striped “booty shorts,” and make a few alterations to shorts to get this overall look:
In all honesty, I wasn’t happy with how the swimsuit bottoms turned out after I made a casing for them. They look too puffy to me. So that’s why I never made a tutorial video showing how to convert the shorts into swimsuit bottoms. But I think it’s time to show off the creative ways you can use my patterns anyway, including this variation on the “booty shorts” or “short shorts” from the first incarnation of this bikini pattern.
Of course you can just use the patterns and tutorials for making the all-jersey fabric bra and underpants you see on Petite Barbie here:
I’m including the links to those tutorials in the bulleted list below, but don’t get confused by the fact that Skipper is wearing the “training bra” version in one of those tutorials. It will work for your Barbies too, as you can see in this image from a couple of weeks ago (Skipper’s “training bra” on my busty vintage Barbie):
The swimsuit bottoms pictured above are an original pair of Mattel Malibu Barbie bikini bottoms. Sorry, I don’t have a pattern that matches them exactly.
But there are so many ways to take my free patterns and make alterations to them!
Now if you’re not good at making alterations, but you’d like to make the all-cotton set with elastic around the bottom of the “booty shorts,” you know what I’m going to recommend, right? I teach a class on Creative Spark called “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” that might be just what you need to help you start thinking “outside the box,” as they say.
But no matter what variation you try, it can be a lot of fun to make a matching bikini set for your Barbie.
Best of luck to you in your summer swimwear sewing adventure! And special thanks to Ann C., whose email on Saturday, March 5th, inspired this blog post.
Today’s patterns will fit these dolls:
- Queens of Africa Dolls
- Momoko dolls
- modern and Made-to-Move Barbie dolls
- vintage Francie dolls
- Petite Barbie
- Liv dolls
Here are your free, printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making the bikinis shown on this page:
- Free printable PDF sewing pattern for bikini and/or short-shorts
- Tutorial showing how to make jersey fabric underpants or swimsuit bottoms
- Tutorial showing how to make a jersey fabric bra
- Tutorial video showing how to make a cotton bra or swimsuit top
- Tutorial video showing how to make classic cotton shorts for Barbie (you’ll need to be creative with your elastic if you want your shorts to look more like swimsuit bottoms — like mine do)
Queens of Africa dolls are products offered by the Slice by Cake company, which holds the trademark for them (™). They were designed by Taofick Okoya. Please visit the Queens of Africa website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys, books, and fashions.
Momoko dolls are products offered by Petworks, which holds the trademark for them (™). Please visit the Momoko Dolls website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys.
Barbie, MTM Barbie, Skipper, Francie, Petite Barbie, Tall Barbie, DC Superhero Girls, and Vintage Barbie dolls are products offered by Mattel, which holds the registered trademark for them (™). Please visit the Mattel Toys website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys.
Liv dolls were products designed and distributed by the Spin Master company, which still makes dolls and toys today (although the Liv dolls are no longer in production at the time of this blog post). The Spin Master company held the trademark for the Liv Dolls (™). Please visit the Spin Master Toys and Games website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys and games. Please be aware that the Chelly Wood animated doll is a Spin Master Liv doll that has been re-painted and had its wig colored to appear to look like the real doll clothing designer, Chelly Wood. This was done as a creative project by Chelly’s daughters, and the Spin Master Toys and Games company was not involved in the doll’s makeover in any way.