Bra to Swimsuit Top

The only thing worst than jean shopping is swimsuit shopping right ladies? No female wants to see herself in those fluorescent lights in front of a three way mirror in barely there fabric that shows our every flaw (which is mostly just in our heads). I’ve always thought that underwear was more flattering but there’s the little problem of underwear not being the most water friendly so….. how to solve this problem?

While cleaning my closet, I realized that: 1) I have a lot of clothes and 2) I want so much more clothing. Since I am super cheap and refuse to spend money, I decided to just alter the clothes I no longer wanted. I had an old lap swim suit and bra that I no longer wanted. Why not use the lycra to cover up the bra? If it doesn’t turn out I was just going to donate anyways. Reasons why this is a good idea: 1) Bras have an underwire that lifts and supports. 2) You already have the basic foundation for a bikini top. 3) New top without spending money.


lycra fabric, preferably from an old swim suit

old bra of any style and color

needle and thread, preferably in the color of the fabric but not needed

Here are my fabrics. Cut the straps off the bra. I’ll use the teal as the main color.

IMG_4812 Then I cut the teal portion of the suit as my main cover up. Pin over cups and hand stitch. With the underwire and odd shape I found it easier but more time consuming to hand stitch.

IMG_4813I took the brown portion to cover the band which I cut a little from the top to thin it out. Cut the brown in the general shape of the band and pin down to hand stitch. I left the original hook and eye in place. Cover the band completely that has the hook but you don’t have to cover the eye section because it’ll get covered up once you hook in place.

IMG_4815It doesn’t have to look pretty on the inside. Just make sure it’s sturdy. Lycra doesn’t fray so you don’t have to worry about making clean edges. I just took the straps of the original swim suit, cut it in half and used to make a halter strap for the bra top. With the extra strap material, I made a loop to create separation between cups.

IMG_4860Voila! All done and super flattering and water proof. I didn’t have enough fabric to make bottoms so I’ll have to figure that out or have the guts to rock a thong (that will never ever ever happen). I have converted regular underwear into bottoms which I will post those instructions later. They are just so much more flattering than swim bottoms but always make sure to do a shower test first before debuting them in public.



12 thoughts on “Bra to Swimsuit Top

  1. That was the best tutorial ive found!! I just wanna know, did you hand sew or use a machine? Annnnnnd do you think a strapless bra would be easier?

    • Thanks! Glad you found it useful. I ended up hand sewing the areas where the underwire was bc it’s too thick for the machine. Also places where there were curves (cup area) was just easier to hand sew. The hand sewing was more time consuming but I got it done in a night. If the strapless bra didn’t have under wire then it would probably be easier, kinda like a bandeau? I’ll post another bra to swimsuit top that creates more of a n bandeau look that has less sewing involved. Hope this helps 🙂

  2. Love this! I am a 34ddd and it is very hard to find cute bikini tops especially at an affordable cost. I got clearance bras in my size and old swimsuits from the goodwill in cute colors. Super easy! Total cost for one custom bikini top $20. Thanks for sharing.

    • you can cover them but I think it’ll take more work. You will have to sew fabric around the straps when you can just sew your own strap and attach it. Does that make sense? You can take the straps off, cover them with the matching fabric and reattach. Either way you can’t leave the original straps because 1) it’ll be a different color/fabric than the new covering and 2) you don’t want the straps to look like normal bra straps. Plus I’m a personal fan of halter straps bc they hold better and you don’t get the tan lines in the back.

  3. Do you think it would be possible to use the eye hooks already present in the bra back strap for a clasp? I would be concerned the plastic strap wouldn’t be tight enough.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this! I wear a 30J and can’t find any affordable swimsuits in my size (that don’t require ordering online and spending lots of time returning items). I’m going to make my own suit using this tutorial, and then maybe I’ll be able to finally get in the pool! haha 🙂

  5. This is perfect. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial – I had been dreading going bikini shopping this year but you just saved me a whole lot of stress. 🙂

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