Do you wonder if you can swim in a knit bikini? Find out from me first-hand. My experience with crocheted beachwear has been most positive ever since I made the first set - barring minor inconveniences such as the need to replace elastic strips due to speedier wear and tear. With home-crafted swimsuits, almost each model turns out a bit experimental. But I like it this way. I’ve spent several seasons in yarn bikinis, which have a huge advantage over biflex swimwear: it will be disclosed further on.
Now I would like to showcase some of my two-pieces. I have picked out 7 crochet bikini models to share. After wearing and testing each in every way myself, I can definitely say that: yes, it is possible to go bathing in crochet bikinis, not just bask in the sun. But it depends on the design. Some yarn monokinis that pop up in a web search, indeed do not look very practical and are probably better for posing and pool parties.
This is the very first bikini I made from what material I had handy. And it was a totally spontaneous project. As the proverb goes, necessity is the mother of invention: the previous article on crocheted beachwear tells the story. The white yarn was not exactly top quality. After several seasons of bathing - and ice bathing (I do that sometimes, too) - the fabric got looser. So now I spare my first crochet bikini and rarely put it on. The design is great, though – worthwhile replicating.
One of my most experimental designs so far – and one of the most beautiful. For fun, I even call it ‘Eve’. It has several shortcomings. The yarn is cheap synthetic with many drawbacks but when I spotted it, I just could not walk away: such a sublime rosy tint! Do you see it? Please, don’t peer - it is not there: the tint was washed off the moment I stepped in water. Instead, ‘Eve’ seemed to absorb all microscopic dirt particles that happened to swim about. When I came out, the bikini was slightly greenish. Fortunately, the grit is just as easily washed out. But after the first dip, ‘Eve’ has always been a bit off colour. The bikini is off-white, but it looks very good this way, too, albeit not as heavenly as it used to in its primordial state )) Another issue is the strapless top: actually, the bra has invisible silicone straps, but they do not tolerate water well and need regular replacement. Yet, I love the strapless look and want to keep it.
I love this one for the delicate fawn shades with dip dye effect, and call it 'femininity'. It has elastic bra tape, which is more durable than elastic band. However, after a couple of seasons one of the plastic rings in the trunks snapped, so I have to figure out how to mend it. Of course, I considered metallic rings, but there’s always the risk of rust. Metallic accessories that are guaranteed rust-proof cost a fortune in this market economy. The fabric of the bra cups has now stretched a bit, too - not the greatest bra cup pattern for the small-busted, btw.
The big advantage of yarn bikinis is that they do not give you clear tan lines. The transition between exposed areas and white patches is smooth - I explained it in the previous article on crocheted beachwear - so the visual effect on flesh looks more pleasing. The weak links are mentioned throughout this article. Shortly speaking, elastic strips are a nuisance: they have to be top quality, yet still don’t last very long. Better choice is the satin bra tape. It is also possible to design something that does not require stretch bands in any places. But mind that non-stretch bikinis have to fit perfectly lest they give you sore spots from rubbing. And I am afraid there is no way to break them in, the way people do with new shoes - especially if you want to take swims. Also, yarn bikinis take more time to dry.
The ethnica-inspired two-piece is totally rubber-free: not a single strip of elastic band in its design. It is also a perfect fit, although with the tanga trunks it is a bit too skimpy for my taste. I wear it now and then. There are many ethnica-ispired items among crochet bikini designs you can find on the world wide web. Ethnic patterns are quite easy to incorporate into knitted or crocheted fabric, so this style gives crafters plenty of room to be creative. Crochet bikinis with ethnic motifs look real hot, especially on sun-kissed skin.
The model, that I have dubbed 'Spicy Sprinkle', is now one of the swimsuits I put on most often - and to think that I even did not plan to keep this particular bikini because I already had one made with the same multi-coloured thread that spices up the design around the edges. I love the sandy colour and the trimming: looks just great on sun-tanned skin. The yarn is mercerised cotton, and the stretch parts are made from satin bra tape, so the model can withstand many outings to the beach. The weak link in such cases can be in the needlework: the thread used to attach the parts may come undone with time, then you will have to mend it. With this one I already had to reattach some of the little decorative rectangles at the back of the trunks.
Spicy Sprinkle also turned out to be one of the most original crochet bikini designs, reminiscent of modern retro trends. I really like this two-piece.
It is my second handmade swimsuit, crocheted right after the black and white bikini topping the list. This ‘Sexy’ model looks so steamy that I abstain from wearing it. I love the lingerie-inspired look, though. And the design is a piece of craft to be proud of.
Military clothing trends are in vogue, so I have crocheted a military-styled bikini. The utilitarian design and colour makes it practical save for the elastic straps that will need to be replaced sooner or later. Also I have doubts about the two rhinestones that sit right and left to the bra buckle in the front. They are cheap plastic and will most pobably soon loose their lustre. The good news is that you can quickly remove them and sew on a new pair.
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