Crochet Bikinis and Bathing Suits?

By Rachel Choi – 55 Comments

I love crochet, because just about anything can be crocheted! But to be honest I haven’t tried crocheting a bikini or bathing suit yet. A few request for a bathing suit pattern have come up over the year, and I just can’t wrap my head around creating a functional bathing suit pattern. My worries aren’t really about crocheting the shape of a bikini or other bathing suit styles, but with how it would hold up in the water.

In my bikini wearing experience, even the regular store bought bikini’s have a chance of falling off (no one wants that). Once, I was playing in the waves at the beach and a big one hit, knocking me off my feet and popping a boob out of my top! Was I embarrassed? Heck ya! I’m glad to tell you I’ve never worn that bikini since.

My point is if an ordinary bikini can have malfunctions, a crochet bikini may have some too. I’ll have to give some though to the material and design if I were to create a crochet pattern for one.

If you’ve crocheted a bikini or other type of bathing suit before, how did it go? If you haven’t do you think you would like to crochet a bikini or bathing suit?

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  1. Anna says:

    Crochet and swimwear? An emphatic NO from me! *L*

    I can understand the desire to make one from a technical point of view. It would definitely be a skills challange. However, the crochet bikini, or any swimwear at all, belongs firmly in the What Not To Crochet category. To me, bikinis are crochet’s version of jumping the shark! *L*

    • Elizabeth wohltman says:

      I have spent the past eight years perfecting the crochet bikini. I crochet bikinis everyday all day!
      It can be done very well and it is for sure a technical challenge. Mine you can swim wash dry and they even hold up big boobs. They don’t stretch out or give you a soggy bottom

  2. Sybil J. Chialiva says:

    I had a friend who crocheted a bikini. She went in the water, and the thing stretched until it wouldn’t stay on her body. A friend had to go get her a beach towel so she could come out of the water! LOL!
    I would NEVER crochet anything like that, though I love crocheted cover-ups. 🙂

  3. Antonia says:

    I used to crochet bikini tops when I was in high school. That was back in the ’70’s. They were easy to crochet…..we weren’t every big on top!

  4. Kelley says:

    I crocheted a bikini once, but never wore it. Once I sewed a liner into it, it was really thick (and I used a thin yarn). Also, the top had no support, so I would have had to sew some sort of bra top into it, which I wasn’t willing to do. It was fun to crochet, and it looked really nice when finished. Maybe I should hang it as artwork!

  5. Mary says:

    maybe as a joke for a friend, but a definite NO for me. There would be absolutely no support on top, plus above situations, lol.
    I read a Carly Phillips novel, The Bachelor, where the heroine of the novel owns her own business with the biggest sale items are her hand-crocheted bras/panties…but wouldn’t that feel awkward?

  6. Amy says:

    I did the monokini (its on ravelry). But i used non water use yarn lol. it was some german yarn i think..i cant think of the brand but it was more wool than anytihng..its used for socks and it was so itchy after i washed it. it came out neat looking but i want to do it in some cotton next time. It actually fit really well (after i had to modify the top to fit me).

  7. Rita_K says:

    When I was younger, they were all the rage. I wanted one so badly but my mom would not make one for me. All of the ones I saw were lined with a thin material so I imagine that stretch was not a big factor. The yarn was thin too. I imagine it had to be some kind without much stretch, or that was pre-washed to reduce the amount of stretch. I would like to try a pattern, but I would definitely not wear it. But then again, I am in the over 50 age bracket. Perhaps for one of my daughters?

  8. Angie says:

    I’m with all those out there that said NO WAY, that is definitely on my list of things not to crochet. I have many issues with crochet bikinis and the number one issue is that not all women are made the same way, some could get away with wearing one, and others (like myself) are so equipped that it would take A LOT of yarn to cover and would probably not look so good in one. I’ve seen them in magazines and stuff and they are very cute but, I’ve never seen one in my size. 🙂

  9. I do not have a bikini body so the answer is no for me. I also won’t be making one for my daughters for modesty reasons, but I saw some on Etsy last night that were cute. I agree – hang it as artwork.

    Stretch factor? I can’t imagine!

  10. Shannon says:

    I think I would make a top for my daughter. I have skin cancer so she only uses it as something to go under a long swim shirt. So I thnk one would work for her.

  11. Mary B says:

    There’s a cute pattern for one in The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller. It’s so cute I’ve been tempted, but I don’t know if I could bring myself to actually wear it. If I remember correctly, it uses sport weight yarn.

  12. Samantha says:

    I am so oddly porportioned top to bottom ratio wise that I would be terrified to even attempt to make a bikini top and a one-piece bathing suit is just out of the question. If I were less well endowed with my genetic bounty I WOULD at least try to make a bikini for myself!

  13. Gaabriel says:

    I think you may be able to make a lined Bikini that would be okay. I am a bit too busty to feel safe in one I believe.

    Has anyone tried making one and felting it?

  14. MrsDarcy says:

    I’m in the process of crocheting a bikini, actually. I’m still deciding on whether to crochet the bottom part as well, but as for the top, I’m guessing it should be okay with lycra lining. I did a “crash test” on the yarn I’m using – I dropped a tiny crochet square in water to see what happens. I repeated this a few times and whaddaya know, it didn’t stretch all that much. To be on the safe side, I’m lining the straps as well.
    So, my granny square bikini will most definately be worn and be swum in. 🙂

  15. Darlene says:

    Maybe wearing for tanning. But not for my 70+ year old body!

  16. Bethintx1 says:

    I would imagine the stretch baby yarn would work for swimwear.

    I’m the wrong shape for any swimwear! As a teen I wore halter tops that were crochet and one that was macrame! some bikinis are not intended to get wet. They are for tanning and lounging.

  17. Victoria says:

    I would love to make them for my daughters, 5 and 7 years old. It’s so hard to find suits to fit my 7 year old, she is long in the torso, so bikini sounds perfect, but she hates her tunny to show. So I’d have to alter a pattern somewhat, but I think with the correct yarn it would be awesome!

  18. Chels says:

    I love the idea of a crocheted bikini, but I’d be so worried about stretching, or (yeah, it’s crazy, i know) getting seaweed/lake gunk stuck in the stitches and not being able to wash it out! (i’m a lil’ OCD)
    I imagine a good sportweight yarn would work though. Either a very titghtly stitched cotton, or probably a good acrylic, again in a tight stitch. And definitely with a lining!
    But overall, I think they’re a great idea! Even if it is just for tanning or lounging. (i myself do not tan, i swim, then run for the shade again.)

  19. Martha says:

    Since we’re telling all, I bought and wore one, back in the ’70s. They were all the rage if you went to Hawaii. I’ve been told the same women are still crocheting them, probably not for themselves or for anyone my age. If I remember correctly it seems they were made of a thin cotton-ish yarn,
    and the stitch was probably a single crochet, rather tight. Accross the top of the bottom was a open area, you could have run (weaved) a thin scarf, belt or tie around (probably double or treble crochet then chain 2 or 3, skip 2 or 3 then double or treble again); and also the bottom had a modesty panel sewn into the crotch.This Bikini never stretched, sagged, or shrunk. I would suggest you contact someone over there for possible assistance with yarn and other pattern suggestions. I remember seeing lots of the bikini vendors on the beaches, there are probably a few still around.

  20. Selina says:

    I’ve actually made one before… I had a lot of ugly cotton yarn that I wasn’t going to do anything else with– so that’s what I did. It was actually a really fun pattern and I could actually see myself wearing it– bearing in mind, of course, a few alterations to make it into a cute one piece.

    The shaping of the top was really comprehensive (I found the pattern in a book I borrowed from the library). It made a lot of sense as I as making it and it looked like it would actually have less issues as far as wardrobe malfunctions go– not none, of course, but fewer at least. Also, if you’re really worried about the fact that cotton stretches and such in water… try putting a lining in!

    Honestly, I like the look of a crocheted bathing suit more than I do a nylon one. It’s cuter and honestly… I think it’s more comfortable. : D

  21. Patricia Hall says:

    I went looking fort the yarn that I bought to make the bikini.

    it is CASCADE Yarn color is Fixation made of 98.3% Cotton and 1.7% Elastic
    You have peaked my interest in making one now. It was for a joke! for a son of mine.


  22. Lori says:

    I wore one when I was in my twenties–a long time ago haha– and loved it. It never stretched out, although I must admit I am small busted so support was not an issue. It was pretty skimpy, and I can’t believe I was brave enough to wear it. I wish I had saved it for the memories 🙂

  23. Erin says:

    Even if I had the body for it, I wouldn’t wear a crochet bathing suit. I don’t trust them 🙂

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I made one back before the Internet, so you know how long ago that was–LOL. The design was in one of those Spinnerin series books.

    I used a pearl cotton mixed with something stretchy (I was in Germany at the time) and lined it with Qiana (can’t get that now). I never wore it for real swimming-just for splashing around in the shallow end and showing off how cute I USED to be.

    It was a fun item, but not for the faint of heart. My daughter wants one now and I keep “forgetting” where the pattern is.

  25. Cami says:

    I think you’d have to use nylon or another water-resistant, non-stretchy yarn. Acrylic & natural fibers would fill with water and cause the above-mentioned snafus. How about adding crocheted trim to an existing suit?

  26. Juli says:

    I don’t have the body for a crocheted bikini, but it would definitely be an interesting thing to make and sell. I’m hoping to have a business some day. I’ve had some interest, but so far I end up wanted to keep everything I make! lol

  27. Jenny says:

    I used to have a crocheted bikini way back in the 80’s. They used to be advertised in the back of Glamour Magazine, and I bought one in a cream color. It looked so nice on the model. It was a string bikini, and I wore it a couple of times without any stretching when wet issues. However, the cream color against my white skin just washed me out so I didn’t wear it much.

  28. Nette says:

    I have made about 3 sets of bikinis … and, yes, it becomes stretchy when wet! I tried putting a lining on it and it really worked pretty well.

  29. Susan says:

    I’ve made a few out of the Cascade Fixation or Katia Cotton Comfort (both cotton/spandex yarns). They turned out really nice but are ONLY for sunbathing. There are lots of decent patterns out there now in 2010, so don’t be shy. I’m 41 and can still rock one.

    I think there are 2 requirements for crocheted bikini success: 1) Use a stretch cotton yarn 2) Don’t go swimming in it.

    If I need to go in the water to snorkel when on vacation, I put on my one-piece Calvin Klein and don’t take a chance with anything two-pieced, let alone a crocheted one.

  30. kikig1977 says:

    Hey Rachel!

    Just in time for the 4th of July! Check it out an patriotic crocheted bikini.

  31. steello says:

    If you use a 100% cotton, then yes it will stretch. Use a blend of cotton, acrylic and polyamide if you wanna swim with it.
    i made a lot of crochet bikinis and one-pieces, and i made both: for showing off and to swim.
    Crochet bikinis are still hot and not only for models, you can make a top with boyshorts or a bikini bottom with a top, ….with or without lining,…..just try it, you will love it!

  32. Owen Morris says:

    I made a peek-a-boo (mesh) string bikini for my wife of over thirty years to take on an anniversary trip. (She was past normal “bikini age”, but she looked lovely to me.)

    I had planned a room with a private in-room pool. I was counting on some instability in the water.

    Unfortunately, she took sick before we could go and never recovered.

    My pattern is on

  33. Crochet Queen says:

    Hi.. well im here to say ladies.. crochet swimwear is not as bad as it seems. Im very ypoung and have been crocheting all my life and ive never been interested in scarfs blankets etc.. i got into swimwear last summer. I did start off using the really bulky cord and it worked ok but it was not good for the water then i researched and found the cords that they used specifically for swimwear. Yes it is something out there tht holds in water keeps the shape.. does not stretch and very machine washable and dryer safe. I actually decided to make it a business..

    No crochet swimwear might not be the perfect thing for everyone but think of this.. Im 235 pounds 44ddd’s and i made a wonderful monokini dress for myself and it held up perfectly.. so dont totally out crochet swimwear unless ufeel your too old to wear it but size should never be a problem why.. because if you have the talent and the brains to crochet anything else.. you can make a swimsuit to fit your body perfectly!

    I would def do crochet swimwear.

  34. sazzy12 says:

    Hi there ladies and who all are here ., I have made a few tops and bottoms . I have the pefect models my son ‘s girlfriends . I am not good enough to make for others with more up top then a or b size. they did look good on the girls though so it was fun.

  35. Andrea says:

    I just found this site today and I am TOTALLY addicted already. I wanted to post on this because I made 2 bikinis. One for me and one for a friend when we went to Cancun. I found a pattern and had to adjust and make a “couple” of cups before actually making the top. I needed an in between size so couldn’t just follow their sizes. Same for the bottom also. I have a bigger butt than just going with the normal oh this entire thing is Small, Medium or Large. Ever since they came out with mix and match swimsuits, life has been better.

    Anyway, the top I made didn’t have much support but let’s be honest, how many bikini’s out there have much support when you wear a 38C to 38D. I totally loved the bikini and my husband did too. In fact, he decided he wanted me to make one for “him”. No not for him t wear, but one for me to wear but for his “eye candy” haha. He wanted a white and black one with the word RAIDERS embroidered over the butt. Obviously he is a die hard Raiders fan. So soon, I will be making a Raiders bikini to wear just for him. Oh the things we do for love haha.

  36. Samantha says:

    I have crochet a couple bathing suits and I LOVE the way they come out. I do them so tightly that you dont even have to line them. They usually take me about two days or so, working about two hours before bed. I think there extreamly easy, although I have been crocheting my whole life (albeit im only 20 lol) I put up a link to the one I just made yesterday! xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  37. Jacqueline says:


    I would love to see your bikini! I have been wanting to crochet a bikini for some time now. Unfortunately, I am not on facebook. Could you email me a photo? Where did you get the pattern? [email protected]

  38. Mewthicus says:

    I started a lingerie bikini that was granny triangles up top and smaller ones on bottom connected by crocheted cord to make a thong… *cough* I never finished it because my cats widdled all over it and all my yarn and other UFO’s… -_-

  39. robin says:

    I would like to make one, however, I can only crochet from readings. Therefore if someone could send me the instruction then I would surely try it out not for myself but for my friend who is constantly bothering me to crochet a bikini suit for he. You see I make items for babies and she is facinated with them. so my interest is peaked.

  40. alina says:

    Nowadays we have a large variety of yarns and threads to choose from, and also quality materials for lining so I guess that if you want, you can find materials to crochet a bikini that holds its shape even when wet.

  41. Shea Webb says:

    I use Cascade fixation. It is cotton with stretch. It does well in the water. I also use cotton thread and trim with fixation since the stretch is only needed under the breast the waist and around the legs. It also secures everything in so there is no exposure. Go to my Instagram page or Facebook to see. If more than a B cup I put a cup inside and do cloth ties for the top ties. I use single or half double crochet very tight. Facebook Sharon Shea Morris Webb. Instagram CroShea.

    • SarahBeth says:

      Can you tell me approximately how much yarn (in grams or yards) you use on an average bathing suit?

  42. Alannah says:

    I’ve recently made a crochet bikini top with some fringe on the bottom amd it turned out really well. I’m on the younger side and I k ow that teens are loving the crochet halter tops. They’re really cute. I’m not very big oN top so support iant an issue and its really comfortable when its hot out. I don’t swim with it though

  43. donka says:

    i’ve crocheted a bunch of bikini tops…use mercerized cotton. it has no stretch, doesn’t absorb a lot of water and works perfectly fine for a bikini you actually want to go in the water with.

    • Dana says:

      Hi there. Sounds like you’ve had success with your swimsuits. 🙂

      Could you please which brand of cotton you used and what size, #10 or #3? If you have a pattern (paid or otherwise) that worked well for you, that would be a great help too. Cheers.

  44. Mama V says:

    I have completed 3 bikinis for my daughter and her friend. I used elanne cotton lycra blend and it worked awesome. The elastic texture waa easy to work with.

  45. fleurdelis says:

    Google search for vintage patterns from the the 60’s and 70’s. The only crocheted 2 piece I ever owned was purchased. It Stretched a lot. Afraid I was going to loose it in the ocean!

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