Swimsuit Sew-Along: Notions

This post is one part of a Swimsuit Sew-Along series! If you missed the previous posts and would like to join in, just click below!

Are you getting excited!? Gathering supplies is one of my favorite parts about sewing. You can start to see the project come to life and it’s just the fuel you need to get cutting and sewing! Our last post covered fabric, which is a key element of making a swimsuit, for sure! But what would it be without elastic, bra cups and/or all the other items that make a swimsuit practical, comfortable and well-fitting?!

So, you want to pick up your pattern envelope, instruction pages or go back to the website where you purchased your pattern and gather some more information. Continuing with our example swimsuit, you will want to find the pattern description where we found the fabric recommendations in our last post. Here’s what it might look like:



For this suit, we will need 5 1/2 yards of 3/8″ elastic for Swimsuit View D and 1 1/2 yards of 3/8″ elastic for Skirt view E. That’s a total of 7 yards. I highly recommend the clear elastic for swimsuits, though the braided can

work in a pinch. It was easy for me to find in my local JoAnn’s Fabrics in the elastic aisle, packaged just like the picture on the right. Other items you may find in your notions list include clear bra hooks, & bra cups (which come in various sizes, be sure to get the size you need). If your pattern calls for a notion you’re not familiar with, please let me know and I’ll help you find it.

After you’ve looked at the “notions” for your pattern, you’ll want to do one last check for any other supplies in your fabric chart. Sometimes notions are hidden there so just look over the rest of the chart for the letters for you view/style. In this example, the Butterick pattern calls for Poly Laminate Foam for view D.


If you happen to be larger than a C/D cup, the Poly Laminate Foam is used to make a bra cup to fit your needs. I am dubious about it’s availability in the local stores (if you find it, please tell us where!), but I did find it at Sew Sassy Fabrics, a great online source for bra-making. You will find the Poly Laminate Foam on the third listing down.

threadFor thread, be sure to grab a polyester thread to match your fabric. Polyester is strong and long lasting for this kind of project. Cotton thread won’t be able to hold up to the wear and tear & sun and water that a swimsuit is exposed to.

Your shopping list should now look something like this:

  1. Ball Point/Stretch Sewing Needles (single, double and/or for your serger)
  2. Swimsuit Sewing Pattern
  3. Nylon Lycra, 4-way-stretch, swimsuit fabric
  4. Swimsuit Lining/Tricot
  5. Clear Elastic/Bra Cups/Bra Hooks/Poly Laminate Foam/Etc. – Any notions your pattern calls for
  6. Polyester Thread to match

You may also want to pick up the following if they are not in your sewing supplies

  • Sharp Fine Pins – nothing is more frustrating than trying to pin a pattern to fabric (especially stretchy fabric) with dull pins!! Believe me!
  • Sharp Scissors – you can have yours sharpened or buy a new set while you’re out. It is equally as frustrating to cut with scissors that gnaw at your fabric and make it difficult to get an accurate cut.

That concludes the Notions post in our Swimsuit Sew-Along! I’ll check in with you Friday to see where everyone’s at, discuss a date for our local sew-along and let you know the schedule of posts for those of you who are not local! Thanks for following along and, as always, I’m here to help! See you Friday!


7 thoughts on “Swimsuit Sew-Along: Notions

  1. My wife would love this if she had a need (haven’t put on the suit she bought 3 years ago except to see it still fits) and we could get the sewing machine fixed. Haven’t dared take her swimming anywhere since she needs steps to get in and out of the water….and chlorine is bad for her.

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