Online Patternmaking Classes
by Don McCunn
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Creating Bandeau Tops and Variations

During this week you will learn how to create a Bandeau pattern that can be used to create variations.


Bandeau Top Designs

The first step in creating a Bandeau is to establish the design lines, see page 52 of my book. The Bandeau Top Pattern pdf file may be downloaded, printed, and used to create a record of the Bandeau you create.

To measure for a Bandeau you may wish to work with a fitting buddy. If you do not have a fitting buddy to help, you can easily take these measurements on your own. The DIY videos show the Do-It-Yourself process. For step-by-step written instructions, see pages 52 to 54 in the book.

Design & Measure a Bandeau Top

DIY Design & Measure a Bandeau Top

Drafting the Pattern

Once you have the measurements, you can draft the patterns. You will find the instructions for doing this on the same pages that described the measurements.

The first video shows how to create the basic shape. The second video shows how to create the unique dart shape for this Bandeau pattern. While the printed instructions talk about cutting the initial pattern to achieve the dart, the second video shows how to accomplish the same shape by tracing and pivoting the initial pattern. Tracing and pivoting is a common pattern design technique. It is usually use to add fullness. In this case it is use to remove the fullness.

Drafting the Basic Shape

Creating the Dart

Sewing the Trial Muslin

The first video below shows how to add the allowances to the pattern for elastic, see also page 55 of my book.

Adding Elastic Allowance

Sewing a Trial Muslin

Fitting the Bandeau

The Bandeau pattern needs to be fitted to verify the size of the dart and establish the location of the above bust and rib cage lines. The videos below show both how to do this fitting with another person and how to do it yourself.

Fitting the Bandeau

DIY Fitting the Bandeau

Basic Bandeau

Basic Bandeau

These instructions show how to create a basic bandeau using the swimsuit edge finish. Adjust the elastic allowances of the bandeau pattern at the top and bottom to the width of the elastic you will be using. This is a pull over style with the center back being cut on the fold.

Sew the Foam to the Lining

Add the Fashion Fabric

Sew the Elastic

Ring Bandeau

Ring Bandeau

These instructions show how to create a bandeau with a ring and also one that is partial, not going all the way around the body. You can use the concepts for preparing the center front to create a bandeau that accents gathers at center front even without a ring. The fullness for this design is 300%.

To create a bandeau that has as much styling as this one, I suggest using a muslin version of the basic bandeau pattern, then draw the desired design lines directly on the muslin. These marks can then be transferred to the paper pattern.

The instructions below describe the process of creating a master thinking pattern before you proceed to the multiple pattern pieces that are required to make this garment.

Sew the foam to the lining using the same steps described for the basic bandeau. The videos below do not repeat this sequence. You are then ready to combine the fashion fabric with the lining.

The Design

The Pattern

Combine the Fashion Fabric & Lining

Add the Ring

Add the Cording

Skirted Swimsuit

Skirted Swimsuit

These instructions show how to add a skirt to the bandeau. While the heading is for a "Skirted Swimsuit" the patterns can be used for a top or dress of any length.

To create the basic pattern for a skirt for the bandeau top, see the instructions on page 56. The main difference between a skirt for a bikini top and the bandeau top is that the bandeau can be shaped up at center front under the bust. The skirt pattern should be shaped to fit the bandeau curve so it will hang correctly.

For a swimsuit I would recommend a minimum amount of fullness in the skirt so it will stay close to the body. For the example shown there is 2" of ease at the hips. The ease can be kept to a minimum because Lycra stretches. The top is a combination of the foam sewn to the lining. The fashion fabric is then sewn and combined with the lining.

When you sew the side seams and the skirt together. You can hem the skirt at this point. If you prefer you can wait until the entire garment is together and then come back and hem the skirt as a final step. For step-by-step written instructions, see pages 56 & 57 in the book.

The Body of the Skirt

Sew the Hem

Sew the Lining to the Foam

Sew the Fashion Fabric

Combine the Fashion Fabric & Lining

Finish the Top Edge

Complete the Skirted Swimsuit

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