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Making My First Bikini Set
Article © MAIL User: ELEX

First I would like to say that this is by no means either the only or the best way to make a maille bikini. It is a description of how I made a bikini set.

Image: elex-001-bikinifront.jpg Image: elex-002-bikiniback.jpg

To make this bikini was a self-appointed challenge. As I don´t wear a bikini myself I had to find someone or something for fitting and refitting. I ended up buying a mannequin specially for this project.

One slight downside to this is that a mannequin is always smaller than the average human being and thus the bikini is also relatively small. As a result almost nobody fits this bikini. Luckily the size of the straps can easily be modified. In this way a certain bikini top can easily be adapted for someone with the right cup-size.

I used a rather large ring size, thus providing relatively little coverage. One could use smaller rings, wear a regular bikini underneath or use cloth inlays under the maille to increase coverage.
On the other hand, one might actually want little coverage.

For the bikini I made, I used the following materials:

Top: approx 1500 rings galvanised steel, WD 2mm, ID 10mm
one clasp, under the left armpit.

Bottom: approx 1500 rings galvanised steel, WD 2mm, ID 10mm
two clasps, one at either side.

Image: elex-003-bikinicup.jpg Image: elex-004-bikinicupdiagram.gif

All straps are standard European 4 in 1.
The cups are also made of Euro 4 in 1. The cups I made are a size C.
Begin with an "M" shaped patch as in the diagram. One side of the M-shape is a bit wider. This will become the outer side of the top. It will better support the breast. The shoulder strap will be also connected to this wider part. Note, the direction of the weave is the 'wrong' way. Connect the inside of the "M" with a 45° seam.
The underside of the cups are connected to a strap going around the torso by means of a 90° seam. See the pictures for a general idea of the construction of the various straps.

A single clasp is located under the left armpit. It enables the top to be taken off. I chose to put the clasp at the left side as this is easy to reach with the right hand, thus assuming the wearer will be right-handed.

The basic weave used was Euro 4 in 1.
The pattern is basically two large upside-down triangles. A large one for the back and a smaller one for the front. The tops of the two triangles are connected, forming the groin. The sides of the triangles are connected with the clasps. The back part has a few contractions near the upper edge to make it just a little tighter. This keeps it from sliding off the hips.

Suggestions for a next bikini:
- smaller rings.
- titanium.
- an inlay (could be very cool).
- Dragonscale for the top (definitely cool).
- rotate the direction of the weave of the bottom by 90°, and perhaps some more Dragonscale.
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