Boca Bay Swimsuit Pattern Hacks Collection: Flounce, Lace Up, and Keyhole

Boca Bay Swimsuit Pattern Hacks Collection: Flounce, Lace Up, and Keyhole

Posted by Melanie Burns on

Hello everyone out in Greenstyle Land! As soon as the Boca Bay Swimsuit was just released, we started dreaming of all the ways we could hack it to get even more fun looks. Although we have so many more ideas, we'll start you off with just 3: A Flounce hack from Cynthia Hendrickson, a Lace Up Front hack from Danielle Allen, and a Keyhole Front hack from Melanie Burns.

We'll start off with the Flounce hack first.

Hello Greenstylers! Cynthia here with a super fun and easy Flounce hack to the Boca Bay Swimsuit Top! I recently detailed a similar hack for the PSB on my blog ( but this one is even easier!
Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Boca Bay Pattern Front Piece
  • Extra Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  1. Start by tracing the front part of your Boca Bay Top. Add your desired length. For reference, I  am making Size D with the Gathered side seam (for larger cup sizes) and added 1” to the side seam and 2” to the center fold line.
  2. To create the Flounce we’ll use the Slash and Spread method. Begin by drawing vertical lines on your pattern piece. I drew 9 lines. Notice that they’re not evenly spaced. There are more lines closer together near the center fold line. That’s because I want more of the fullness of the flounce at the front center. You can space your Iines however you choose. 
  3. Now for the “slash” part of Slash and Spread. Cut each line from the bottom ‘almost’ all the way up to the top. Leave a tiny bit of paper uncut at the top of each line to act as a hinge. 
  4. Spread each slash open. I spread each one 1” at the bottom. Strips of paper cut 1” wide help tremendously on this step. Or you can simply use a ruler and tape the whole thing down onto a big piece of paper.
  5. After you’ve slashed and spread trim up all the edges to make a smooth bottom curve and your new flounce pattern piece will look something like this.
  6. Mark 3/8” up from the original bottom edge of your pattern piece. If you’re using the gathered front you’ll need to use the back piece to get the adjusted (post gathers) side seam length and mark 3/8” from that spot. It will be higher up than shown in this picture.
  7. Now you’ll cut out your Flounce piece. Cut one on the fold.
  8. Follow the Tutorial Steps 1-3. Then mark the Top Center of your Front and Flounce piece and lay both on your work surface Right Side Up. Slide the Flounce on top of your Front
  9. Line up the Side Seams, Armscyes, and Centers and pin making sure the side seam of the Flounce is 3/8” shorter than the Front. This so the Flounce doesn’t get sewn into the bottom band at the end
  10. Baste the two pieces together along side seams, armscyes, and top. Again, make sure the flounce side seam is 3/8” shorter than the front. Now is the time to trim, if necessary.
  11. Follow the remainder of the tutorial treating the new Front Piece with Flounce the same as the plain front piece. Just make sure to keep the flounce out of the way when attaching the back piece and bottom band.
And Bam! Look at you in your cute Boca Bay Flounce Top!
Now, let's hear about how to made the Lace Up front.
Hey everyone, Danielle Allen here! The Boca is an AMAZING suit, and the silhouette lends itself so well to multiple hacks to create new suits! Here’s how I made a lace up front version (:

First up, we are going to alter our front piece! I removed 1.5” from the center, and then curved the neckline up to meet the strap insertion point. Copy this piece, removing ¼” from the bottom to create your new lining pattern piece

I cut two linings, one from swim lining (from bluemoon) and one from techsheen. I cut a slit in the center of my lining to create an area I could add removable cups, and basted my lining to my techsheen. From now on they are treated as one piece
Stitch your side seams on your main and lining pieces as instructed in the pattern, and attach your straps to the “main” piece. I use wonder tape for this step instead of basting
Next, lay your lining and main right sides together, and stitch across the armscye/back seams.
At this point, I like to turn my suit right sides out and insert the strap into the front point (using wonder tape again, it’s my favorite)
Be careful that your strap isn’t twisted at all
And sandwich it between your main and lining. Next, I like to serge/sew across the strap, and then do the straight front seam followed by the neck seam so that I can get as close to the strap insertion as possible.

Add elastic to your seams (optional, but I swear it makes it better)
Then turn and top stitch along your seams. I used a zig zag stitch with both my length and width set to 3.5

Now let’s focus on our band. We are going to start it ¼” in from the end. I put wonder tape on mine to use for scale (we’re going to fold it In later, and I love the wonder tape takes the place of clips for me sometimes)
Serge/sew this band to the bottom of your suit using a 3/8” seam allowance. And then take your band elastic (following the measurement in the chart) and overlap it to where the top of the elastic covers your serged seam. Attach with a stretch stitch.
Next, fold the band over the elastic, encasing it and then fold the ¼” in on each side. Pin and top stitch (I used my cover stitch for this step) 
Now we are goin to make the channel for our grommets!
Measure ¾” in on each straight side of the front and stitch a line. This helps take the “pull” off your grommets and saves us from needing to add extra interfacing
Add your grommets using your preferred method (I mark the center, ¼” from
The top and bottom, and then halfway between those marks for a total of 5 grommets)
Then lace up and you’re good to go! I made my center strap 20”x1” and cut off the extra once I I had it sitting how I liked. I can’t wait to see yours! Make sure to post in the Greenstyle Facebook group so everyone else can love and appreciate your new suit too!
And lastly, let's hear about how to make the Front Keyhole Hack.
Hey y'all, it's Melanie Burns with another cool hack to the Boca Bay top. I've been seeing all those cute bottom keyhole bikini tops all over social media, but the ones I've been seeing were either too wide, too tall, or too little coverage for slightly bigger busts. Since the Boca Bay has amazing coverage, I figured it would be the perfect base to make this cute hack manageable for those of us of all bust sizes!
Let's get started!
1) Lets modify the pattern piece. I measured 2" in from the fold line of the front, and 1 3/4" up from the bottom front, then drew a curve from each mark and cut that out of the pattern piece.
Then, lets lower the center front 1", curving it up to the spot where the front of the strap inserts, much like the Power Sports Bra. Leave a 3/4" opening to allow for seam allowance and the strap.
This is what your pattern piece should look like with both modifications.
Feel free to adjust to your personal preference, these are just suggested measurements! 
2) Now, lets cut out all of our pattern pieces! I lined mine with tech sheen, so I cut out 2 main front pieces, one lining piece, the straps, 2 back main pieces, one back lining piece, and the band. I modified this one to have 2" elastic in it, so my band is a bit bigger than the pattern calls for. I wanted more of a longer line look! Also, if you aren't adding an extra layer of support like Power Net or Techsheen, I highly recommend stabilizing each seam with clear elastic to keep the fabric from stretching out too much and to give a little extra support. 
3) Next, we're going to assemble the pattern as directed in the instructions, stopping before adding the band. So we'll sew the front and back main and lining pieces together, pin the straps into place, insert the lining into the main with right sides together, sew along the top connecting the main and lining, then finishing off with sewing the front straps in place after testing for length and adjusting as needed. Our top should look like this: 
4) Now we'll close the keyhole using the Burrito Method. We're going to separate the main and the lining front pieces, the wrong side will look like this:
Then turn the piece over like this, so the back pieces are laying on top of the opened main and lining pieces. The right side will look like this:
See how the back pieces are all rolled up in the middle, laying on the main sides of the front? We're going to wrap the back and straps up like a little fabric burrito, and match the main and lining curves, making sure the rest of the pieces are snugly inside.
5) Next we're going to pin or use clips along the curve, and sew or serge that keyhole curve carefully, making sure we don't catch the back of the top in the seam allowance. Here's what the main side looks like clipped:
 And here's what the lining side looks like after being serged:
6) Next we're going to pull the rest of the top right side out. Pick a strap and start pulling out of the opening beside the keyhole we just sewed, and the rest of the top will follow. I chose to topstitch to make sure my main and lining didn't shift, and also because I wanted this top to be fully reversible so it looks clean on both sides. 
Once we get to this stage, all that's left to do is add the band! We can do this one of two ways, but I forgot to photograph them so hopefully my descriptions will suffice. We can either serge the waistband on folded in half like the pattern states, insert the elastic, then topstitch the serge seam down so it doesn't show from the outside, OR we can attach one side of the waistband on, fold the sewn seam allowance down, fold over the seam allowance on the unserged side of the waistband, and pin the folded edge over the sewn seam and topstitch, attaching it like a double fold binding. Leave a few inches open to insert the elastic, then finish topstitching the opening closed. I chose option two and topstitched with a zigzag stitch, and it looks nice and clean on both sides!
We hope you enjoyed these hacks, and can't wait to see what you all do with them! Have fun and happy sewing!

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