Aria partial shelf bra/ swim top

Aria partial shelf bra/ swim top

Posted by Leah Winkelmann on

The Aria top is designed to be worn over a bra.  However, it can be modified slightly to insert a full or partial shelf bra.  The partial shelf bra is ideal if you don't want to see the elastic line across the back, as with a swim top.

Partial Shelf Bra Modification

Additional supplies:

      1” elastic

      Swim lining

      Power mesh (optional/ suggested for bigger busts)

  1. Cut Aria front with low rise neck and tank back in main fabric, size down one.
  2. Cut back using swim lining.
  3. Cut front lining on the fold, ¼” shy of the mid point. If using 1" elastic, lengthen the bodice 2”.  For any other elastic width, add double the width to the length of the bodice.

          Those needing additional support may consider also cutting a layer the front out of power mesh, same as you did with the swim lining.


4.  Cut elastic 1-2” short of the width of the front piece, depending on personal preference. Align elastic to raw edge. Serge/ stretch stitch with a slight stretch, pulling so the elastic spans the width of the fabric.  Turn up to wrap the elastic in fabric, and top stitch along top edge.

5.  Construct the Aria front as instructed in the pattern.


6.  Align front and back at the shoulder seam, right sides together.  Swim lining and optional power mesh will be outside the main swim fabric.  Stretch stitch along the shoulder seam.


7.  Align along the side seam; the top edge of the elastic from your shelf bra will be just under the serge line of the bodice and twist. Fold the back hem up 1” over the front, as instructed in the pattern.

8.  Flip Aria right side out.  The sewn edges will be encased by the flipped up back.  Top stitch along the 1” upturned back hem as instructed.  Attach arm bands/ sleeves as desired.


The inside of your Aria should look like this when finished:

Enjoy your new swim top/ low impact partial shelf Aria!

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  • I was hoping Aria could be made into a swim top. 🙂 Thanks for the tutorial.

    Katrina on

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