A two-piece swimsuit is generally referred to as a bikini. It has a top that resembles a bra and a bottom that resembles underwear. A tankini is in the same family as the bikini but provides a bit more coverage. Instead of the top looking similar to a bra, it more closely resembles a tank top — hence the “tank” in tankini. Tankinis are not as easy to find as bikinis and come in fewer designs and colors. For this reason you may want to convert your bikini into a tankini.

Things You'll Need

Measure your waist and bust with measuring tape. In addition, put on the bikini and measure the length from the bottom of the bikini to your belly button. Write down your measurements in inches.

Purchase a nylon/lycra blend fabric that matches the color or complements the color of your bikini. Provide the fabric store clerk with your measurements so she can cut the amount of fabric you will need. Ensure the fabric is cut an inch longer than your measurements.

Unhook the back of your bikini and lay flat, faced down. Sew the top edge of your fabric underneath the bottom edge of your bikini. Ensure you are sewing with the side you want to be seen face down.

Cut any extra fabric from either side leaving an inch extra past the bikini’s end. Fold the extra inch to the back and sew closed to create a seam.

Fold the bottom of the fabric up 1 inch and sew a seam as you did in Step 4.

Try on your tankini top and use the original bikini fastener to close the back. The back fabric should have a natural slit in it for style as well as to allow you to easily put on your new top. If the top is longer than desired, cut the original seam, fold up the fabric and resew it to the desired length.


  • Most swimsuits are made from a nylon/lycra blend fabric. Check your bikini’s tag and if it is made from a different fabric, purchase that fabric instead for a better match.