Hack the Nautilus Bikini into a High Waist with Twists

If the Nautilus is a little bit too low waisted for your taste, have no fear – it’s a pretty simple hack to turn the Nautilus Swimsuit View B (the one with the cool twists on the bottom) into a high waist and keep the twists! Yes! Before you do this hack, you probably want to read through the sewalong for View A (the one piece) as the join from top front to top bottom around the twist is very similar to the join for this hack.

high waist nautilus bikini hack

The first decision you need to make is how much extra height you want to add to the pattern. As written, it’s low rise. I added 3″ to the finished suit to bring it up to a mid rise, a couple of inches below my navel. You can add less or more as you see fit.

cut strips of fabric for high waist

Cut two strips of fabric and two strips of lining that are the height you want to add to your suit + 1/2″ (because there is a 1/4″ seam allowance on the top and bottom of the strip).

extra band for high waist nautilus bottom with twist

Sew the fabric right sides together and the lining right sides together so that the bottom of the strip is the width of the top of the nautilus bikini bottoms. The amount of taper you want from bottom to top of the strip depends on the shape of your body. My body tapers a lot toward my waist so I have a pretty strong taper. If yours doesn’t you can sew your strips with a more vertical side seam.

sew main swimsuit

Sew the bottoms as directed in the instructions, leaving off any elastic along the top of the suit.

sew twist on nautilus like view a

The elastic around your twist should stop right about at the seam between front lining and front facing (again, like sewing the top of View A). On the sides, you should stop the elastic at about the same distance around the curve as you do on the front (see the right side of the twist in this picture). Don’t continue the elastic all the way to the seam between side front and back as it is a longer distance than the distance to the facing on the front.

sew band on top of nautilus bottom

Sew the band to the bottoms in a sandwich of band fabric right side up, bottoms right side down, band lining right side down. When you reach the twists, allow them to pull up out of the seam (again, refer to the View A sewalong for a lot more details). Since you don’t have markings for where the twists should line up with the band (like you would when sewing the twists on View A), you can figure out where the twists should be in relation to the band by trying on the swimsuit and band and marking them on your body.

nautilus twist on bottom of bikini

This is what the twist looks like tucking up into the top band.

understitch natuilus bikini bottom

Understitch across the gap to prevent your lining from being visible from the right side of your finished suit.

finish top of nautilus bikini

Sew elastic to the top of the suit, keeping tension on the elastic as you sew.

hemming a tankini

Fold the top to the inside and stitch it down.

high waist nautilus bikini hack 3

Rock your new high waist suit – with twists!

high waist nautilus bikini 4

Thanks to Funkifabrics for providing the fabric for this tutorial

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  1. Love it! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a swimsuit bottom cut like this before. A total original design. Wowsers! (And thanks for posting beautiful, natural, unretouched body photos. That is super important to me as a mom of two young girls.)

    1. Thanks for the compliments. The swimsuits are meant to be worn on beautiful, natural, un-retouched bodies so it makes sense to me to show them that way!

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