Hello Honey Bees! Today we are going to show you how to add some different back straps to the new Honey Bee Swimsuit and Leotard! This pattern is great already, but we decided to take it up a notch by adding some fancy cross straps.

I  will be working with a size 5 for this post, since every kid is different the strap lengths might be different even if you are working in the same size. I suggest making an unlined version and basting your straps on to check length before doing a lined version. If you are working with a larger or smaller size your straps may be different lengths too. I started off with a long strip and just cut from there when doing my first version.

Lets get started! You will need your #1 and #5 straps from the pattern and 2 other “pattern pieces” that you can make yourself. For the size 5 I used a 11 inch and a 7 inch strap. For this version I used just 1 inch wide straps like the current strap pieces, but you can always add (for example: making them 1.5 inches wide) and make all the pattern pieces wider. So you should now have 3 straps pieces, straps 1 and 5, and then a long strap (11 inches in my case) and a slightly shorter strap (7 inches for me).


You need to cut 1 of each of strap 1, strap 5, and the longer strap. You will need 2 of the last strap.  I also have my neckband and leg bands cut in the picture below.


You are now going to take each strap and sew them long sides together, leaving the short ends open.


Now you will need to turn your straps, I find the best way to do this is with a safety-pin, but you can use whichever method of strap turning that you would like. I recommend keeping your strap pieces clipped to the pattern pieces so you don’t get them mixed up. (ask me how I figured this out 😉 )

Now that we have our straps made (they will be skinnier then the normal Honey Bee straps, since we are only using 1 instead of 2) we will grab our back pattern piece and make an additional mark for our straps. You will want to measure from the middle of the neckline in 1 3/4 inch.


If you haven’t already cut our the rest of your pattern pieces! Grab the back of your swimsuit/leotard and transfer your markings. You will mark the spot at strap 1, 5, our new mark, and the center back of the neckline. Remember to add the markings to both sides of the neckline. I use a pen that disappears when you iron it, but use your preferred marking method.


Go ahead and assemble your Honey Bee according to the directions all the way up to adding the straps, so after adding the neckline. I don’t press my neck line at this point since I still need to see my markings.


Grab your strap 1 and pin on to the strap 1 markings. Do the same with strap 5 and the strap 5 markings.


Now grab one of the shorter straps and pin it to the center back marking and tuck it under strap 5. DO9A2028

Repeat with the second shorter strap, but this time lay the strap on top of strap 5. Pin these straps on top of strap 1 ends.


Grab your long strap and pin to the additional marking we made earlier. Tuck this strap under the straps that cross at strap 5.


Loop the strap up over the top of strap 1 and bring it down and pin to the last mark left.  You should now have all your straps pinned and it should look like this.


Baste all your straps in place.

DO9A2035Here is a close up of how I baste my straps into place. I used contrasting blue thread for this example. I baste within my seam allowance.


Make sure to try on your model before finishing up your swimsuit/leotard!!

After you are happy with strap length (remember you can always cut some extra length off, so that is why I recommend starting off with a longer strap 🙂 ), finish according to the directions in the tutorial by topstitching and adding leg and arm bands. All done!!!

If you haven’t already grab you Honey Bee Here and make all the swimsuits and leos!!








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