For as long as there has been swimwear, it’s been getting smaller and smaller. Ankle to wrist, neck to knee, the square leg one piece, the high cut leg, the bikini, the 70′s hipster and finally the minikini and microkini. The minikini originated in the early 70′s and was a smaller version of the crotched (or knitted) hipster … essentially a hipster with strings … it’s demise probably had something to do with the fact it was so small it showed hair above the waist band string … popular in playboy magazine but outside most public decency laws of the time. The advent of the half and full brazillian waxes put an end to that arguement, as did 30 years of social evolution (good or bad).
Recent minikinis became known as brazillian’s … low cut, narrow string side bikini bottoms with correspondingly proportional string tops. The micro is the inevitable end point of this evolution and essentially refers to anything barely large enough to cover the essentials, which often it doesn’t. The item is so small it can’t even be made with a fold over elastic seam and instead requires specialised 4mm wide binding attachments used on either a straight stitch machine or single needle coverstitch machine (preferable). The same binding is used to make the string sides and g-string back which are all joined together via small stainless steel rings. Not an easy construction compared to a standard string bikini.
The pattern for the actual piece is simple and because of it’s size, completely irrelevant to the size of the wearer. The only thing that really changes is the length of the strings … and that’s dependant on how wide the binder is and whether or not elastic is used within it. Still, you can buy these micros in arbitrary small, medium, large and extra large … which is more about chosing exactly how much exposure you’re after in a particular style than it is about size (although string lengths do grade up poprotionally).
Now if you thought something so small meant that there was no room for style you’d be just as wrong. In fact a quick visit to one of the earliest manufacturers, Wicked Weasel, will show you just how many ways you can interpret “tiny” … although I note that the recent trend seems to be back toward the more traditional sizes. Other manufacturers include TeenyB, Look and Dare 2 Wear. I don’t necessarily recommend these brands as I’ve not had much to do with them, but I bring them up because it’s worth taking a look to see just how many micro styles are available and how they’re sized. With the exception of Byron Bay in Australia (the home of Wicked Weasel and a more alternative lifestyle), I’ve never seen a micro worn on any other beach anywhere … ever. Thongs and G’s yes, micros no. Now if you consider these things are very big business, then they’re being worn somewhere, so I’m going to give you patterns for them. Because there’s no point in doing instructions for something so arbitrary, below you will find an illustration of a style with links for a file of nested S, M, L and XL patterns with no added seam allowance (you don’t need it when the edge is being bound) in a multitude of formats … heck the SVG can be viewed at full size within the edge of most monitors! You’ll soon notice there is very little difference between the small and the extra large.
A few things to remember: micros are not usually lined as that defeats the point of the garment (as much exposure as possible), you’ll need stainless steel rings and you’ll need a binding attachment for your sewing machine. Please do not write to me asking how these pieces are put together … this is not a sewing site, it’s a pattern site … they should be self explanatory to all but the most inexperienced, who really shouldn’t be attempting elasticated binding anyway!
Below are all the basic microkinis in …
- CorelDRAW format (CDR)
- Adobe Illustrator format (AI)
- AutoCAD/Sketch format (DXF)
- Inkscape format (SVG)