Ever wonder how we create your competition suit? Are you curious how we can offer a 1 week turnaround time? Do you want to learn the life cycle of your suits creation? Are you considering making your own competition suit? Just wondering how the MAGIC happens? This much anticipated, asked for blog is for you! It's taken us a lot of trial and error, patience, seam rippers, band-aids (lol), and practice to perfect the following steps. If you are attempting to create your own suit: have patience, don't get frustrated, and enjoy the process!
We've included ✂️💎Designer Tips💎✂️ in for those of you that are reading this to create your own suit. Feel free to skip this text if this is not your plan.
Cutting the fabric
The first step to your competition suit is cutting your fabric to your measurements. We use 4 way stretch spandex with the highest percentage of spandex available. Calling a fabric spandex means it can have anywhere from 1% - 40% spandex with the remaining percentage from nylon, polyester, or cotton. Angel Competition Bikinis uses hologram fabric that is 20% spandex and 80% nylon. This percentage gives you the best fit. Anything lower than 20% doesn’t give you optimal stretch and anything over 20% will start to feel like compression/shaping wear and you do not want that. Our sequin fabric is a polyester/spandex blend that has slightly less stretch than our hologram and posing suit fabric. Our fabric is custom ordered from Los Angeles, California from a single supplier. We use a rotary blade to cut the fabric as precise as possible. ✂️💎Designer Tip: Do not attempt to use scissors to cut spandex fabric; the result will not be precise for how exact your competition suit needs to be. And be careful! Rotary blades are very sharp.💎✂️ Insider secret: the majority of our fabric is cut and lined by ACB Employee, Laura Beeves. She is Karah and Lauren’s mom and has been helping them with the sewing since the beginning!
Click the photo above to shop our Angel Competition Bikinis logo crop tops.
Lining the fabric
We line the inside of your suit with a fabric color that is a perfect match to your competition tan. We used samples from the most popular competition tan companies and have found hexx color #BB6742 to be the most consistent and closest match. We have this custom dyed at our fabric supplier in Los Angeles. We were excited to make this change in 2017 and our customers love the matching color! We sew hidden pockets in your top so that you can add as much padding as you would like. The liner fabric we use has a weight of 200 g/m2. The weight of the liner fabric is VERY important. The fabric industry uses the word, “lining” for fabric that is 127 g/m2. This typical lining fabric does not work for competition suits very well. It easily rips and frays when you try and add extra padding. It doesn’t work with the extra weight the crystals and connectors add to the suit. 💎✂️Designer Tip: when choosing a fabric liner, make sure you use a liner that is at least 200 g/m2.💎✂️
Click the photo above to shop for a replica of Natalie's Angel Competition Bikini Diamond Pro on Hologram Turquoise suit.
Sewing on the trim
We use our hologram fabric for the trim on all of our suits, even the sequin fabric. The 20% spandex content to it makes it perfect to finish the raw edges of the suit. We cut our fabric trim using a large ruler, a rotary blade, and a very precise eye at exactly 1.25 inches width. 💎✂️Designer Tip: practice this first on scrap fabric, even a slight variation in the width of your trim can cause stretch issues.💎✂️ It then gets sewn onto the trim with a quadruple fold to create a thick sturdy hologram stretch trim. Using a spandex fabric trim on your competition suit instead of rollover knit elastic will increase the stretch from 20% to 37%*! 💎✂️Designer Tip: you can use the rollover elastic process, just know that you will be sacrificing some stretch to your suit.💎✂️
Click the photo above to shop for your next competition suit from Angel Competition Bikinis. Left Diamond Pro on Hologram Eggplant suit here. Right Crystal Radiance suit on Hologram Emerald here.
Sewing the strap tunnel
The strap tunnel is sewn next. It’s important that your competition suit has an adjustable tunnel in the top. The width of the cups needs to be adjustable to make the padding look as natural as possible. 💎✂️Designer Tip: if the top tunnel is not adjustable or there is no tunnel at all you risk the top having gaps, side boobs, and improper fit.💎✂️ The cups are cut with a rounded bottom to create extra space for padding and a more natural look. After years of trial and error we have created the perfect top pattern to give balance to athletes without implants and provide athletes with implants the versatility to add or remove as much padding as you would like.
Click the photo above to shop for a replica of the Angel Pro Multi Color suit on Hologram Purple.
Threading the top strap
Most people are surprised to learn that this step can be one of the hardest steps. If any of the dimensions are wrong, or the cutting was not precise, this step will not work and you may need to use a seam ripper.💎✂️Designer Tip: don't get frustrated during this step. If you are having trouble threading the top, check and see if the lining is folded wrong, you may need to seam rip and re sew to ensure the lining is straight through the tunnel.💎✂️ We use a straight hook tool to pull the strap through the tunnel. The goal is for the suit to lay flat with a rounded base. This will create the most natural look possible on stage.
Sewing the scrunch
We use ¼ inch elastic to sew in the back scrunch. We have this step perfected after a lot of trial and error. We use a variety of tensions while sewing on the scrunch to create the most flattering look for the glutes. You can use the same tension for full back scrunch, but you won’t have that rounded and lifted shape you see with Angel Competition Bikinis glutes.💎✂️Designer Tip: never pull the elastic to 100% tension. This will cause the suit to not lay flat on the glutes. Try using a variety of 50%-90% tension until you achieve the shape you are wanting.💎✂️
Click the photo above to browse Angel Competition Bikinis competition suits with a glue flattering scrunch.
Placing the crystals
The most fun step is here! We use Angel Brilliance™ Crystals. After trial and error, the last 5 years of sampling the top crystal brands, we decided to create our own brand of crystals for the stage! We heard from customers that their suits looked too white on stage and we realized it was due to a very heavy AB coating. We also struggled finding an amazing dark purple AB crystal. We found a small crystal designer that can create anything we ask for and our exclusive brand of crystals: Angel Brilliance was born! What’s different about Angel Brilliance Crystals? They are created with the perfect coating of AB for the stage to make your suit look bold and not washed out. They are 14-16 faceted crystals to give you as much brilliance as possible on stage. For the most sparkle, we recommend Crystal AB or any AB crystals. Our AB crystals are star cut that creates layered facets to give the crystals even more angles to bounce light off. For a bold color that does not reflect any white or light shades choose any of our non AB crystals. The crystals are first placed on one of our crystal pattern stencils. We use a different stencil for every design and modify it based on the suit size. ✂️💎Designer Tip: The Crystal Katana talked about in step 10 can be very helpful here.💎✂️They are then transferred using hotfix tape to the suit and heat pressed on. The back of the crystals have a glue already on them. When it comes in contact with enough heat it melts and binds to the fabric.
Click the photo above to shop for a replica of the Angel Pro Gradient on Sequin Cranberry.
Heat pressing down the crystals
After your crystals are placed, we heat press them to your suit on our industrial grade heat press. The tension on the heat press is set at the exact point to where it will not burn the fabric, but it provides enough heat and pressure to secure the crystals for the best hold. 💎✂️Designer Tip: test scrap fabric first to ensure the pressure is set high enough for a strong hold, but the temperature is not set too high that it burns the fabric.💎✂️ Insider secret: we heat press every part of your suit twice. First on the front side and then we flip it around and heat press it again the back. This creates an unbreakable bond of the crystals to the suit.
Sewing on connectors
The next step is sewing the connectors on. We only use genuine Czech Preciosa connectors that are the best on the market. The metal is a silver 925 blend coated with an anti-tarnish agent to prolong the life of the metal. 💎✂️Designer Tip: the best piece of advice we can give you is to invest in your connectors, you will thank us later!💎✂️ We make sure to leave an alteration tab that is hidden behind the bottom connectors so that your suit will still fit perfect if your anticipated weight loss was way off. We sew the middle connector to both the back straps as well as sewn it down to the tunnel. This helps with cleavage and lift. As with any step in the creation of your suit, we can modify it based on your preferences. If you don't want your middle connector sewn down, write your special request in your order notes area.
Click the photo above to browse Angel Competition Bikinis competition suits that are all created with the highest quality genuine Czech Preciosa connectors.
Gluing down the crystal trim
After we sew on your connectors, your suit is now ready for the crystal trim. The super stretch spandex trim we use on our suits talked about in step 3 makes this step different than placing the crystals on the base of your suit with the heat press. This step needs to be put on using glue with regular flatback crystals, not hot fix. We use a clear, acid-free, low odor glue that allows exceptional adhesion while offering extreme flexibility to allow the fabric to remain as stretchy as possible. We pin the suit to a cork board first to ensure it doesn't move while it dries. We use a Crystal Katana to place the crystals on the trim. This tool is a life saver! The Crystal Katana by CrystalNinja was created by award winning Flatback Specialist and master user, Kellie DeFries. 💎✂️Designer Tip: Do not try and use tweezers unless you have 40 hours you are willing to spend on your suit.💎✂️The front side of your suit is done first and then we allow the suit to dry 24 hours before we complete the back side of your suit.
Click the photo above to shop for a replica of Angel Competition Bikinis Angel Pro Gradient on Hologram Teal.
Your suit is now ready for its photo-shoot with Ashton. We use a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Digital SLR Camera to photograph your suit. Getting your fabric to look how it looks on stage can be a tricky task. Depending on the fabric, we either use a white light box or a white foam core board and a Digi Bee flash unit. The reflextiveness, brightness, and tone of fabric determines which technique Ashton uses to get the perfect photo. We need the fabric and crystals to look as close as possible to how it will look under the stage lights. Ashton captures multiple angles in order to show every detail that each custom suit has.
Packaging and shipping
The last step is here! We carefully package your suit, robe, jewelry, and anything else you ordered in our cute little pink motivational boxes. We also include a handwritten good luck card and other freebies to help motivate you during your competition prep. We love writing the good luck cards and doing little things like that to go above and beyond for our amazing customers. You work so hard to get on the competition stage! We will do anything we can help motivate, inspire, and instill confidence in your journey.
Click the photo above to shop and order your next competition suit from Angel Competition Bikinis, confidence guaranteed!
The Best Part!
Opening your package
We LOVE seeing photos and videos of you receiving your competition suit. It is truly an EXPERIENCE for our customers that we love and feel honored to be a part of. This is an amazing journey of strength, discipline, hard work, and accomplishment that you are on. Enjoy every minute of it! Thank you for letting Angel Competition Bikinis be a part of it. You are AWESOME!
We hope you enjoyed this blog about how the magic happens at Angel Competition Bikinis headquarters. A final tip to those of you attempting to create your own suit: just like your creating your physique, creating your competition suit is a process that requires patience, practice, and perseverance. Have fun, don't give up, and enjoy the process!
*Estimation based on testing at Angel Competition Bikinis Headquarters.