Summer is fast approaching and my little lady needed some new swimwear for the season. I wanted her to have a combo of bathing suit & rashguard since she's still got delicate toddler skin, but didn't see anything quite right for both top & bottom.
So when I got my hands on some swimsuit fabric I thought making an old-timey style bathing costume would be just perfect (and work well over a diaper!). I was picturing those loose-fitting, navy bloomers and tops from the turn of the century.
And I think it totally worked out!
Now let's get to how to make the Bathing Beauty Sunsuit!
- 1/2yd of swimsuit fabric (it's 60" wide so a little goes a long way which I love!)
- 1yd 1/4 inch wide elastic
- 3/4yd 1/2 inch wide elastic
- 1 1/2yds 1 inch wide Fold Over Elastic (FOE)
- 1yd of ribbon/decorative trim (optional)
- Pattern for a basic child's t-shirt and shorts
- Sewing Machine & Notions (pins, ruler, marking pen/chalk, twin needle, thread, scissors/rotary cutter)
*To make a boy-style version of this set, just keep the sleeves normal width instead of cap-style and don't apply the 1/4 inch elastic on the sleeves and legs.
**Sewing Knits Tip: Refer to yesterday's post on sewing knits without a serger for more info on the stitches used here.
Cut short pieces from pattern and lengths of FOE to match the bottom edge. Also cut two lengths of 1/4 inch elastic that are one inch wider than the wearer's thigh measurement.
Fold the elastic around the edge and stitch together with a twin needle, close to the open edge of the FOE:
On the wrong side of each leg, mark a line 1.5 inches inward from bottom edge. Take a piece of the 1/4 inch elastic and sew along marking with a wide zig-zag stitch, stretching it taut as it's being sewn.
Cut shirt front & back pieces as the t-shirt pattern specifies. For a better fit using this type of fabric I recommend cutting the neckband 1 inch wider than the pattern piece. To create the cap sleeves cut down the center of the sleeve pattern:
Mark the center top of the sleeve and 3 inches over on either side and baste all the way along:
Create gathers for the cap sleeve by pulling up the bobbin threads of the basting, then pin sleeve to shoulder and stitch together, trimming raw edge.
I folded up the bottom hem an inch and stitched in place with my twin needle. Then I sewed this flower trim directly over the stitching for a little more dainty detail:
Now you're ready to outfit a little Bathing Beauty!
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