Monday Outfit: Swimsuit Season

Good morning! Friends, I am under the weather. The sniffles turned into a full-blown head cold, which probably explains why I had so much trouble with this super straightforward swimsuit pattern from peek-a-boo. What a great pattern! I love that the size range is 3 months to 12 years, which is fantastic because I’ll definitely be making this again and again. The ruching on the side is adorable, and it’s fully lined. The original design also has little side bows, but I left them off.

K currently has one extremely ratty Speedo navy one-piece and an adorable yet too-tight Baby Gap swimsuit. So it was high time I made her some cute bathing suits! Especially since there will be a lot of swimming at the lake.

First, my all-time favorite swimsuit ever. I have a plastic bin full of swimwear fabric from my mom, and this aqua striped one is by far the best. The great part is that bathing suits require so little fabric, I can make at least three more aqua-striped swimsuits with what I have left over.

That orange ribbon happened to be on my sewing table, left over from another project and I think it adds just the right touch to the already sweet swimsuit. K, in her infinite wisdom, pointed out that the ribbon will probably not do so well underwater. She’s probably right, but it’s so cute!

Many things went wrong with this version. The ruching is uneven, and the fabric is puckering all over, and I completely screwed up the binding around the chest, so I had to chop the whole thing off. I knew that I would end up doing something unfortunate with the straps too, so I just left it halter style. Despite all the problems, once K put it on, it looks almost store-bought. It fits her perfectly!

Because I had so much trouble with the aqua striped version and because I’m tenacious to a fault, I decided to try again to see if I could make a less shoddy swimsuit. I discovered that the key is to pin like crazy. I had literally a pin stuck in there every half inch.

So much less puckering, nice and even ruching, much better results overall.

Look, she’s preparing for the Miss America pageant. I can practically hear the words, “My life goal is to save the world one penny at a time…” (for the record, I have no intention of becoming a pageant mom)

And whoops! She accidentally threw the globe bank. Thank goodness it missed the camera. The expression on her face is priceless.

The funny thing is, even though the aqua-striped swimsuit is full of mistakes, I like it way more than the second, better made version. A lot of it has to do with fabric choice, but I love the halter style and I think the fit is actually better. K agrees. I highly recommend this pattern – it was the first peek-a-booย pattern that I’ve ever purchased and well worth the price. The instructions are very clear and well-written, and if you’re not sick like I am, it’s a quick sew. I want to try making a tankini next and might be able to make up my own pattern now.

OK, time for me to do something about this raging headache…


30 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: Swimsuit Season

  1. LOVE!!! Swimsuits are on my ‘list,’ although at my rate I’ll be sewing them up in…oh…October. I just sewed my first pee-a-boo pattern as well, their skinny jeans. By far the item I’ve sewn makes people say ‘did you make that!?’ with the most admiration. Which, of course, I like.

    1. I love the pink skinnies you made, Monica! I really liked the peek-a-boo pattern I used and I’ll have to try more!

  2. What does your mother do that she has a basket full of swimwear fabric???? The swim suits are amazing. Do you need a serger to work with that material?

    1. Hi Ashleigh! My mom is an artist and a fabric aficionado – her stash is a force to be reckoned with and she sends me stuff all the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ She often buys fabric from the Los Angeles Fabric garment and yard sales.

      I used both my serger and regular sewing machine for these swimsuits, but you don’t need a serger. Just a zigzag or stretch stitch on your machine. I like using my serger to finish seams because it’s so much faster. Hope that helps!

    1. Thanks Sarah! I was surprised at how easy it was to cut and handle swimwear fabric and as long as you’re armed with lots of pins, sewing the stuff is a breeze! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ah-mazing. I’ve always thought of sewing swimsuits for my girls, but I think the combination of my CAD (crafting-attention-disorder) and handling such fabric would drive me nuts. The stripe one is my favorite too!

    1. Haha! When I first glanced at your comment, I thought you were referencing architecture (CAD is the software they use, right?). I have CAD too! ๐Ÿ™‚ the swimwear fabric was pretty easy to work with once I got the pinning down – if you’ve got a serger, it’s a quick project!

  4. Amazing job!!!! I like the one with the flowers, I like bold prints like that. What fabric is it? Is it specially for swimsuits ? where did you get it? I need to try this out! Thanks for the inspiration once again.

    1. Hi Patty! The fabric is from my mom, and I believe she got it from the LA garment district. Not sure what it’s made of but it’s definitely swimwear fabric, most likely with Lycra and spandex.

  5. Ooh….this is on my summer to do list. I have read a few tutorials and feel ready to try and sew a swimsuit for my sweet pea, I just need to purchase some fabric now!

    1. I’ll need to do some research to see where good swimwear fabric is available. JoAnn’s carries some and that’s where I got the lining and swimwear elastic from, but the selection was pretty limited.

    1. Thanks Fiona! Swimwear fabric is actually easier than some knits/jerseys I’ve worked with – try it, try it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. first of all, so sorry you’re not feeling well:( Summer colds are such a bummer – they seem so wrong! Hoping your headache goes away . . . for good.
    And then, those swimsuits! Love them! I have been mulling over the option of making my older daughter a swimsuit as I’m having a hard time finding a modest, not overly expensive one in the stores. This pattern looks like it meets my criteria, and when you add in stripes, well – life is good!:) As for that “oops! I didn’t mean to let it go!” photo, just priceless! You can almost see a thought bubble above her head imploring, “Please don’t get mad at me!”. Funny how stressful moments (having a piggybank thrown at you) can lead to funny stories/pictures afterwards:)

    1. Oh, thanks for the sympathy, Lucinda! I’m feeling a lot better, but the cold is lingering a bit. Definitely give the pattern a try. It’s extra rewarding to sew up a functional swimsuit!

  7. gah! swimsuits!! how perfect. thanks for the review of this pattern. if i knew where to get some decent swimsuit fabric i might just give it a try…

  8. Oh my gosh! These suits are awesome! I have been pondering making my daughter swim suits since a lot of suits don’t fit her right (she is a skinny 5 yr old who can still fit into 2t, length is the problem) making the suits for her would be a perfect solution. I love the aqua strip one with the ribbon detail – even if it doesn’t hold up in water, you are right, it’s so cute!!

    1. Thank you, Meghan – you should totally make a swimsuit (or two or three) for your daughter! The second one I made came together so much faster than the first and it’s so easy to customize!

    1. Will do! The pieces I have are too small to make a swimsuit for me (unless it’s a bikini and that won’t happen unless hell freezes over) so they would be perfect for kiddie swimwear!

  9. The swimsuits look fantastic! Also your mom sounds very cool..I especially liked the story about the 100 dresses.

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