This month, I am leading #SewSwimSocial on Instagram with Emily @replicatethendeviate, Meghan @joyfulemon, and Crystal @crissybellsews. This is a joint effort to inspire people to sew swimwear for themselves and their children. Don’t forget to follow us and enter to win the grand prize for sewing your swimwear! (Entries due Thursday May 17th, 2018.)
If you’ve been following along, you know that I have been lucky enough to be using swim from The Fabric Fairy for the campaign. For my second swimsuit, I have chosen to make the Lainey swimsuit by Made for Mermaids. I saw this last summer when it came out, it’s such an adorable little pattern! The one shoulder ruffles are so cute and flirty. I just love those little feminine details.
The Lainey Swimsuit
I made a size 1 at the shoulders and then grade between a 1 and 2 at the waist and hips. My gal has a bit of a toddler tummy so next time I could also probably just go up to a straight size 2 without any problems. I always hesitate to make the suit big enough to ‘grow into’. When I go to the splash pad with my daughter, I see little girls (especially at the beginning of the summer) with swimsuits that are way too big. Once they get wet, there are little bums poking out and sometimes little chests aren’t covered. It’s important to me that my daughter is covered in those areas so if she grows out of it by July, I’m happy to just make her another one. Swimsuits use so little fabric anyway, I always have scraps to make a new suit from!
My fabric is this adorable diamond navy print from The Fabric Fairy. The proportions of the diamonds are perfect for little girls swimwear! The fabric is thick enough that you don’t really need to line it, in fact I may cut out the lining in the bodice front because that will allow more room for my daughter’s belly. It’s also super high quality! It will really hold up to the abuse of a toddler scooting her bum on the pavement.
This is my first time doing an elastic binding on a swimwear pattern. It is so much easier than I thought it would be. Like, seriously, I’m going to figure out how to hack this for other patterns I own. I think it would be fun to do some contrasting binding next time!
I lengthened the bodice by 3/4 of an inch because my girl is tall and slender. I love the addition of the elastic on the bottom end of the tankini top. This elastic keeps her top down when she moves around.
if you order from The Fabric Fairy, make sure to pick up some swim lining and elastic while you’re at it. I love Megan’s swim lining. It feels really soft and it’s incredibly lightweight while still being good quality. I really like the elastic. I’m used to using cotton covered swimwear elastic from the big box stores. Megan’s elastic is not covered in cotton and I feel like it’s actually easier to adjust while I’m sewing it in. It doesn’t seem to slip around as much.
If you’re new to sewing swimwear this is the perfect little pattern to practice your skills on. If you can do yoga waistbands or neck bands, you can do elastic in swimwear!
SERGER BLAH BLAH BLAH…
I gathered my swimsuit ruffle using my serger and my gathering foot. I love my differential feed for this step! I deviated from the instructions and gathered my fabric prior to sewing it in a tube. I set my differential feed to 2, and my stitch length to 4. The serger gathers my fabric in one easy step and then I just simply place the ruffle along the neckline. I usually end up with a tad bit longer ruffle when I do it this way because the serger gathers slightly less than the pattern calls for. As I said, I line up the ruffle at the neckline and see how long my ruffle needs to be. Then I take the ruffle off so it right sides together at the short sides, then place it back on the neckline and stitch in place. It’s so incredibly easy to sew ruffles this way. You don’t necessarily need a gathering foot, but you do need differential feed to gather fabric with this method.
I had lots of time to prepare for this post, so I got to take pictures twice! The first pictures were taken at the splash pad at Riverfront Park. This was Cici’s first time going this season. She is just a completely different girl in the water! She was only a little timid about the sprinklers out first and even ran through them a time or two.
We also took pictures on the end of Folly Beach by the lighthouse. If you ever come to Charleston, you have to come to Folly. It is beautiful and peaceful! And Cici loves hangin’ out with her dad, so it’s always a plus when he comes along.
I hope if you haven’t sewn swimwear before, that you will give it a try this season. It’s so rewarding to make my gal a swimsuit that fits her way better than one in the store. It also requires so little fabric that you really have no excuse not to try it!
Note: The pattern and materials in this post were provided to me for free, in exchange for me blogging and sharing them with all of you! All opinions expressed are my own.