I’ve decided that I’m not very great at detailed tutorials. Thus, I am rededicating my site to be more inspirational rather than tutorial. I’ll still tell you how I did things in general with a few how-to pictures, but I’d rather link to another tutorial that’s already done and done really well, for you benefit.
Now that that momentous piece of news is out of the way, on to what I did last week.
Sometimes living in a small town is hard. Like when you go to your local Walmart and Kmart and boutique clothing shops and still can’t find a baby swimming suit for your outing tomorrow! What!? They carried down to 12 months old, but no 6-9 mos. I was tempted to let sweet Claira just swim in a swim diaper, but then I remembered I had some extra spandex from the suit I made for my sister a few years back. Yay for saving your extra material! I try to keep my stash to a minimum, but somehow I kept the spandex that I didn’t even buy. Lucky me!
Making swimwear shouldn’t be daunting for anyone. If you can sew a zig-zag stitch, you can sew a swimming suit. I don’t know why they seem so intimidating. If you happen to have or want to invest in a double needle, they are perfect for swimming suits as well. I used one here. You can kind of see how there is a double row of stitching on the top of the binding and a zig-zag on the bottom. That’s what a double needle will do. They are pretty inexpensive and I recommend them for almost every project.
To start my suit I traced a baby onsie sans sleeves. I dropped the front and back neckline a couple of inches to give it a little more of a suit look. I also cut out a lining for it even though my spandex was quite stout and not very see through. I didn’t want those lovely dark blue swim diapers showing through and making the suit look green. I sewed my lining together and then my suit, placed the lining inside-out into the suit so the seams were all enclosed, sewed elastic into the leg openings and stitched on my binding. FYI I didn’t have any clear elastic so I just used the regular kind. I wouldn’t worry about it if you don’t care if the suit will last for years and years. I don’t think we go to the pool enough for the chlorine to ruin this elastic any time soon.
This is how I did the binding. She also has many many tips on how to sew a swimming suit.
A tip on color blocking. I find that where possible, it’s easier to sew your colors together and then cut out your pattern as opposed to all that measuring and making sure your pieces fit together jut right without any shifting.
My favorite part of this suit is that it’s diaper accessible! Why don’t all baby swimming suits have this option? Who wants to take a wet suit off a baby every time you want to give them a dry diaper? Not me. Also, if you are going to be inserting baby snaps onto any piece of clothing, I recommend buying some sort of snap pliers. I tried to add these with a hammer and a board… it didn’t go so well.
I love this suit! I’m so glad I had some extra material and a little extra time. Babies in swim diapers are cute, but babies in swimming suits are much cuter. I think I’ll work one up with ruffles next time.