Swimsuits: Trial & Error

After seeing so many inspiring swimsuits being made I decided to try my hand at making some myself. I didn't have a pattern, just used an old swimsuit as a basic size guide. 

I had two goals:

1. Make a swimsuit that fits

2. Make a swimsuit that is tug free. Are my girls the only ones that are constantly tugging on their swimsuits? We have this issue with underwear too so maybe underwear are next.

My first attempt was a failure. Well, it was too short so the baby got it. It fits her well. Did you know little girls don't really get much wider with age? The top part was a bit too big so I used a little elastic at the top. It turned out pretty good though I made the straps a bit too small. This one is fully lined. It gives the suit a bit of a sturdier, heftier feel.

The second attempt went well. I made little ruffles at the legs and added elastic to the straps to make ruffly straps. I'm not loving the way the front works though. It gaps a bit too much. It is fully lined, which I like.

The third attempt was from the same pattern but I cut the top of the front a bit differently and used the same swimsuit material to make a binding and straps. This one is not fully lined. This is my favorite swimsuit.

I succeeded at goal #1. I haven't seen any picking or tugging. I finally succeeded at goal #2 by my third attempt. Numbers 1 and 2 aren't bad but number 3 is pretty perfect. 

Swimsuit 2
I love that they are all a bit different. Even though they are basically the same pattern they all have their own look.

The best part is that I bought this fabric at a local discount fabric store and I made all of these suits for $2 (for the fabric) + probably $1 for the little bit of elastic and thread I used. I'm not sure how much the lining fabric was but it probably adds another $3 because it was more expensive than the outer fabric, even though I used less. So, for about $2 each I have 3 pretty cute swimmers. Er, sand players.

Swimsuit 6
Aahhh, look at that mess. 

UPDATE: I've answered your questions about how to make a swimsuit!

Unrelated: Do you have too much fabric? Are you ready to take the De-Stash Challenge?

Linking HERE


  1. says

    These are adorable! I think the ruffle straps are so cute. They look beautifully tug-free, too. Maybe I should make my own swimsuit…
    BTW, my mom made ALL my underwear growing up. It was a saving money thing for her, she used scraps she bought by the bag from a local clothing factory. I loved choosing the patterns from her stash, though.
    Where do you find discount fabric stores in Boston?

  2. says

    SO cute! I might have to try my hand at this too. My daughter has a LONG torso and if I buy a suit that’s long enough, it gaps in the front and if I buy one that fits on top, she gets little baby cameltoe (sorry!) and she tugs on it all the time. What kind of thread and stitch did you use? Is it like sewing on knits?

  3. says

    Those are terrific! I just made a swimsuit for my baby as well. At first it was too small, but I added some length to it by way of the ruffle and now it’s perfect and she looks so cute! And you can’t beat the homemade price eh? Super cute for a super great price!

  4. says

    Darling!! I don’t know if I’ll ever be brave enough to try making swim suits, but yours turned out great!
    Thanks for linking @Creative Itch’s “Sew Cute Tuesday”!

  5. says

    I just ordered some swimsuit fabric from fabric.com last week. I’ve seen so many of you crafty ladies get the job done so I thought I’d give it a try. I sure hope I get it (at least by #3). Can you post any tips? I have no idea how I’m going to try it out. I’m just going to trace a leotard. After I make a girls swimsuit I may even try a pair of Eurotrunks for the boy! Um, maybe not. Chef may divorce me.

  6. says

    ha ha I thought that it was one child wearing the suit while I was looking at the pictures until I saw the last picture with 3 girls and 3 suits. Great job! My sister always made my swim suits when I was little.

  7. says

    Those are so sweet!! I’ve always wanted to make my own swimsuit since I have a long torso and it’s hard to find one that fits. Did you use elastic thread?

  8. says

    You did a wonderful job. Good for you for sticking it out. Yes, you have darling sand players :). I found certain brands are better than others for fit. But if you can make them you’re much better off.

  9. says

    These swimsuits are really cute! I like all three styles, and I also like that as you mentioned they do match but are all a little different.

  10. says

    We went through a tugging stage too. But you’re more talented than I am – what great suits! I love how they all are similar but different.
    Such cute girls. Even when covered with sand. Thanks so much for linking to Finished for Friday.

  11. says

    Really cute. I actually made two tankini tops for myself last year. They turned out cute, but putting in a bra is unbelievably hard. I told people they couldn’t see the inside. I love how they match and are just slightly different. Keep creating.

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