I'm thrilled to be part of the Sewing Rabbit's 2013 Creative Team. Thank you Jess! And I'm so excited to share a fun tutorial with you today about how to morph a fabulous dress pattern into an adorable swimsuit.
I have two daughters and I love making girly dresses for them with lots of ruffles and details. Figgy's Scirocco pattern is amazing, and surprisingly easy to whip up...even for a beginning-ish sewer like me.
Recently, we took a family trip to a water park. The day we left I decided my 3 year old needed a new swimsuit (any other last minute sewers out there?) and an idea popped into my head. Wouldn't the Scirocco pattern make a fun bathing suit?? I decided to see if I could make it work...and LOVE the way it turned out! (So does my little girl.)
Wanna make one too? It's easy! Here's how:
- Cut and sew the bodice following the Scirocco directions. Note: I would recommend making the bodice one size smaller than you would make the dress since the pattern was written for woven fabric and you'll be using swimsuit material. It stretches quite a bit in the water and a smaller fit will work better.
- Cut 4 of the top flounce. This is the only other pattern piece you need from the original pattern.
- With right sides together, sew two pieces along the bottom. (I used a 1/2" seam allowance and a small zig-zag stitch.) Then repeat with the second set of flounces. Grade seams.
- Open up each set and place one on top of the other with right sides together, matching the seams. Sew one edge. Trim.
- Fold the pieces together with the long curved edge on the bottom and sew along the top edge from the center seam to one side...stopping 1/2" from the end.
- Trim the seam allowance. Turn the piece right side out.
- Take the open-topped side and place it wrong side down on a flat surface. Then bring the lower seam of the tube side to meet the lower seam of the flat side. (see below)
- Pin the lower seams together, and then pin the top seam of the tube to the corresponding edge of the flattened piece.
- Stitch from outer pin to the middle and then continue sewing the rest of the tube to the remaining open edge. You have made a circle with half of the top seam open and half sewn closed.
- Cut a piece of elastic using the following measurements: child's waist divided by 2. Then subtract 1.5" to 2" depending on how snug you want the ruffle to be at the child's back.
- Insert the elastic through the open part of the circle and tack it down at each of the side seams. (There isn't an actual casing for the elastic, but by tacking it to each side seam, I found that it stays in place really well and holds the flounce nicely to the body.)
- Sew the flounce to the bodice, matching side seams. You can follow the Scirocco directions for this, if needed.
- Then you just need to make swimsuit bottoms. I used the bottoms from the Santa Monica Sweetheart Tankini pattern by Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop.