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In Stitches: Audrey's Bathing Suit

So, the week after after I made my resolution not to buy any clothes this year for me and my girls and to sew any new clothes instead I realized... oh dear. We have a pool party to attend to. And Audrey didn't have a bathing suit. DOH!

I had to make one. It was my only option.

I scoured the internets for a decent toddler one piece but couldn't find one I liked. The bathing suit needed to have low-cut legs, good coverage on the bottom, simple, and well... cute! But not too frilly. Needless to say, I didn't find one. So I drafted my own (eek!) and I'm pleased with how it turned out!

DIY Bathing Suit photo suit_sporting2.jpg
DIY Bathing Suit photo suit_sporting.jpg

I used a pair of undies that fit really well for starting out my pattern and worked it out from there. Simple, cute, and easy to put on! Audrey loves it too. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

To see my haphazard method of how I made this bathing suit, check it out after the jump

 photo bathingsuit1.jpg
DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit2.jpg
First I grabbed a pair of well fitting undies to use to draft the bottom portion of the bathing suit. Folding the undies in half, I traced around them on some paper.

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit3.jpg
I traced a portion for the front and then a second for the back.

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit4.jpg
When Audrey was wearing the undies I measured from her armpit to the top of the undies and transferred the measurements to the paper pattern. I roughly drew out a neckline and a back on the patterns without getting too fussy over it.

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit5.jpg
I cut out the pieces of the bathing suit (I added a lining, but I don't think it NEEDS one), sandwiched them together, and stitched at the crotch line.

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit7.jpg
DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit6.jpg
I carefully pinned the sides together (this fabric was slippery, man!) and sewed the side seams using a zig zag stitch.

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit8.jpg
Next I measured out some elastic for the legs and sewed each bit of elastic into a loop.

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit9.jpg
DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit10.jpg
I sewed a loop of elastic inside of each leg, turned the sewed edge under and sewed again.

And this is uh... where it gets a bit dicey and confusing, but actually it works so don't lose me now!

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathing-suit_ruffle1.jpg
I cut a strip of the selvedge edge to use as the ruffle (you could use any strip and hem it, but lazy) and gathered it into a ruffle, then basted it to the neckline. I cut another strip to use for the binding and stitched the ruffle and binding in place. (I used a regular straight stitch and stretched the fabric slightly as I sewed.)

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit_ruffle2.jpg
Once the ruffle and binding were in place I stitched a small length of elastic to the wrong side of the fabric stretching as I sewed.

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit_ruffle3.jpg
I then stretched the binding over the elastic and sewed it in place. BAM! Stretchy, ruffly neckline. Done. I left the edge of the binding raw since knit fabrics don't fray. Knit fabrics are so forgiving!

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit11.jpg
Lastly I sewed a very long strip of binding around the armholes and across the back, attached elastic (as I did around the neckline), folded the binding over and then sewed it down.

DIY Bathing Suit photo bathingsuit12.jpg
And that's it! You can either leave the strips long and tie them around the neck or sew them in a criss-cross across the back.

Phew! That wasn't so hard, was it? ;)

If you make (or have ever made) a bathing suit I'd love to see!! Link me, bro. x


  1. You are so clever! My Mum used to sew our bathing suits and ballet leotards when we were kids and since we had a pool and all the neighbourhood kids would come over, I think she ended up sewing pretty much half the neighbourhood's togs (as we call them) ...check out the 4th photo down in this post http://mendandmakenew.blogspot.co.nz/2013/09/sisters.html ... :)

    1. OH the togs your mum made are SO CUUUUTE! And I love the little dresses as well. Lucky ducks! Thanks for sharing!


  2. I'm so amazed!!! Amazed, amazed. These are adorable, and also, YOU JUST MADE SOME TOGS!! That's like, serious skillz.

  3. Um everything Stella said! So cool! They are amazing and they look so good on your beautiful little one!!!!

  4. I read your comment on IG
    I made some togs
    I just smiled and thought
    Of course you did
    You are seriously clever
    I'll be back down in about 2 weeks xxx

  5. Talia...this looks so fab! Nice one and thanks for posting your design process...it really helps to demystify sewing swimwear. I am keen to try sewing one for me next season. x

  6. Classiest toddler togs I have ever seen. Lovely work!

  7. Talia, you're amazing! They are so cute, and a great cut for a wee girl.

  8. WOW these are so great!!!! waht fabric did you use for both the togs and the lining?

  9. Seriously!? So freeking cute and man you are clever!

  10. I love it! Looks so good and classy :)


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