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Swim Vacation

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You might have seen part of this project over at Frances & Suzanne Flip this Pattern Series. Today you are going to have all the details. When we did the Beachy Boatneck Giveaway{Closed} I was glad that I wasn't the only one that had big poolside plans this summer. If you are trying to figure out swimsuits for this year this post might be up your alley.

    Alligator Aqua Shirt with Euro Inspired Swim Trunks

    Patterns Used: Beachy Boatneck from Blank Slate Patterns , PAB Alex & Anna Summer PJ's  & PAB Classic Panties
    My zig zagging wasn't perfect but we are going to pretend it was done on purpose like an alligators teeth.And I am going to admit that this fabric was very thin and difficult to get even. 

    Ryder LOVES anything momma made, and he is always pushing the limits of my creativity.  He has a clear vision of what he wants and I try my best to catch up all the details that he gives me. When I get it right he gives me a big hugs, lots of hugs and I feel like Super Sewing Momma.
    Last spring I found some yellow scaley swimsuit fabric in the 50% off red tag area. I knew it would be perfect for a swimshirt for Ryder. The black is a thicker performance knit, that I bought for this purpose and making exercise leggings for me.
    The applique alligator on the bodice help pull the whole thing together (and it was requested by him). I cut a square of fabric out of the black fabric and then ironed Sewable Heat-n-Bond to the back. To make the applique I found an alligator silhouette then put it in the middle of a circle and printed it off. I then traced this on the paper portion of the Heat-n-bond by following the lines of the template with a pink sharpie over the top of the paper. I then tried my best to cut it out. Then I used a press cloth (so not to put a hole in the fabric) to apply it to the shirt and then finished it with a narrow zig zag (but longer than normal applique stitch because I didn't want it to stretch out the shirt).
    Running with Scissors Euro Trunks were my inspiration for the swim trunks, I had originally thought about doing board shorts but couldn't find the right material and now I am glad because Ryder and I totally love these.  For the bottom I used the PAB Alex & Anna Summer PJ's. I color block appliqued across the shorts diagonally much like the Euro Swim Trunks. Instead of doing binding at the legs I just hemmed them at the leg bottoms and the top of the shorts I attached to the bottom of some gray elastic (kinda like you would do with a circle skirt). 
    Then for the swimsuit lining I used the PAB Classic Panties, increasing the rise by 2 inches. This helped keep things in tight and modest (a blushing a bit, so I am moving on). I attached them to the top of the elastic right before the top edge.
    For the moment I am pretty sure it is his favorite thing I have EVER made him. Today he asked me if we could go swimming again, I told him no. He asked if he could put on his swimsuit I said sure. I love sewing for him. It is smiles like this that make it so worth it.
    By far this was his most favorite photoshoot. I think we would both agree it was the perfect way to end to a sewing marathon.

    Paisley/Foil Poolside Pullover with Swim Bottom

    Pattern Used: Beachy Boatneck from Blank Slate Patterns & PAB Classic Panties

    Boston has unique sizing (tall and very slender) so sewing for her is almost a must. Feminine sewing is where I feel most comfortable, so I am always glad to be sewing for her. She has a bit of diva-ttitude and won't let me try stuff on her before it is done, so with the help of my measuring tape I have to get it right. The foil fabric I got from Walmart, I bought it to make a Elza dress, but then I looked at it and decided swimsuit. The paisley print was some that Momma Shaffer gave to me & the same with the fold over elastic (I love fabric handme downs).
    I wanted to make Boston's two sided so we would have two swimsuits in one. Which I am glad that I had that in my mind when I started because both of these swimsuit fabrics ran like CRAZY! I was working against the clock, to get every fabric edged stitched before they would run and ruin it all (just say I learned the hard way).
    Sorry I didn't get a picture of her in this side, but I don't think she would have been
    happy with me disturbing anymore of her swimming.
    I do think this side will get great mileage this summer as well.
    The Beachy Boatneck pattern uses a facing to finish the neckline, which would have been alright if Boston didn't love to put her arm through neckholes. I knew after a few times the neckline would be stretched and all my swimwear work would be ruined. I used flat fold elastic at the neckline to keep it tight throughout the season. I used it at the sleeves as well to coordinate with the neckline. It was a crazy easy to way to finish the sleeve.
    I knew I wanted to put a ruffle on the bottom because I am a sucker for toddler swimsuits with ruffles (or really anything with ruffles). I shortened the bodice to make room for the ruffle.The ruffle was made doubling over the foil ruffle and gathering. I then stitched it to the foil side. Then sewed the two bottoms together from the inside leaving a small whole for me to turn it. Then I hand stitched it close.

    PAB Classic Panties were the base for the bottom. I used the size 2/3T because with a cloth swim diaper her hip measurement fit in that range. Instead of binding I used the same flat fold elastic I used at the sleeves. 
    I increased the rise by 2 1/2" on each side so that it would go higher. I used regular elastic for the waistband. I stitched it to it and the folded it over one time & stitched over it with zig zag stitch.
    She thought the swimming was awesome (she has always loved the water), but she didn't think too much of getting her pictures taken while trying to play. Through out the 2 hour swim she would put her hand on her shirt and say, "Pretty!"
    I love seeing my little water babies in their momma made creations.

    The Dirty Details of Rashguards

    I made them smaller than the sizing chart said because I wanted them to not be weighed down by extra fabric. To determine the right size for a very slim fit, I measured their chest and then divided it by 4, then added 1/2" (seam allowance).

    Equation looks like this:
    (Chest measurement/4) + 1/2" = width needed across the pattern piece.
    I measured the width across one front pattern piece and found the size that was just larger than that number.  To make sure it would have enough room in the arm hole I measured around their armscye and did a similar equation to the width except taking in account that there would be two seam allowances to factor in. I was safely within the limits so I didn't have to drop the armscye, on either one. To make sure it would be long enough I measured from the base of their neck down to their underwear line.

    I also only used the front pattern pieces for both the front and the back. Ryder has a huge head and Boston freaks out about anything that is snug going over her head. I remember as a kid my least favorite part of swimming was trying to get the blasted swimsuit off. The wider neck hole really made it a breeze to come off but because the pattern piece has a very modest neckline they both had great coverage the whole swim through.

    I also shorted the sleeve length for comfort and movement. I determined the length by measuring from the cap of the shoulder down to their elbow, then added 1/2" seam allowance for shoulder seam (and on Ryders 1/2" seam allowance for hem).
    Equation looks like this:
    Shoulder to elbow measurement + 1/2" (shoulder/sleeve inseam) + 1/2" for hem= length from top of sleeve arch to elbow.

    I used polyester thread & simple zig zag stitch with a normal sewing machine to make these. I am really grateful to Delia, Abby,Katy, Heather & Rae for their advice on thread, seam finishes & fabric choices.

    The Beachy Boatneck really does make the perfect rash guard pattern don't you think? I am excited to get lots of mileage out of these this summer in the apartment swimming pool. They have already worn them a few times on our family vacations this spring.

    PS. We have been talking about a free spring pattern what would you like to see? Please leave your suggestions below or e-mail us at


    1. Those are soooo Smart! What a great job you did! I really need to make some bathing suits!

    2. I've never sewn a swimsuit but you sure make me want to try!! Your photos, btw- look amazing!!!!

    3. Turned out great! I especially love the reversible girls suit, she looks comfortable and trendy. :)

    4. I am so intimidated by swimsuit sewing. Fabulous! I'd love to see you join us this week at the Inspire Us Thursdays! link party.

    5. she looks like a little mermaid, and i adore the alligator apliqué. I might try to sew my little girl some playsuits this summer.

    6. That alligator so great! Thanks for linking up to Embellish is for BOYS!

    7. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.

      Swim Trunks


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