My first foray into swimsuits and I’m so happy with them! I made these rash guards and boy shorts for two of my kiddos using the Boo! Designs Swimmers pattern* and fabric that I preordered from Peekaboo Fabric Shop* in like, February or something!! I was nervous about starting this project, because: SWIM. But really, if you can sew cotton lycra, you can sew swim knit! And the quality of the fabric probably makes a difference too. The one from Peekaboo is great quality – it’s thick, sturdy, UV50+ and the colors are very vibrant. When I bought it, they were the only place I could find who had anything remotely “kiddy”. The 4 y/o saw the ice creams and it all went downhill from there haha.
The instructions are very good and go over all the steps required for mashing sizes together. My daughter typically wears a size 4T or 5T, and she measured 3T for chest, 5T for height, 4T for waist and thigh. So I decided since she was exactly on the 3T mark for the chest, to do a 4T width and 5T height. I did 4T for the shorts. I think I still could have done a 3T for the chest and it would have fit perfectly, but I’m happy with this fit. If I end up making a swimsuit for her in addition, then I think I’d do the 3T width measurement since a tight fit is more critical on a swimsuit than a rashie.
My son measured UNDER all the measurements for the 2T size, but since I only had the 2T-10 pattern I just did the 2T. I’m glad I did – the pants fit perfectly.
I did spot one error in the instructions on the rashie – it tells you to sew the sleeve together with wrong sides facing together. The other suggestion I didn’t like was in the lining for the bottoms, it is an option to finish the sides of the liner with the serger. I did this initially and it looked so bad that when I realized my RTW swimsuit did not have the liner edges finished, I went back and pulled out the stitches.
One area I had trouble with was getting the hemming on the shorts just right. I started out by taping down the allowance before sewing, but it resulted in the fabric distorting really oddly. In the end I marked it with a crayola marker and winged it on my coverstitch.
Anyway… I might have caught the swimwear bug. This pattern* is going to get years of workout!
(Aside: I remember as a kid when my mum decided to make swimsuits for my sisters — I honestly don’t remember whether she made a pair for me — it has been etched from my memory! Let’s just say, I’m so thankful to be sewing now where there is so much access to excellent swimwear patterns, products, tutorials, and online communities!! There is no longer a reason to be afraid to step into sewing swimwear!)