The weather is warming up and it’s time to hit the pool! Learn how to sew an easy swimsuit cover-up skirt with this easy-to-follow sewing tutorial.
Shirred Waist Skirt
I have quite a bit of white bubble gauze fabric in my stash for a different project that didn’t quite work out. (I had wanted to ombre-dip dye the gauze to make a lightweight scarf.) While I thought the “bubbly-ness” of the gauze was not right for the scarf, it is a perfect fabric choice for a swimsuit cover-up! (I have found a fabric that will work for the scarf, it’s called harem gauze.)
I love how simple this skirt was to make! All it takes is a quick top and bottom hem and a few inches of shirring around the top. The white color is great since it will go will all of her suits.
When I started on this skirt, it was a bit of an experiment since I never know how much different fabrics will gather up with shirring. Luckily, the gauze really gathers wonderfully and there is so much stretch in this skirt it fits us both!
I haven’t yet, but I am pretty sure I’ll be making a 2nd one for me!
I found some cute mini pom pom trim for the bottom. (Got it from here.) Regular size would have been cute too, but I worried she would rip those pom-poms off since they are a bit more fragile.
Ready to make one?
Sewing supplies and product used (or recommended) in this post:
- My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Machine with Extension Table, Bonus Accessories and Hard Cover
- My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger, my coverstitch: Janome Cover Pro 1000cpx
- Pinking Shears
- Rotary Cutter
- I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start of with a smaller Cutting set
- Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen
- Fray Check
- Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!
Easy Swimsuit Cover Up Skirt Sewing Instructions
Tutorial specific tips:
The great thing about shirring is, more rows closer together will create a tighter fit, just as fewer rows, farther apart will create a looser fit.
I am giving width suggestions for 2 sizes, 3 to 7 and 8 and up. If you are using a fabric other than the single-layer gauze, keep in mind, the fabric might not shrink/tighten up enough for a good fit. If that’s the case (after steaming your thread) no worries! You can make the skirt smaller by taking in the side seam.
Need a shirring tutorial? Check this one out here.
Fabric width: (Most gauze is 50 to 54 inches in width, though when I looked up the stuff Joann’s sells, it is only 44 in wide- so keep that in mind when purchasing fabric.)
- 3 to 7: 44 inches
- 8 and up: 50 to 54 inches
You will need to measure for length (or refer to this chart.)
Step 1. Get your length measurement:
Measure from lower waist to desired length. Add 1 inch for upper and lower hems.
Using a ruler, cut fabric to desired length by specified width.
Step 2: Sew skirt.
Hem top and bottom of fabric with a 1/4 inch hem. (Serge edges if desired, remove the 1/2 hem allowance.)
Fold fabric, right sides together and line up side seams. Sew together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance and finish this seam with your preferred method.
Step 3: Shir Skirt.
Add trim to the bottom if desired.
Use your iron to steam the heck out of the top of the skirt. The elastic thread should tighten up considerably.
Try on your skirt! (It’s hard to predict how much the shirring with gather up the skirt since looser woven/ lighter fabrics will tighten up considerably more than a heavier fabric will. You can take in your side seam a bit if needed for a tighter fit.)
Time to hit the pool! (but not with you , kitty!)
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About the Author
Jamie Sanders is a wife and mom of 2, located in the heart of Texas. She founded Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom in 2011 as a place to share creative ideas and family friendly recipes. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart, Woman’s World, HuffPost, TODAY, Pioneer Woman, HGTV, CNET, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, Oprah Daily, and Redbook, plus many other publications. To date, she had given away just under a million free pdf sewing patterns.