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Ok, this little Mommy and Me swimsuit cover-up has been on my to-do list for at least a year if not two. A few years ago, I had made my daughter a swim cover up from a beach towel. It was terrible… Hot, thick and it would barely stretch. She wore it once and it was eventually tossed.
When I stumbled across this stretch terry-cloth fabric at Joann’s (either last summer or the summer before) I grabbed a couple of yards thinking it would be perfect for a cover up. I made mine right away, but never quite got to the one for my daughter. Until now that is…
Oh my goodness, we are going to be quite the pair at the pool!
I wrote up a quick little tutorial, just in case you wanted to whip one up too.
- Any type of knit or lightweight cotton (anywhere from 3/4 to 2 yards, depending on how many, what size and width of fabric. Take your measurements in step one before shopping for fabric. My fabric was 60 inches wide, so I only needed a yard for my dress and 3/4 for my daughters.)
- Elastic thread
- Ruler, measuring tape
- steam iron
- standard sewing supplies
Step 1: Get your measurements and cut fabric.
Measurement A: Measure around bust and add 9.5 inches.
Measurement B: Measure from armpit to desired length and add 1 inch. (If you choose to not hem the top or bottom, don’t add the extra inch.)
Measurement C: For the straps, we’ll get this one later…
Cut your fabric Measurement A by Measurement B. Make sure the stretchy-ness is going side to side. If you are making an adult size, you may need to piece two pieces together, depending on the width of your fabric.
Step 2: Assemble the cover up.
Line up the sides of the fabric, right sides together and sew, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. If you are working with knit or other non-fraying fabric, you will not need to finish this seam. (If your fabric frays, finish the edge with your favorite technique.)
For the top edge of the cover up, you have a couple of finishing options: If you are working with knit you can leave it un-hemmed, or you can fold the edge over 1/2 inch and hem. If you are working with a fabric that frays, you should fold the fabric over 1/4 inch and press, fold over another 1/4 inch, press again and sew along the edge to make a narrow hem. If you have a serger, you could do a rolled edge. (I did a rolled edge set to stretch for a pretty lettuce edge.)
Load your bobbin with elastic thread and start shirring around the top. Make the shirring lines about 1/2 inch apart. If you need better instructions on how to shirr, be sure to check out my shirred sundress tutorial. Keep going until you are satisfied with the amount of rows. (on my daughters size 6, I did 9 rows. On my size medium, I did 16 rows.)
Try on the cover up and use a measuring tape to decide how long the shoulder straps need to be. (Measurement C.) (You might want to add an inch to this number to account for any error.)
Cut two straps by Measurement C by 2 inches wide for a child or 3 inches wide for an adult. (I cut my daughters straps 13 inches long, this left an inch or two extra fabric on each strap- I wanted extra strap length, for alteration down the road. I cut mine 16 inches and this did not leave any extra length.)
Fold the straps in half right sides together and sew 1/4 inch from the edge. Flip the straps right side out. If your fabric frays, finish the short edges with your preferred finishing technique.
Try the cover up back on and determine the best placement of the straps. (Use saftey pins to hold the straps in place.) Use a straight stitch to attach the straps to the dress.
Hem the bottom of the cover-up. (If your fabric is knit, you can leave it un-hemmed, or fold the edge over 1/2 inch and hem. If you are working with a fabric that frays, you should fold the fabric over 1/4 inch and press, fold over another 1/4 inch, press again and sew along the edge to make a narrow hem. )
You are done!
I don’t usually go for the smiley pictures, but I am in love with her little gap toothed smile right now! Can’t wait for our beach vacation…
So tell me what you really think, would you wear a matching cover up with your little girl?