Sewing kid’s swimwear is easy, fun and a great way to keep your littles adorably beach or pool ready! You can decide on a trip to the shore in the morning and have a new suit done by the time you head out in the afternoon. Let’s take a look at making this a successful sewing adventure – ending with lots of super cute suits!
The Basics of Sewing Kids Swimwear
- Click here to review my Easy Swimwear Fabric Sewing Tips.
- While your pattern or tutorial may suggest a zigzag or stretch stitch on your sewing machine, Coats Eloflex Stretch Thread makes it possible to use a straight stitch! Click here to learn more about Eloflex.
- Pre-wash any swim fabrics used for children to remove excess dyes that may be irritating to their skin. Be sure to line dry as the spandex in the fabric is very heat sensitive.
- If you’re sewing your own suits, you can often squeeze a toddler or baby size suit out of the fabric that’s left. If your scraps are tiny, try color blocking!
- Although adult suits are best sewn with 3/8” elastic,1/4” is usually best for little leg, arm and neck openings.
- To secure the elastic, many patterns suggest a zig zag stitch. For kids, try sampling with the wavy serpentine stitch on your machine, too.
- Swimwear fabric is extremely sensitive to direct heat and should never be ironed. The spandex that makes swim fabric stretchy will disintegrate and/or melt when ironed. No matter what tutorial instructions may say, do not iron your swim fabric!
Toddler Suit with Skirt
Emily of the Life Sew Savory blog is a clever and thrifty sewist! Her adorable skirted toddler swimsuit is created from her own self-drafted pattern. Designed to fit her 2- 3T size daughter, she makes it easy for you to adjust for other ages. You’ll love the way she recycles swim hardware from out-grown suits and offers hints for elastic use and strap creation. Click here for the Toddler Suit with Skirt tutorial.
Basic Baby Swimsuit
You’ll love this easy to stitch, easy to draft Baby Swimsuit pattern. Delia of the Delia Creates blog often finds it difficult to buy a baby size suit. So, using a onesie as the base, she designed her own pattern! Although Delia’s suit is sized for 12 months, the best part of her onesie method is that you’ll create a pattern for any size you need! Once the pattern is ready, Delia will walk you through the steps she used to sew the suit. Click here for the Basic Baby Swimsuit tutorial.
Ruffle Neck Swimsuit
On the Zaaberry blog you’ll find a Ruffle Neck Swimsuit tutorial that is full of helpful tips! Designed for a 5T girl, you can easily re-draft the pattern larger or smaller. Along with instructions for the sweet ruffle neck, the post includes steps for converting the suit from one piece to two piece. These are good techniques to apply to any suit you are sewing, so hang onto this one for future reference! Click here for the Ruffle Neck Swimsuit tutorial.
Racer Back Swimsuit
The ever-creative Shwin sisters offer a free pattern for a sweet Racer Back style suit on their Shwin and Shwin blog. It includes a pleated front neckline and nicely image-illustrated steps for self-binding to encase the neck elastic. You’ll need about 3/4 yard of fabric for the size 6 pattern. It can also easily be sized up or down. Click here for the Racer Back Swimsuit tutorial.
High Waist Swim Bottoms
Liz of the Sew4Bub blog drafted a darling swim bottom pattern, but found that it didn’t always stay put the way it should. So, she called on her sewing super powers and added a high waist to solve the slippage problem! You’ll find a link to the original swim bottoms along with the high waist version in her post. Click here for the High Waist Swim Bottoms tutorial.
Princess Super Power Swimsuit
Winter Wear Designs reasonably priced Etsy pattern is the ultimate in kid’s swimwear. Owner/designer Suzanne offers the customizable Princess Power Suit pattern that includes sizes 1 – 14. No matter who your little royalty admires, she can swim in super power style this year! Options abound and you’ll love the examples that Suzanne’s pattern testers sewed. What could be better than dress up and swimming combined?! Click here for the Princess Power Suit pattern on Etsy.
Swim Cap for Kids
To top off your fabulous swimsuits, you’ll need a cap, of course! Back on the Sew4Bub blog, Liz skillfully put together this stretchy design that you’ll enjoy embellishing. Add ruffles, flowers, bows or whatever goes best with your custom suit to keep your little’s sweet hair protected from crazy tangles or damaging chlorine. Click here for the Swim Cap tutorial.