Super {Swim} Suits

August 5, 2016 in News

Hello sewing friends! Hope you are having a lovely summer! Last Halloween I made my family some superhero-inspired costumes with active/swimwear type fabric. I had enough extra fabric that, as I was pondering one day, I had a light bulb moment! Why not make Super Suits for my daughter? Super SWIM suits, that is! Keep reading for some tips and tricks for super swimwear!

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I traced one of my daughter’s basic swimsuits that she had already. I have a tutorial on how I did the bottoms HERE and I did a similar thing with the tops (with variations…some tankini-style and the others halter). I constructed the swimsuit bottoms just as I did in this tutorial for an adult! All pieces of all the swimsuits are completely lined. The outer and lining layers are matched up, edges serged with a 4-thread overcasting stitch, and elastic is applied to both the outer and lining simultaneously (as shown in the Swim Bottoms tutorial referenced above). Before serging the lining to the outer fabric, I reinforced the backside of the fabric with an fusibile, tear-away stabilizer where I was going to sew the purchased logo on. The logo was stitched on the outer fabric only, stabilizer removed, and finally, the suit was assembled.

For my Batgirl-inspired swimsuit, I stitched a Batman logo patch to the front outer fabric before the lining was serged to it (so that it would hide the stitching). I finished the bottoms completely and then added the ruffle. To create the ruffle, I cut two 1.5″ long strips of swimwear fabric. I did not finish the edges. I just stitched the 2 pieces together at the short side seams to create a continuous loop. Then, I gathered with a single basting stitch 1/4″ down from the top edge of the to-be ruffle and cinched to fit the bottoms. After that, I zig-zagged the ruffle with a narrow and short stitch width about a 1/2″ down from the top of the (completely finished) bottoms (the zig-zag is important to allow the ruffle to stretch). After zig-zagging it down, I stretched the bottoms to break the basting threads (you hear popping sounds, but, it’s only busting the basting threads of the gather, not the zig-zag stitch that holds it in place and allows it to stretch)!

 

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For her Robin-inspired suit, you’ll have to search for a patch or create an applique with this Silhouette design (if you have the Silhouette Cameo)! The “buckles” on the shirt were created with my Baby Lock sewing and embroidery machine. If your machine has built-in applique shapes, you can, more than likely, create applique shapes by layering two straight stitch shapes (same shape and size)  as your placement and tack down stitches. Then, a satin stitch (or even just another straight stitch) of the same size/shape over the top. That’s how I created the applique rectangles shown on her swimsuit below. For this top, I left excess at the neckline and folded it down to create a casing through which I ran a strap to allow it to cinch a wee bit and create a halter (I LOVE how the neckline turned out).

Aw, the kids actually loving each other below! Sweet moments! My son’s swim top/trunks were purchased; I did not make his ensemble.

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The Wonder Woman-inspired swim suit is my favorite! I found this Wonder Woman patch to use for this two-piece tankini suit. Again, I stitched the patch on before serging the lining to the outer fabric. I actually created the stars on her swim bottoms with a digitizing program (which is a computer program where you can create embroidery designs) called Designer’s Gallery MasterWorks. If you have an embroidery machine, you can actually get the free star .PES (only) embroidery design here! If you don’t have an embroidery machine, create star appliques that you can sew on (use a knit needle) or see if you can find some star sew-on patches! I stitched these on before serging the lining to the outer fabric so that the back side of the embroidery design wouldn’t be itchy!

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The Supergirl-inspired swimsuit is fun too. It’s not much different than the others, as far as assembly goes. Here’s a Superman logo patch you could use for this one! Something I did a little different with this one was to loosely encase a piece of elastic (more for structure) in a yellow band of swim fabric on the bottom of the tankini top. I thought it’d be cute to kind of look more like Supergirl. I kind of wish I had made a skort for the bottoms…eh well…next time!

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These were so fun to make and she loves every one of them! So sad she’s nearly growing out of them (I actually made them for her last summer). But, we’ll pass them down to her cousin and make some new ones! 🙂 Happy sewing!

~Stephanie

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