Hey Ya’ll! I’m Jenilyn from Grits and Giggles.
Today I’m going to show you how to put together a simple and adorable swim cover-up for a little girl.
1/2 yard of lightweight cotton (for size 2T)
elastic thread (found in your notions section)
Measure your child’s chest and multiply it by 1.5. For example, my child has a 20″ chest, so my measurement was 30″. This will allow a comfortable fit with the shirring. This is your width.
Measure your child from their chest down to where you want the garment to fall. Mine hits my little girl above her knee. This is your length.
Cut out a rectangle of your fabric with those dimensions.
Hem the top and bottom of the rectangle using a serger or a rolled hem. Turn under 1/4″ then another 1/4″ and sew to hide the raw edges.
Leave the short sides unfinished.
Now we’re going to add the shirring. Hand-wind your bobbin with your elastic thread, making sure you don’t stretch it while winding. You will leave your coordinating Coats and Clark thread in your needle.
Starting 1/4″ below your top hem, begin sewing with your elastic thread, sewing on the right side of the garment. You want your elastic thread to be on the wrong side. Be sure to backstitch when you start and stop a row.
Continue sewing lines 1/4″ apart as far down as you would like to go on the top. The shirring will get tighter and more noticeable as you add more rows. I added 8 rows to my garment.
To gather the elastic even more, place the garment under a steam iron for a few seconds. The heat and steam will really draw it up!
Once your shirring is done, place the body right sides together and sew up the back seam making a tube. Finish the raw edge with a serger or wide zig zag stitch to keep it from fraying.
For straps, you can use ribbons, sewn bias tape, or make your own with your material. To make your own, cut strips 10″ x 2 1/2″ . Fold the strips in half, then fold in the raw edges and sew.
Attach them to the body of your garment with a few stitches across the top and you’re DONE!
Now your little girl has a sweet, light, and comfortable swim cover to wear to and from the beach or pool.
Beautifully stretchy and shirred.
About the Author
Lynn is Director of Consumer Services with Coats & Clark.