So I began looking for a swimsuit for my 8yr old daughter a couple months ago. I was trying to find a tankini since she is getting taller so fast a one piece would only last her one year. I looked in stores and did not like the cut, style, or the fabric options that I was seeing. I looked online and the prices were ridiculous at over $30 for a swimsuit for her. I decided to wait until the end of season sales and then I will get a couple for her. But in the meanwhile I have to get her something to wear this year. I decided to try to make her a swimsuit. I looked at Simplicity, McCalls, Burda, and several other pattern sites. I looked at a couple blogs where swimsuits were made freehand. I have done freehand before but never for swimsuits. I thought about it and decided not to go freehand for this project. I found a look that I wanted–a tankini not too short or tight. I then started to look at prices for the pattern and I chose Kwik Sew 3605. Most sites had the pattern for about $10 but I wanted to get it cheaper so I continued to search and finally found it on Etsy for about $5 which included shipping.
Then the next part is to find a suitable fabric. As I had never sewn swimsuits I did not want to make a wrong decision so I looked at several fabric sites and researched online. I determined I needed a lycra fabric and I wanted a nice print for my daughter. I ended up going to Ebay because it had so many different varieties of fabric and the prices were good. I purchased two yards of a blue chevron print and a yard of lining material. I bought the swimsuit elastic from Amazon and I was ready to go with this project.
I prewashed the material–cold water with a drop of detergent. Allowed it to air dry outside by laying it flat on a table. I then followed the layout instructions. This pattern is easy to me and the amount of material needed is minimal. I was able to cut the top, pants, skirt which I added the bikini bottom and I still have enough to make her a rashguard. I used a rotary cutter which I think is essential when cutting fabric. For knits make sure you have a sharpened blade so your cuts do not skip. I did make some changes to the pattern. I added an inch to the top, skirt, and the pants. I also lined the entire pants and bikini bottom. I just felt that a swimsuit needs to be fully lined.
I am still hemming the skirt and I have to cut out the rashguard. When I finish those I will be posting them so you can see my work. I think this is wonderful for about $20 you can make your daughter an entire set of matching swimsuits. I probably will get some solid blue fabric so I can make the same items for my daughter so she can have lots of choices to pick from this summer.