Skip to main content

Made by a Fabricista: Family Swimwear

We are so glad to have a friend who lives nearby and welcomes us to use her gorgeous pool!  Aren't we lucky!

Summer means swimming, water fun and sun for my family and I love it!  But one thing I am very conscious of is our sun exposure and minimizing sunburn.  For several years now I've made rash guards for my daughters and this year I chose to use the Jalie Valerie pattern to make coordinating Mother-Daughter rash guards and Jalie Nico for my husband. 
 
I am wearing my "fancy lady hat" which has been soaked completely from all the splashing!

I used three different swimwear fabrics for the Jalie Valerie rash guards. The floral being from an order I placed last year and the purple and coral are currently available at Fabric Mart.  Both are listed under "Swimwear."  The plum and coral are slightly thinner than the floral fabric and would be great for a swimsuit with gathers.  They were also slinkier and a little more difficult to cut with dressmaking shears so I used my 28mm rotary cutter for most cutting.  


The Jalie Valerie has great side panels that add interest to the pattern.  I previously made rash guards last summer using McCall's 7417 and while I really like that pattern, it's fun to mix it up a bit.  The Valerie is great in that it has a huge range of sizes and I was able to grade the pattern for my daughter fairly easily.  I would caution that for the size that I made for my daughter I really had to grade it out for a straight up and down figure adding a good deal of width at the waist, young bodies just don't have the curvier shape that the pattern is drafted for.  


I had quite a lot of fabric remaining after making our rash guards so I pulled out the Closet Case Patterns Sophie pattern and got to work!  I used the Sophie to make the top of the suit and the bottoms from McCall's 7417 for this combination.  



I am so proud of how this swim top turned out.  I have never sewn foam cups, underwires, or bras before so I was so pumped when I tried this on and it looked great. 
 

For the bottoms I lined the entire piece and added an extra layer of power mesh to the front center panel for tummy control.  One thing I have learned after having two children and nursing both, I appreciate a little extra power mesh here and a little foam cup there!  
 

Although I've made simple swimwear in the past, this was the first time that I braved wooly nylon thread and I am so glad I did.  It wasn't nearly as traumatic or difficult as I imagined and I will used it in the loopers of my serger for all swimwear from now on.  
 

I also added piping to the front of my swim bottoms to help the two pieces coordinate a bit more and it wasn't difficult. The picture above shows my in-progress shot.  Since the swimwear fabric wasn't overly thick I had no trouble with sewing multiple layers together. I was careful to baste everything before finalizing my stitches on the serger. 

If you've never sewn swimwear and are hesitant I really recommend just diving into the whole process.  Last summer I had the best sewing high from sewing my own swimwear and haven't looked back since.  

Rash guards are a great way to dip your toe into sewing swimwear since the construction is very quick and easy.  If you have experience with knits you are well on your way to sewing rash guards. 


Now to my husband's rash guard.  This guy is such a good sport, I know that posing for a blog post probably wasn't his favorite thing to do, but he never complained and really appreciated the rash guard.  I modified the Jalie Nico a bit to get this fit, I simply basted it together, had my husband try it on inside out and pinned up the sides to get a more snug fit since generally, rash guards are tighter fitting than tees. 
Please excuse the traces of sunscreen on the back of the shirt!

As a side note, I made up a muslin in some other knits from Fabric Mart and he loved that shirt as well.  The fabric used for his rash guard is an awesome fabric from Tracksmith.  The orangey-red colorway can be found here and the navy colorway here.  The fabric is thicker than swimwear and my husband commented that he thinks he will wear it for fall/winter workouts more than for swimming excursions.  I loved the thicker nature of the fabric and hope to make a Simplicity 8339 sports bra with the extra lengths- it would be perfect!

 

It feels good to know that all summer and even into the fall my family can play in the water and sun with less sun exposure.  If you've never sewn swimwear it is less difficult than you can imagine and I hope you might give it a try!  

Happy sewing and thanks for reading!
Elizabeth 

Comments

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Date Night looks for Valentine's Day

Happy New Year! I am excited to be back blogging in 2023 with Fabric Mart.  Over the past few weeks, I spent quite some time reflecting on what truly brings me joy and a personalized form of self-care. Sewing was on the top of the list and I truly enjoy making my own clothing.  During the winter break, I wanted to create some basic looks that I can jazz up for a wedding or rock on date night.  When I read Johanna’s  blogpost and came across the Vogue 1835 pattern that she made last month, I saw endless possibilities with the pattern.  I knew it was perfect to hack to make a mini, midi or maxi dress and a staple pattern to have. My original plan with the lycra foil printed knit ( here ) fabric was to make a formal infinity wrap dress that I saw on instagram.  I will be attending a formal event later this month and felt it was perfect. Knowing that I would only wear the infinity wrap dress once or twice per year, I decided to make separates that I can dress up or down and maximize the w

Made By A Fabricista: Sewing Toward Spring

Hello, all! I find it positively lovely to be back on the Fabric Mart blog in 2023 sharing more sewing projects.  This round I wanted to create an outfit to ease me back into spring. As I shiver and type this, imagining nicer weather is a very uplifting thought! But for now I’m stuck with chilly (and gusty!) weather that makes taking photographs more of a challenge. When I began working on this project, I was still swirling with holiday sewing, and while I usually have my sewing projects planned down to the T in advance, this time I was much more up in the air and just had the most cursory of ideas, so I kind of put together a little kit for myself to work with. If nothing else, seeing a beautiful little stack of fabrics and notions is very motivating.  Have you been in a constant swooning state over all the incredible Liberty of London wovens that have swept through the New Arrivals? I've, for one, have felt practically breathless poring through the huge assortment and adding a f

Made by a Fabricista: YouTube Edition | Marty - Let's Make Some Activewear!

Do you ever see a fabric, and it reminds you of a fabric in your stash, so you just have to combine the two and like... annoy the world? Now I'm not saying that these colors are horrible together, but I definitely feel like a high visibility vest while wearing them. The neon orange and hot pink are just that striking of a combination. And I still can't get over the pocket detail I did on the color-blocked pair. Along with everyone else I set a New Years goal to be more healthy. To improve my relationship with food, my body, and the world around me. And these leggings bring me so much joy. Not, go run a marathon in July joy. But maybe some Yoga and outdoor adventures in August kind of joy. From beginning to end, figuring out these legging patterns has been a lot of fun. Before this, it had been almost a decade since I had worked this seriously with knit, and I think I need to do more, to be honest. I apologize for the awkward photos. I just finished a cross-country move and am s