Skip to main content

Made by a Fabricista: Tween Swimwear and Tween Sewing


I have begun the adventure that is sewing for a "tween."  I knew it would come to this one day, and I knew that I would be just fine if my daughter no longer wanted anything made by Mom, after all that's just more sewing time for ME!!  However, my daughter still prefers that I make her a few special items that we are hard-pressed to find in a store.  As women we know that finding swimwear we love is a chore but for my tween, it seems as if the options are even more limited.



On a recent shopping excursion we found all sorts of impractical frilly swimwear for her age group but nothing that looked as if it might hold up to a long day of hard play on the beach.  In addition my daughter prefers more modest swimwear, none of which we could find.  Soooo Mom to the rescue.




I turned to Fabric Mart's great collection of Jalie patterns for this swimsuit and they did not disappoint.  The swim shorts pattern is really, really good.  I highly recommend it, I do have one important word of caution.  The last step in the instructions for these swim shorts is completely wrong and you'll need to go to the Jalie site to copy the correction- otherwise you'll be really lost.

These shorts turned out so perfectly for my daughter, the fit is just right.  There's a brief type lining with a great swimshort on top.  A side pocket is included which my daughter can't wait to use for collecting shells.  The construction hides the secure stitching that holds the elastic in place- clever!


The fabric is some I previously purchased from Fabric Mart, I love their end of summer mark downs on swimwear fabric and try to grab some before its quickly purchased by everyone else! This particular swimwear fabric (stripes) is thicker than the coral (lining)  and I love it.  



The top is a converted Julia bralette with added straps.  It turned out a bit snug on the elastic (which, warning cannot be altered after the fact) however she should be able to get a summers wear from it.

I believe just about any bralette can be converted to a swimsuit.  For this top I triple lined the front portion for my daughter's comfort.
 

Maybe you've never sewn swimwear and are unsure about tackling such a project.  I would definitely encourage you to go for it.  In my opinion its a really satisfying make since you spend a heck of a lot less than you would if you bought such a suit at a store or online.  You can get closer to your ideal swimsuit as well with grading and adjustments.

You really don't need any special equipment, I used a simply zig zag stitch for most construction and you can use it for all construction if you don't have a serger.  You will need a stretch needle so as not to snag or puncture the fabric.


I'm wondering if any of you are currently sewing for a tween and are discovering (as I have) that there are limited options for tweens?  If so I'd like to make a few recommendations for patterns.

  1. Jalie patterns include all sizes, one word of caution, I do find that they fit a little snug so be sure to check your measurements including finished measurements for a proper fit. 
  2. Hey June Handmade has a line of tween patterns that are really cute.  The Camden tee is a favorite in my house as well as the Morrison tee.
  3. New Look patterns have a few tween patterns that are even marked "tween." 
  4. McCalls and Simplicity have some tween fashions that are pretty cute and I ended up using McCalls 7680 for my daughter's Easter dress.  Admittedly some of these patterns are strange or definitely not to a tween's liking but if your tween is anything like mine she'll be quick to inform you which is which!
 I am also careful to get my daughter's input on fabric choices.  I want her to enjoy whatever I might make for her and since she is at an age where her self awareness is heightening I want to be collaborative in creating something she'll love wearing.  The last thing I ever want is for her to feel like that sad kid who's Mom insisted she wear some drab "homemade" concoction that is completely out of touch.  Ha ha, why be that person when I could use my valuable time sewing for myself!

I hope this post was helpful in encouraging you to sew swimwear and to have even more courage to dare to sew for a tween!

Thanks for reading!
Elizabeth

Comments

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Spring Ahead

Happy Spring!  We have finally made it into my favorite season which happens to also be my birthday season.  I feel like the New Year really starts in the spring season as everything comes back alive, and we all feel refreshed. So, for this post I created two separate looks to encompass my spring vibes. This first look I dared myself to create a look using two different prints.  I don’t work with prints often, but I had been really inspired lately by fellow Fabricista Marcia (keechiibstyle) who just has a magical way with mixing her prints. For this I used two different print jersey knits of 2yds each and McCall’s Pattern M8238 which allows for easy color blocking but in this case print mixing.  The fabric requirements call for a 2 way stretch but this knit worked just fine for the pattern. I love the contrast between the two prints.  This is the perfect spring style but can also but transitioned into summer as well. I did view C which had a high slit in the center.  Initially I planne

Made By A Fabricista: Summer Brunch looks just in time for Mother’s Day

Happy First Friday of May! I am truly excited that I have 22 more work days left before the summer break.  This school year has been a roller coaster ride and I have enjoyed some high moments and dealt with some low ones in between.  I wanted to start my summer looks early and decided to focus on looks I can wear when I visit Jamaica or other tropical places. These looks made are both great for Sunday brunch as well. This set is my first faux romper for this year and I love the fact that I can rock it as separates. When I came across this yellow graphite gray polyester fabric , I knew it was perfect for summer.  To top it off, I found the perfect matching earring from Purple Paradise Studio in lime (Rise stud in lime) and knew I wanted a chic summer faux romper set.  I decided to hack  McCalls 7943 dress pattern and create another top.  I have made it several times as I truly love it and plan to use this pattern as one of the beginner patterns for my summer sewing class. I have made it

Made By A Fabricista: The Summer Blues

People often speak of the “Winter Blues”, but today I bring you the “ Summer Blues ”, and it is all good news. Most people don’t think of blue as a summer color but personally for me any color is Summer ready depending on the style and fabric. The moment I seen this Polyester Lycra Diagonal Plaid Stripe Print DTY Knit (SYB8432) I knew I wanted to make something fun for the hot weather to come. I love the Navy/Black/Powder White mix of colors and prints all in one designed fabric. This DTY Knit is made up of 96% Polyester and 4% Lycra with a 4 Way Stretch. It has just the right amount of stretch but yet not too much to make it difficult to work with. If you used a pattern not calling for stretch fabric you definitely want to make adjustments when choosing your size.   With the different patterns in this fabric and made cutting it a breeze because I actually misjudged the amount of fabric, I needed but was able to cut the bodice in one direction and the skirt in another. That’s what I