Swimwear for the family - my Summer 2020 makes
This year, for the first time since I started sewing, I managed to sew my family's swimwear before we actually went on vacation. Every year I take the swim fabric and the elastics with me to Algarve, and I make bikinis, shorts and swimsuits for my children and for myself during our vacation. But this time three events made me get started on it way before summer is here:
- Being in confinement for 3 months with the help of my sewing machine to keep me sane.
- Preparing my swimwear online course for my sewing school (only in Portuguese for now).
- And being part of the Project Watercolor Beach collaboration for Project Run and Play, that included really cute swimwear for my kids.
So because of my online course I made one bikini and two swimsuits for myself. The bikini is my favorite style with a triangle top with back and neck ties, and a regular bottom design with wide hip ties. This pattern is my own design and I'll probably work on it to turn it into a PDF pattern here for the website.
The striped swimsuit is a basic design with a round neckline, a low cut back, and a top front lining to include foam cups. This pattern was drafted by a friend of mine and I don't know if it will become a full pattern. For now I used it to teach the techniques to sew a swimsuit for my online course.
For the final swimsuit that I made I used the Mar pattern from Bikini Design Club. I made a size M, I added a bit of coverage to the back bottom, and added foam cups. Next time I'll also add coverage to the front crotch area to make it a little less revealing.
The pattern is designed to be reversible but I wanted to make it with a regular swim lining, so I changed up the construction a bit to be able to do it and to add the cups. It fits me nicely and I feel comfortable in it.
FOR MY SON:
Both my children grew A LOT during the Covid confinement months and they outgrew most of their summer clothes. So I didn't need any more excuses to sew them all new beach wear.
For my son I sewed board shorts and swim trunks. He likes to wear lycra swim trunks at the beach and only changes into board shorts after he dries off and is ready to leave. My favorite pattern for the trunks is the MBJM Swim Shorties. However he's at the top of the size chart (size 12) so I think I'll have to look for another pattern next year.
For the board shorts I made him one with the Cobalt board shorts pattern by Jennuine Design (in size 12), and two with my Manuel swim shorts pattern (in size 11). I also used the boardshort fabric to make him face masks with lycra ties. After all this is our new reality, so I might as well make masks to match the garments. :-)
FOR MY DAUGHTER:
My daughter is 8 years old so I can still use up small pieces of swim fabric to make bikinis for her. This means that I made quite an amount of bikinis and I had to control myself to stop making more...
I started off with the Viridian Swimsuit pattern from Jennuine Design in size 7. I made a one-piece with ruffles, one bikini with the skirted bottom and I used the solid top of the pattern to make the top of two other bikinis (the emojis bikini and the watercolor stripes top).
When I see girls' bikinis in shops they are always so tiny, flimsy and revealing. I want my daughter to be comfortable while she's at the beach, that she can move around freely without me having worry that her bikini will come undone. I want age appropriate swimwear. She'll have time to wear tiny bikinis when she grows up. But not now while she's still a child.
Besides that I want something that will keep her a bit more protected from the sun without having to wear a rash guard. And a swimsuit or bikini with wider straps and a more full back is perfect.
The Viridian Swimsuit pattern is perfect! It includes several options to make different pieces in sizes newborn to 12yo. This is now my go-to pattern for bikini tops.
I mentioned that I sewed a lot of bikinis, right? These are the others. For these I used the Boo Swimmers pattern from Boo Designs (in size 8). The classic bottom of this pattern fits perfectly on my daughter and I like the contrasting stripes detail on the top. I usually make the tankini top (which provides more coverage from the sun) but I had only scraps to use, so I made the bikini top instead.
The bottom of the Boo Swimmers fits perfectly with the top of the Viridian.
Also for my daughter I sewed some Cobalt board shorts in board short fabric. She's going sailing for one week when school is out (as a sort of summer camp), and the board shorts will keep her comfortable and stylish. Of course these needed matching face masks (made with boardshorts fabric and lycra ties).
In total I sewed 19 swimwear garments. Me and the kids are ready to go on our beach vacation. My husband will only join us in mid-August, so I'll have time to make him some boardshorts too.