Ivy has finally outgrown the suits I sewed a year and a half ago. Lucky for her, I just so happened to have preordered some amazing fabric from Peek-A-Boo Fabric Shop a few months before, including these ridiculously sweet Ice Cream and Sprinkles prints, and it arrived just in time for some summer sewing.
I used the “Retro Swimmers” pattern from Ottobre 3/2016 (#27). I made the second view, with a change. Instead of a one-piece, I did a tankini. Two pieces are just SO much easier for potty breaks. And Ivy has an easier time getting ready for the pool with a two-piece. Or getting ready for the day, in general, as she wears her swim suits pretty much whenever and wherever she can.
The pattern was already split top and bottom to accommodate the skirt being sewn in. So all I had to do was lengthen the top a couple of inches, and then add a waist band to the bottom pattern pieces. Super easy. One thing I will do differently with the pattern next time is skip the two pieces for the top and the bottoms of the suit. See how they have a center seam? Great for curves, unnecessary for four year olds. Not even the bottom needs that much curve to warrant a center seam, really. It just makes for a baggy bum. Next time, I’ll cut both back pieces on the fold and skip those seams.
I ended up shortening the skirt of the suit after a few wears. You can see the longer skirt in the darker pond pictures. I don’t know if I misunderstood the directions, or if the skirt really is supposed to cover up this much of the lower part of the suit. But it seemed too long to me. Plus, it hung so much shorter at the back because of the bum. It was cute, but I wanted to see more of the ice cream print and that uneven look around the bum was bugging me.
So I shortened it up, more so in the front than in the back. It hangs a bit more even-looking now and I just like the look of the shorter skirt better.
You can also see the struggles I had with my coverstitch machine. I could not get it to stop skipping stitches on this suit. I unpicked the messy stitching so much, I started to tear the fabric. Gah! So then I just ended up going over the messy stitches over and over until they were better held in place. I finally found a group on Facebook that helped me figure things out for my next suits (search “coverstitch” in groups to find the group. It’s a must if you have a coverstitch. So much great info)
The fabric is fabulous. Like I said, I got it on preorder from Peek A Boo Fabric Shop. Peek A Boo has a great selection of adorable and unique fabrics, including swim fabric. I have been really impressed with the quality and will be buying more. Ask Ivy, you can never have too many swim suits!