Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tutorial Tuesdays: Baby Ruffle Swimsuit

Okay, so it's no secret that I am absolutely in love with Lil Miss. She's by far my favorite niece (I'll update this status after I get another).

We are going swimming later today (a perk of living in a converted hotel: indoor pool. Win.)

But, since she's been growing like a little weed, she didn't have a swimsuit. 
Since I'm an awesome aunt and what-not, I whipped one up for her. Here's how:

What You Need:
A pre-ruffled fabric tank top 
(or pre ruffled fabric if you want to draft the top yourself)
(You want this to be a poly-spandex blend, a cotton blend will take heat away from the body and take forever to dry.)
(enough parenthetical inserts)
A sewing machine
needle and thread
Your Lil Miss' measurements-- neck to between the legs, thighs, and around the widest part of the torso.

Optional: swimsuit lining cut to same measurements as ruffle fabric and serged together along all edges and flipped to wrong side through the crotch seam.


After measuring, you are going to essentially make a rectangle starting from the center front of the neck and going down, cut in between the ruffles adding a seam allowance only to the crotch seam as ruffle fabric is generally only two way stretch. The spaghetti straps are going to act as halter ties.

You don't need to add side seam allowances seeing as the fabric is a knit, and will also stretch further when in the water.

(if you aren't using an old shirt, simply add two straps to the top of a tube top type suit.) 

Cut along the side seams and cut the spaghetti straps where they are connected to the back. (I cut mine in the middle and now wish they were longer)

Right Sides together, fold the front of the shirt and sew down center back, try to line up the ruffles as you sew.

Flip the suit right side out and measure in from each side half the width of your Lil Miss' legs (Since it is on the fold). Cut in between the ruffles horizontally and then straight down. Sew together using 1/4" seam allowances.

Since the neck was originally made for an adult it will gap --even when tied in a halter-- So we are going to pinch in the neck (you can make this same alteration to formal or woven patterns, before sewing them up, for tops to eliminate gaping at the neck)

To keep things even, form a box pleat (two pleats facing each other) and sew.

Your pleat should look like this, each side measuring about half an inch:

I didn't care for the look of the pleat itself, so I made a little drapey bow to cover it. Simply take a rectangle of fabric. About 5" by 3" and gather it down the middle, hand sew it on.

And that's it! Quick little babe swimsuit!
You may want to fidget with the curve of the underarm area to suit your Lil Miss' needs.


  1. oh wow!! so awesome and so easy, love this idea!


    1. i'd love to see how yours turns out if you decide to try it! I think I'd take the extra 10 minutes to put in a lining if I were to do this again. Good luck!

  2. This is adorable! I need to go find some ruffle fabric to make one for my little girl!

    1. You should! You can find it at most fabric stores for under $10 a yard. and you need less than 1/2 a yard. Happy sewings!