Monday, April 26, 2010

One Shoulder Swimsuit

This post all began with this drawing, and this question from B.,
"Mom, can you make me this swimsuit?"

I think I can. So here is how I came up with the pattern.

I used my standby Tank suit--KwikSew 2422.
(Which is apparently discontinued. What's up with that? It is a basic tank however I did see this suit--Kwik Sew 3785-- which has both the basic tank back as well as the racerback style suit--in the same pattern. Or you can try this leotard pattern could still use that one as a swimsuit.)
NOTE: To copy patterns I always use clear polyethylene sheeting and a sharpie. You can see thru it better than anything else you might use to copy patterns, and it doesn't rip. I buy my rolls at Menards, but you can get something similar at The Home Depot or Lowe's in their paint departments. Basically it is just 3 mil plastic sheeting.
First you copy one side of the front, marking the center and the point of the armpit, but do not draw the neckline into the strap just yet.
Then I flipped it over, matched the center line and copied the other half. Instead of drawing the strap and neckline I made a line from the top of the shoulder down to the opposite side armpit. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to make any more adjustments than that. In my case it worked out perfectly. Yeah!!! Just be prepared for some tweaking as you don't want it to cut too high into the armpit, or too low and show off more skin than you should.

Front pattern piece finished
For the back it is basically the same concept.
Copy one side--making sure that the side with the strap will be located on the correct side to correspond with the front piece. I.E. you don't want the shoulder strap to be on the right side on the front piece and then end up being the left side on the back piece. It will be a little tricky to cut the 2 backs out together so I would cut them separately.
The left back angles across the back starting from the left armpit up towards the right shoulder. I had to extend the center back seam on both the right and left pieces. For the right shoulder I angled down from the right shoulder towards the left armpit.
This shows the 2 completed pattern pieces with the center backs together.
I always add about 1/4"-3/8" extra on the pattern at the back leg opening. I find that it doesn't ride up as much and covers their little cheekies better. You won't have to adjust the measurement of the elastic.

Here is the completed swimsuit:
B. wanted a double strap on the opposite shoulder and it turned out really cute. The straps ended up being about 8 inches long-finished. And even though her drawing showed a little flower there at the spaghetti straps she didn't want it once we attached them.
Back view

Detail of attached straps
I've made 2 additional copies of this pattern alteration to giveaway.
Both copies are Girls size 7
Size 7 measurements
Height 50”
Chest 26”
Waist 23”
Hip 27”

**And although I've included the measurements for yardage, elastic, etc. there will not be any detailed instructions included other than sew backs together, attach crotch, sew shoulder seams, etc.

Leave us a comment if you'd like to be entered into the drawing for the patterns.
What item is it you wish you had a pattern for?
(maybe we'll come up with it down the road)
You have 'til Wednesday, midnight.
And hopefully I'll get it drawn Thursday morning,
but no guarantees as we have 2 birthdays and a Pinewood Derby Race all going on this week.
For a couple previous posts about swimsuits and some tips on making your own click HERE and HERE. Or type in "swimsuits" to search for posts on our blog--there are a number of them.

You can stop by my shop too and see what I have currently available for sale.


  1. So cute. I love that your daughter came up with the idea and then had you make it! She got what she wanted! :) I didn't realize that it would be so easy to make your own swimsuit...might have to give it a try when my little girl gets bigger!

  2. I love it. I remember my mom trying to make swimsuits for me, but they never looked that good. Maybe my 7 year old will let me make it for her. It is so cute!

  3. That is darling! My 7 year old would love a swimsuit like that.

    If I could have a pattern for anything right now it would be a piano bench pad. ;) I'm pretty sure I could come up with one on my own, but it's been 6 years since I've needed a piano bench and I haven't done it yet so . . .

  4. The suit turned out SO cute! Cute fabrics, Cute niece!

  5. That is one adorable swimsuit!!

    Hmmm...I've been looking for a pattern for a square yoke top/tunic for my younger girlsto. I'm sure there's a pattern out there but I've been trying to be good and not buy any new sewing stuff until I use up more of my fabric stash and patterns that I have.

  6. Very chic, B! I love that you posted her drawing too.

    I'd like a pattern for pretty much everything I see on the crewcuts website so I can make it for a fraction of their ridiculous prices.

  7. Dang, if that isn't the cutest!! Love your technique too! Great idea!

  8. Oh, my daughter would love for me to make a swimsuit for her! She loves everything I make, but a swimsuit would be fabulous, especially since she normally just wears hand-me-downs from a friend of ours.

  9. How talented!! (No need to enter me in the drawing...I don't think my boys would look good in it.) ;-)

  10. She is a talented designer and you are a talented seamstress.

  11. Great looking swimsuit and thanks for the tutorial.
    I'm not entering the drawing because I don't have young children anymore. Just wanted to leave a comment :)

  12. It'll be a few years before we're in that size, so no need to enter me in the drawing....
    I just wanted to say the 3mil plastic idea is FABULOUS!!!!! I have never heard of that & would never have come up with it on my own. I love the internet! I can take a great idea & run with it, but I seldom HAVE a great idea of my own :-)
    thanks for sharing.

    Oh - the swimsuit is lovely! Excellent designer :-)

  13. Cute pattern! Don't think my boys would wear it though!! LOL!! BUT, I would love it if you could make a pattern for a hockey jersey!!

  14. I've actually made basketball jerseys with my friend Ann for her college boy and his intramural team.

  15. I found your blog while searching for swimsuit-making tips, and lo! I found a giveaway in just a suit size my daughter will fit!

    Thanks for all of your great tips, and for sharing how you made this pattern - I really love how it turned out!

    I don't have a pattern wish right now, as I'm just getting into sewing clothes. By this time next year, however, I'm sure I'll have a wishlist a mile long. :)

    Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

  16. Shoot! I wasn't fast enough to be in on the giveaway but I love what you've done! You are such an inspiration and you make it look so easy. As you know, I haven't mastered the stretchy stuff but I think I'll give this a try anyway. Thanks so much for sharing.

  17. your swimsuits are amazing!

  18. Great suit! I'd love to win a tracing for one of my girls :) I'm always looking for clothing tutorials for girls size 6-14. Thank you! mamalusco at ortelco dot net



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