Live in the sunshine,
swim the sea,
drink in the wild air.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I saw this cute swimsuit coverup in two separate blogs, Crafter Hours and Dana Made It, so understand that this is not an original project. My little girls all love the water and they swim whenever a pool, lake or beach is available, so I decided to try it without a pattern available. After the first one, two things became very clear.. 1...it was more difficult than anticipated without a pattern, and 2...they would all have to be from different beach towels because I find it very difficult to make the same thing over and over and over and over again!
The first one was the purple polka dot, and I call that my prototype. I made lots of mistakes, but I still think it is it is wearable. It was intended to be for the oldest girlie, Issa, who just turned 8, but it was waaay to small. She could get it over her head, but pulling her arms into the armholes and the cover-up over her shoulders was a struggle.
After reading the directions from Crafter Hours, it really was fairly simple. You can go to her site and read her directions, which will be much more clear than mine. I used a yoke pattern from a basic yoke dress , extended it , scooped the front neckline , cut the back armholes into a racer back , used both ends of the towel for the ruffle , and cut a hood from what was left.
For the second one, I attached the ruffle to the front and back separately, and that was waaaay easier.
I serged each piece after I cut it out, all that terry cloth floating around gave me the sneezes! I attached the front to the back, right sides together....no french seams here! Then I took the two hood pieces, which I had placed on the edge of the towel so I didn't have to finish it,sewed it right sides together and then sewed it to the dress, extending the hood down over the shoulders a bit. It gives the dress almost a little collar look from the front.
This second attempt was made with a lighter weight towel and it was so much easier to work with. I liked the navy, white and orange; even though the stripes were a little bit of a pain to match, but it could be done. Instead of turning my bias trim to the inside, I turned it to the front and it gave another little bit of color. I used a fat quarter from my stash that matched the orange. Now I thought I was finished with cover up number 2. Au contraire!
I pulled the piece of orange rick rack from my box and it was just enough to go around the skirt! I wanted to put it on the edge of the hood, but none of my other oranges matched.
The last step was the I for Issa. I used the Twirly monogram, (which has applique letters enclosed by parentheses) and removed the parentheses from the design in my Artista software. The bit of orange on the bottom and the initial on the front finished it off nicely. Now only 2 more to do!