A swimsuit....a pattern in the works???

10:09 PM


If you have been following sewpony for a while, you might have seen a few versions of a dress and tunic pattern that I was working on last year.  I have stagnated on this pattern, and although I would love to finish it, I just need to put it aside for now as I have made several versions already and need a break from it so that I can be excited about it again.  I might look at it again towards the end of the year.  

So, that said, I had a brainwave the other night that the sewing world needs more swimwear sewing patterns for kids.  I have made a few pairs of bathers (Aussie word for 'bathing suit') for my girls and they were a very satisfying sew.  I was sure I had seen a pair on pinterest somewhere that I had pinned of a rouged/gathered centre panel but after searching and searching, I could not find the image that inspired these bathers...perhaps I dreamt it instaed?  Anyway...here is a hopeful pattern in the works.  A one piece and two piece pair of bathers.


My first prototype features:
one piece
halter tie neck
gathered centre front panel
fitted body
low cut leg line
elasticised lace trim
fully lined


Here is a close up of the gathering - I love the effect.  I might make it a bit more gathered for the actual pattern. Do you also notice my tres awesome wallpaper?  Orla Kiely - Linear stem in stone.  I LOVE it.  My sister helped me put it in last weekend. 


I am not sure if the trim should just be around the legs?  Anyway, people can decide where they would like to put it.

The two piece variation would look as though the one piece was chopped in half - it will have an elasticised hem under the chest and high waisted briefs with an elastic casing.  I used rubber elastic around the top and legs but think regular elastic would have been fine.  The rubber elastic is twice the price. I will probably not have the neck ties as long, but I am not sure...


So it might seem a bit strange that I am drafting a bathing suit pattern when we are in autumn here in Australia, but my girls have just started swimming lessons and will be donning their bathers weekly this year, so these babies won't go to waste!

I have a HUGE list of things to sew over the next five weeks but I am really excited to work on this pattern. I would love to release it in May in time for the Northern Hemisphere summer.  I am also working on another dress pattern...but with three kids - two at home, school drop offs, pick ups, swimming, painting the house, playgroup, coffee dates, hanging out with my Mum and other busy things, I need more hours in the day!

I would love to hear what you think of my first version...any suggestions?  Have you sewn bathers before? Would you buy a PDF bathers pattern?  Thanks and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these vintage inspired bathers/swimsuit/bathing suit!!

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55 comments

  1. Cuteness alert ;) Juliette's swimmers/bathers look wonderful Suz! Love the shape of the suit. It look very comfy :) Oh I miss summer already!

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  2. I love this!!! I would so much rather my daughter (and even myself!) wear something like this, instead of what is currently available to buy. I would definitely buy a bathing suit pattern!

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  3. Wooooow! Impressive! Very nice work!

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  4. that is adorable! i will make one for sure. i have always wanted to make one, but i'm so scared too!

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  5. I would love this pattern! My girls' tushes need more coverage and this looks perfect and adorable to boot!

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  6. Very cute - perfect timing to start planning this for the northern hemisphere!

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  7. Impressive (and so lovely!)
    I quite agree with you - there's a shortage of patterns for bathers. I would love to give it a try - the swimming season is quite long around here (it's starting now and will end in October - that's almost 8 months) and with the swimming classes, my girl goes through 4/6 bathers per year (and these can be quite expensive ...).

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  8. I would definitely be in for a girls' bather sewing pattern - my older girl is very skinny/hard to fit and I will need to make her a new suit (or 2) before June!

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  9. Loooooooooooooooove this one! I am defintely interested. Will you make it also for teens?

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    1. Thanks mina:) no I will draft 6 mo-10 years I think:)

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  10. it's just adorable! I've never sewn swimwear before, but with a pattern like this one, I would love to try!

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  11. Suz - I really really love this one. So adorable!

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  12. This is an absolutely lovely swimsuit, Suz!
    The neck line is gorgeous!
    Go for the pattern!

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  13. Adorable Suz!! If you create it, I shall buy it!!

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  14. Would I buy this in a PDF pattern? Short answer: YES.

    So cute, and I love that it's kind of retro and also modest for the little girls. So, yes! Basically, you've got my $8 (or whatever). ;-)

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  15. Awesome thanks so much guys! I am excited!!

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  16. Really really great! Cant wait...

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  17. I would definitely be keen to try sewing a cossie (another Australian word!) for my little girl - and this one looks great. The only change I would possibly make would be to sew fixed straps rather than a long bow, because I wouldn't want to have to re-tie it at the beach or risk the bow getting in the way for swimming lessons, but I love the gathered panel and slightly retro-look - very cute!
    And the wallpaper is fabulous.

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    1. Thanks Suzy! I plan on also making a crossed back version with adjustable straps. Will keep halter ties as one option but make ties shorter. I will also have option of just lining gusset as some swimsuit fabric is thick enough not to need lining:)

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  18. Very cute! I would definitely get this pattern!

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  19. Adorable. Love the fabric and the trim. The silhouette is awesome too!

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  20. Lovely! Absolutely love the vintage feel. We live in Florida so bathers are always needed almost year round :) would deff purchase a pattern like this. Great job Suz!

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    1. Thanks Ashley! I hope I can pull it off!

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  21. I love this & would totally buy a pattern for sewing bathers....it would need to have lots of tips for fabric choice & sewing the fabric though, as I'm a stretch newbie, but I'd love to give them a go when I love the vintage-type style so much. I'd love adult ones too, but I know that's a whole new ball game! Also, for my daughters I usually dress them in bathers & rashie in summer - another option could be a matching rashie or even a cute little shoulder cover type swimsuit short sleeved cardigan. Vintage style bathing cap to go with would be cool too - would you like a few hundred more hours ;) Looove your wallpaper as a backdrop by the way!

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    1. Thanks she'll! I will include lots of tips for sewing with knits. Rashies are a great idea but that is a whole other pattern and since I want to get this out in about six weeks I will just do the swimsuits:)

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  22. Love it, I would absolutely want to make this. And your use of fabric .... perfect!! My little girl would love that. Big fan!!

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    1. Thanks Beth:) I got my fabric from spotlight. I used stretch lace trim in lemony cream:)

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  23. Suz, I would definitely be interested in a PDF bathing suit pattern- I have several suits of my own that I could see being upcycled into ones for my girls. Love the red one you made... Just adorable.

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  24. Hi Suz, love the "togs", is that an Aussie term too? A shame my girls are too old. Love the wallpaper too, Orla Kiely is amazing!

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  25. This is really adorable, and the sewing impressive. I would love to make something like this, but know I would be terrified as well.

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    1. It really was not difficult admita. My pattern will include lots of tips;)

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  26. This bathing suit is very cute! I'll be interested in a PDF pattern.

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  27. Ooh, I would buy this in a heartbeat!

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  28. Oh so gorgeous! Sadly not one for my little boy... though I would gladly wear an adult size!

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  29. Perhaps this one? http://www.florahenri.com/catalog/productDetail.asp?pld=111&cid=102&pid=3033

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  30. This is lovely, I really like the low leg and ruching detail. I would definately buy a cossie pattern for my girls. Although I would suggest using the special rubber elastic, even though it is pricier, as chlorine will destroy regular elastic pretty quickly. I have made a few leotards for my 7 year old, and they are so quick and easy to sew, and end up being so much nicer than RTW, it would be great to add a new swimsuit pattern to the stash!

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    1. Thank you for the elastic tip!!

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  31. I think it's a GREAT idea! I've been wanting to sew swimming suits for my girls this year and have been disappointed in the lack of pattern options. Definitely more PDF patterns are needed! :)

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  32. I have bought bather PDF's before..I make all my girls at least one new swimsuit every year for Easter. I have lots of really cute swim fabric, so I love it!! And I love the 2 you have..they are darling!! I'm big on 1 piece suits for little girls, and I've been wanting to make a ruched, and one with an attached skirt..so these are right up my alley!! I hope you decide to release them!! Hopefully I get to apply at the tester call too!

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  33. I love it, i hope you bring out the pattern also for teens

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    1. At this stage it will be 6mo to ten years. Maybe bigger sizes later... I haven't drafted for developing figures before!

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  35. That style is SUPER cute. Honestly, I don't know if I would make a swimsuit myself because I live in a cool climate and the kids don't get a ton of use out of them. But if I did choose to make one, I would definitely choose that pattern!

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