This gave me the confidence I needed to try something I've wanted to make for a long time: swimming suits. I was looking around for patterns when Suz of Sewpony emailed asking if I'd like to try her new pattern, the Cosi swimsuit. I loved her pattern from the moment I saw it. She asked if I wanted to be part of her pattern tour this summer. Not only did I stop searching for an alternative pattern, but I also coaxed my girls into wearing last year's swimming suits until the pattern was ready.
It was so worth the wait. I really love this pattern!
The swimsuit is stylish, yet provides really great coverage. I was pretty discouraged by the swimsuit selection at places like Target this year. Many of the suits were just not age-appropriate, in my opinion. Call me prudish, but I'd like my girls' swimwear to have an innocence about it. The store-bought options often looked as though they were designed for teenage or college girls, not little ones.
The pattern has seven different options to chose from. For Indigo's, I picked View C, except I left off the leg frills.
There were a couple of things I learned along the way. First, Suz has a chart in the pattern that tells you which pages to turn to based on the option you are making. That was so helpful.
Kristin blogged her Cosi swimming suit and mentioned leaving the front of the gusset unsewn/unattached for a cleaner finish. This was brilliant! I tried it when sewing Iris' suit. There really is no need to sew the front of the gusset down and like Kristin pointed out, many store-bought swimming suits (and I noticed underwear, too) don't have it stitched down.
I noticed on Kristin's photos that she also knotted the ends of the straps to finish them. I loved that.
Another thing I found helpful was to baste the elastic to the swimming suit (rather than pin it) using a long, straight basting stitch. It made it so much easier to turn the hem down with the elastic already stitched in place.
And don't fear the double needle. It's so easy to use and gives such a beautiful and professional finish. It's really as easy as changing needles and threading an extra bobbin. Then just place the extra bobbin on top of your topstitching thread, thread both needles and you're good to go.
For Iris' suit, I made View D with the little peplum. I cut the peplum a little less wide than the pattern piece.
I measured Iris and decided on sewing the size 2 width based on her chest measurement and size 3 length. This fit perfectly.
Iris loved the little peplum so much. When she got in the pool she exclaimed, "Yook, Mama, I flying!"
I love this age when toddlers really get talking yet don't quite grasp English grammar or sentence structure well. One of our favorite family stories is when I dropped Dan and the three older kids off at the grocery store while Iris and I waited in the car. Iris reached out her hands and sobbed, "Daaaa!!! Kids!!! Meee beeee!". Anytime Dan goes on an errand, Iris asks, "Me go you?" And my personal favorite is when Iris reaches up and says "I hold ewe".
I joked with the other moms at the pool that I should respond, "Yes, Iris, just hold me!" :)
Oh and Ms Tarikua is definitely not going to be left out of the mama-made swimsuit party. I actually plan to make three more of these suits, two of which will be for Tia. But I wanted to deviate from the pattern a bit, at least on one of them, so I wanted to try the pattern straight-up first. :) This pattern is not only empowering, but also highly addictive! I recommend it!