I made Rebekah a swimming skirt for this summer. I bought a top at Target, but I couldn't find any bottoms for her. I was hoping to find some swimming shorts so I could just add a skirt, but no luck. So, I started from scratch and made a swimming skirt with attached leggings underneath. She loves it, but we haven't gone swimming yet! I'll have to come back and update this post later.
Want to make one for yourself or your little girl? Take a look at this set I made for myself, Rebekah's first outfit, and second outfit. Here's how I did it:
First, you'll need 1 yard of swimming or active wear fabric. I bought mine at Hancock Fabrics using a 40% off coupon printed from their website. I think Hancock's has the best selection of swim fabric. I also purchased material to make a skirt and shirt for my mother-in-law (stay tuned!). You'll also need a length of elastic to fit and a ball needle for your sewing machine. This really makes a difference, so get one!!!
Once you have your fabric, find a skirt and leggings that currently fit. Lay them out on your fabric and trace around them with a 1 inch seam allowance. For the leggings, I only traced around half of them. Once you cut out your first piece, flip it over and use that piece to trace your next one. You'll need 2 of each piece for the leggings (mirror images).
Sew two mirrored pieces of the leggings together, but only the crotch seam. Use a zig zag stitch to allow for stretching (and your ball needle). Do this for both sets. Now you have a front and back of the leggings, but they should be the same.
Can you see my zig zag stitch? Use this for the entire skirt!
Lay the front and back pieces right sides together and pin. Sew both outer seams and the inseam of the leggings.
Flip them right side out and you have a pair of leggings with no waistband! You'll want to try them on at this point and make any adjustments necessary.
Now, sew the skirt side seams by laying them right sides together, pinning, and zig zag stitching down the sides only.
It's time to attach them together. With both turned right side out, put the leggings inside the skirt. Pin them so that the tops of both are together. Sew them together as close to the top of the fabric as you can. Now, fold the top down about an inch and sew around again creating room for the elastic waistband. Make sure you leave 2 inches open. I also like to make a little tag to distinguish the front from the back. (They are the same right now, but after my daughter sits in the sand, they'll be different!
Measure how much elastic you'll need by putting around the person's waist. Then thread it through and sew up the opening.
Hem the skirt and you're done! Or you can add a ruffle or other cute decoration, just google it. I added my ruffle on top of the skirt. I've found from experience that having a seam right by your knees is a bad idea because it will rip out.
Now she's ready to see the ocean for the first time this summer!!!
Once again, if you're interested in why we choose to wear swimming skirts, this book will help you understand.