I want to share with you a super easy hack for making a swim cover up. They are great for throwing on after getting out of the water to dry off and stay covered. We can hack any hooded pattern for this. You can do it with an adult or child sized pattern. So gather your supplies and lets get started, you’ll be surprised how quick it is. Can’t start now? Pin for later!
What you need:
- A pattern with a hood: You can use any knit shirt pattern with a hood to make this swim cover up. I am using the Rosemary Raglan, but most of these patterns will work as well. If you choose a more fitted pattern like the Rosemary Raglan you may want to size up to have more room in the arms (I didn’t for this but would recommend doing so), Sweatshirt hoodies tend to have more ease already built into the arms.
- French Terry cotton is the perfect fabric substrate for this project because of the absorbent looped wrong side. You will use a little more than your pattern calls for.
Take the front bodice pattern piece and extend the center fold line out 4″. (You may want to do more for larger sizes. I made a chid size 2/4.) This piece will no longer be cut on the fold. Cut one mirrored pair instead. Also extend the hemline. I did a rough measurement on my daughter to see where I wanted it to land and then added 1″ for seam and hem allowance so I ended up adding 6″ to the length. I then used my french curve to round out the corner at the top of the center cut line.
For the back of the bodice we only need to extend the hemline by the same amount we extended the front. It will still be cut on the fold.
Cut sleeves and hood pieces as well. We only need a one-layer hood for this, so if your pattern has a double layer hood like the Rosemary raglan does, only cut one mirrored pair.
For the belt cut one strip 4″ x WOF (width of fabric) I only had 33″ of fabric available for this so mine is shorter, which is fine for this small version. Larger adult sizes might need to join strips to make it longer.
1. Assemble the bodice. If you are using a standard shirt pattern attach the shoulders, set the sleeves and sew the side seams. If you have a raglan pattern like pictured attach all the arm seams and sew the side seams. So essentially we have the fully constructed garment without any hems or hood. Then sew the two hood pieces together, but don’t attach it just yet.
*Peekaboo patterns use a 1/2″ seam allowance so that is what we will use for our seam and hem allowance. If your pattern has a different allowance, use that one.
2. Press the hem of the hood to the wrong side by 1/2″ You may opt to finish the raw edge of the hood first with a serger or zig-zag if you prefer. Go ahead and hem the hood now. I didn’t so you don’t see it in the pictures, but go ahead and do it now.
3. Pin the hood to the garment RST with the center of the hood lined up with the center of the back bodice. The edges of the hood no longer line up with anything, so simply pin it together evenly without stretching either piece.
Attach the hood to the garment with your sewing machine using a straight stitch and a 1/2″ seam allowance.
4. Press the entire raw edge of the garment to the wrong side by 1/2″. You may opt to finish this entire edge with a serger or zig-zag first. I didn’t since I will be hemming with a cover stitch and didn’t want the extra bulk. Even if you hem with a zig-zag or twin needle finishing the seam first is optional.
5. Hem all the way around your garment. I started at one side on the bottom, continued over the hood seam, ended on the bottom of the other side and then hemmed the bottom separately. You can also do it in one full sweep though. I then hemmed the hood, but if you listened to me earlier, yours is already hemmed 😉 Go ahead and hem the sleeves now as well.
6. For the belt, fold the fabric in half long ways RST and sew the raw edges together.
7. Turn the belt right side out. Slide the seam to the middle of one side and press. Also fold the short ends inside the tube about a 1/2″ and edgestich those ends shut.
8. Find the center of the belt and center it on the back of the cover-up at waist height. Bonus points if the kids are awake to measure. Mine wasn’t! Pin the belt to the back making sure it is straight. I only pinned between the two back seams. Sew the belt to the back bodice by edge-stitching along the top and bottom of the belt in between the two back seams.
And we’re done! Now if only the pools were open…