Ruffle Swimsuit Tutorial

 I decided that this summer my bathing beauty deserved to hit the pool in style!
Rows and rows of colorful ruffles:)

Ruffled Swimsuit Tutorial

Perfect for lounging around the pool!
 Or yelling duck at the top of your lungs- no there was not a duck in the pool…
Ruffle Fabric was kind enough to let me do a product review and let me tell you this fabric is AMAZING!
Here’s what I really love about it:
  • Less work for you! No more gathering
  • The final product isn’t heavy and bulky- this fabric is super light so even though you have tons of beautiful ruffles it won’t weigh your little one down
  • The fabric is super soft & stretchy- perfect for swim wear, dance, skirts…
  • So many cute colors!
  • A little fabric goes a long way. Since it’s already ruffled and it stretches you don’t need much
Ready to make a ruffly tankini?
I think I might need to make little miss another one in different colors- I’m smitten at the sight of her little ruffly bum:)
  • Ruffle Fabric. Buy it here. I used the mini ruffle in Lilac, Daffodil, Royal Purple, Kiwi & Pink
  • Swimsuit liner
  • Swim Elastic (it’s clear and holds up in chorline. My JoAnns had it for $2.50ish)
  • Tiny tot:)
Tankini Top
1. Cut out your pieces. I used another swimsuit as a guide- just cut right around it leaving a small seam allowance. If you don’t have a swimsuit you can use a tank top for a guide, but you’ll actually want to make the swimsuit a bit smaller b/c you want it to fit snugly and the fabric and liner both stretch. The back should be the same height as the front piece from the bottom to the start of the “arm hole”.
2. Ruffle time! Cut strips of ruffle fabric for the front and the back. Make sure the strips are wide enough that 1 color will work for the entire “arm” area of the front piece. I used 4 rows of mini ruffle. Starting at the bottom sew your ruffle strip to the liner by stitching beneath the top and bottom ruffle of each row (look closely at the purple row- you can click on the picture for a closer look). When you add the next row make sure it overlaps some with the previous row. Try to keep your rows consistent for the front and back so the colors line up when you sew your pieces together. Hold off on the top row until Step #4
3. Time to make the straps. Cut out 2 rows of ruffle and make sure it has some backing left above and below each ruffle. Turn the extra backing so that it lays flat and your ruffles fan out to each side. Sew along the edge of each ruffle to keep the backing on the back side.
4. When you get to the top turn your piece over, so the ruffle strips are facing down. Lay out your top ruffle piece across the top and trim the sides to match your “arm hole”. Pin the straps into place 1/3″ in so they don’t get caught in the side seam.The right side of the strap should be facing the right side of the ruffle. Sew across the top and sides of your top ruffle strip- when you flip the ruffle back over to the front you’ll have a nice finished edge. For the back piece of the suit you’ll do the same thing, but you only need to stitch across the top edge since the side seams won’t show.
5. With right sides together sew up the sides of your tankini. Make sure your ruffles don’t get flipped up- it helps to sew your lines with all of the ruffles pointing down- like petting a dog:) Sorry no picture, but I promise it’s easy
1. Cut out your pieces. Instead of making a crotch piece I just made the front section a bit longer. Notice how the front piece tapers in at the leg area much more than it does in the back- you want a lot of coverage for those cute baby bums in their swim diapers:) Make sure the side of the front is the same length as the side in the back (oops- I had to fix that later!) Cut out matching pieces in the ruffle fabric
2. With right sides together sew the side seams and crotch together for the ruffle fabric and the liner. Again make sure your ruffles don’t get caught going the wrong way- remember the dog:)
3. ***If your swimsuit seems snug enough to stay up without an elastic waist (mine was thanks to the swim diaper and little miss’ gut…) then slip the liner inside the swimsuit with right sides together and sew all the way around the waist. Turn it right side out and you’re done with the waist!
4. For the leg holes (and waist if you skipped the last step) fold the fabric over twice and stitch to form a casing. Leave a small hole and thread your elastic through with a safety pin. Snug up to the right size for your kiddo-most babies have thunder thighs so leave some space:) Stitch the ends of the elastic together and then sew the hole in your casing shut.
Hit the Pool!
And yes the ruffly bit of adorableness held up just swell in water. And it dried super fast too!
And today you’re in for a real treat! I’m today’s guest over at Me Sew Crazy for the Pattern Re-Mix Series:) It’s a real party over there, so don’t miss out!

11 Responses

  1. I realize this is an old post but I am making this for my little one and first of all, this is ABSOLUTELY adorable!! Second, what size was the elastic? The only clear elastic I am able to find is 3/8″, will that work? (I am making about a 12month size). Also, any suggestions on the lining fabric?

    Any response is appreciated!! Thank you!

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