DIY Swim Cover Up for Women and Girls

DIY Swim Cover Up

Today we’re going to learn how to make a DIY Swim Cover Up. We have three tutorials that may come in helpful. First, Crafty Betty will show you how to make a swim cover-up for women. Second, Michelle will show haw to hack a pattern with a hood to make her swim cover-up. Third, Kasey will show you her version of an “Easy Breezy Swim Coverup.” 

DIY Swim Cover Up

Swim Cover Up Tutorial #1

Swim Cover Materials

To make your own or one for your mama, you’ll need:

  • 1.5-2 yards lightweight fabric (I used voile – Amy Butler Glow, Jolie Print)
  • Lace or Trim of your choice
  • Dessert Plate
  • Paper and Pen
  • Normal Sewing Supplies

Swim Cover Instructions

Begin by placing your fabric selvage to selvage (like it comes off the bolt) on the table. Take your cut ends (both ends of your yardage) and make them meet. You should have a nice corner and a fold on the top and the side. Then, take your dessert plate and mark off a neck hole. I did mine three inches in on both sides.DSC_5704
My fabric was hard to write on, so I used a piece of paper to make a quick template.


When you unfold your fabric, it now has a hole in the center!
Now, decide which is the front and which is the back. I chose to put the longest sides in the front and back for the most coverage. Lay your fabric flat and cut a slit about five inches long. This slit can be shortened or lengthened based on the level of modesty you desire.
Next, with right side facing down, you will pin back the slit to make a triangle shape at the bottom of your neck hole. It will start to look like an ice cream cone!


See my ice cream cone???
Now comes the absolute worst part ever. You have to roll the hem on the neckline. There are a gazillion ways to finish this garment without doing this step, but I just love the finished look you get when you take the time to do a nice even rolled hem. Grab your pins and slowly and carefully roll that hem all the way around. Mine ended up with two quarter inch turns.
Gather your wits – that part is done. Now you have to sew that tedious little hem down. Easy peasy!
It’s so beautiful! Now comes the best part! Woo! Pick your lace or trim or whatever you decided to use and lay it out.

Fold over the neckline to get a nice crisp look (and cover up any whoopsies you may have had with that dern rolled hem) and pin the lace all the way to the bottom. With coordinating thread stitch down both sides of your lace and repeat on the opposite side of your neckline.

If you feel like getting creative, you can add lace or those dinkle ball things to the arms, the bottom, wherever your heart desires. Go for it!

I finished my sides with a contrasting thread rolled hem made on my serger. It was super quick, was light so the Beach Cover Up still had a nice drape, and was virtually painless.

And now for the modeling shots! If I can strut my stuff, so can you. This Beach Cover Up is a perfect gift for any mom because it covers all the right places (woo modesty) and is beautiful to boot! You (and your mom) mom will love it! Happy Mother’s Day!



Swim Cover-Up Tutorial #2

Easy Swim Cover Up Tutorial
Michelle here – I want to share with you a super easy swimsuit cover-up tutorial. The swim covers 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 the swimsuit cover-up tutorial with an adult or child-sized pattern. So gather your supplies and lets get started, you’ll be surprised how quick the swimsuit cover-up tutorial 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 the swimsuit cover-up tutorial project because of the absorbent looped wrong side. You will use a little more than your pattern calls for.

Swimsuit Cover Up Tutorial


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.

Swimsuit Cover Up Tutorial

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.

Swimsuit Cover Up Tutorial

*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.

Swimsuit Cover Up Pattern Pieces

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.

Swimsuit Cover Up Pattern Piece

And we’re done with this swimsuit cover-up tutorial! Now if only the pools were open…

Swimsuit Cover Up on a girl

Swim Coverup #3 | Easy Breezy Swim Cover

Summer is right around the corner!  My kids love to swim and I love to make fun swim suits for them.  But finding cute coverups that won’t break the bank gets tough!  So I decided to make one myself!  The beauty of this little garment is that she can also wear it as a top with a camisole under it for playing!  BONUS!!!


I’ll start by saying that making this cover up is not an exact science.  I’ll walk you through how I created this with no pattern pieces and some simple tweaks to a rectangular piece of fabric!  Measurements do not have to be exact, which is why this is so easy!!!



Let’s get started!  For this project, you’ll need fabric, double fold bias tape, fun trim, 3/8″ non-roll elastic along with the usual sewing supplies (machine, thread, scissors…).  For my fabric, I chose a voile that’s really thin and almost gauze-like.  Voile, rayon, double gauze, bubble gauze, or just thin quilting cotton will work great!  French terry will also work!


I started by cutting two rectangles 21″x24″.  I’m making it to fit my almost 5 year old.  To get the length I measured from her shoulder to her mid-thigh, which was 21″.  You can make it longer or shorter depending on your child.  My width was 24″.

I used the Laguna Beach Swim Coverup as a guide for my neckline.  You can use any tee or just wing it!  I scooped the back and front slightly first.  Then on my front panel, I found the center and drew a diagonal line to form the V.  Cut along that line for the V neck.  I also rounded the top edges down toward the outside (to create the top of the shoulder/sleeve).  My pink marking pen shows where I started the slight curve outward towards the edge.

Now with right sides together, sew the front and back panels together at the shoulders.  I suggest trying this on your model now to make sure it fits over her head (don’t ask how I figured out to do it now!).


Next unfold your bias tape and apply it to the neckline starting at one shoulder seam and working all the way around.  When you get to the V at the center, just straighten it out and sew straight across (I’ll teach you how to make the V in the next step).  Double fold bias tape has one edge that is slightly wider.  You want that part on the inside when you’re done; it helps to catch the edge when you’re topstitching.  After you apply the bias tape, refold it so that your raw edge is enclosed and topstitch.  (Note: I started off with coral bias tape and then changed my mind and went with green.)

To create the point of the V, find the center point of the front.  Pinch it about 1/4″ like this on the inside of the coverup and mark it with a marking pen from the tip towards the bottom center.  Sew along that mark, making sure to backstitch at both ends.  You can see what it will look like on the inside after it’s sewn.  Now bring it to your ironing board and press it.

Trim time!  Measure a length of trim that is the length of your sides and cut 2.  Attatch the trim to the right side of the fabric.  I’m using these mini-poms (which are really mini…I rethought those several times!).  After sewing them to each side, flip the trim to the wrong side and press.  Now topstitch those in place close to the trim.

Press the bottom edge up about 1/2″ and topstitch.


Next we will attach the elastic to the waist.  To get this in the right spot, try the coverup on your model and mark her natural waist.  Cut 2 lengths of elastic; mine were each about 9.5″.  Find the center point on each piece of elastic, as well as the center point of the front and back pieces along the waistline you measured.  On the wrong side of the fabric, pin the elastic at the center point and then about 2″ in from the outside edge on each side.  Sew in place with a long zig-zag, stretching the elastic as you go.  Do this for both the front and back of the coverup.  You can attach a decorative bow or twill tape to the front center.  This will not be functional.

The last step is to create the side seams.  I started about 2″ above the elastic and measured in 2″ from each side and marked a little path with my pins (you can use a marking pencil or tailor’s chalk also).  Backstitching several times at the top, I sewed straight down towards the hem.  Be sure to catch the elastic edge in this seam to hold things in place nicely.   Do this on both sides.

Voila!  Now you have an easy breezy swim coverup or top that’s perfect for all sorts of Summer fun!


Other Tutorials

We’d like to thank Betty and Michelle for teaching us how to make these DIY Swim Cover Ups. If you enjoyed this, you’ll probably enjoy some of these other patterns & tutorials: 

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