It’s that time of year again. Beach days, pool swimming, sunshine and bathing suits all day. My favorite! But like the majority of the female population, I don’t want to be running around in just my bathing suit. I have many bathing suit cover ups, but had some more knit fabric that I had ordered and thought that this coral and black chevron print would make the most perfect cover up for these warm, summer days!
I like my cover ups to be able to be worn as a skirt, for walking on the beach and still getting sun. But sometimes I want my belly covered, so I need it to be able to be a dress too. So I figured out an elastic banded cover up that will fit beautifully however I choose to wear it!
Are you ready to make your own??
::You Will Need::
at least 1 yard of lightweight knit fabric
around 1 yard of 1 inch thick elastic (this will vary depending on your size)
sewing machine, and other sewing necessities
You are going to need to figure out some of your measurements for this part. But don’t worry, no tape measure needed! With the elastic band, and forgiving knit, it’s quite simple to get a great fit.
Wrap the elastic around your hips or just under your arm pits (wherever you think you will wear your cover up more.) For me, there isn’t too big of a difference between the two so it is very easy to wear this either way.
Fold your fabric in half and lay it out flat. Fold your elastic in half and lay the folded elastic at the top of the fabric in the center.
Measure your folded elastic and add 10 inches to it. This creates the wide flared bell shape to the cover up. For a tighter fit, add fewer inches and vice versa for a more flowy cover up.
At the bottom of the fabric, mark your added length. Draw a diagonal line connecting the top and bottom, creating a trapezoid shape.
::Time to Sew French Seams::
If you have never made french seams before, well, then it’s time to learn. When making an unlined piece of clothing (or pillowcase or bag…) and you don’t have a serger available to you, then this is a great way to get a clean looking finish without having exposed seams.
First, and this will seem odd, place your fabrics WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. Sew a scant 1/4 inch down each side.
To create a place for your elastic casing for the cover up, start sewing 2 1/2 inches from the top on each side.
Flip out your fabrics so that they are RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Sew 1/2 inch seam allowance.
**little tip** I like to use my 1/4 inch foot when sewing my half inch seam allowance. Since my 1/4 inch foot has the guide, I can put the old seam on the right side of the guide to ensure that the old seam is all caught in the new seam. That is the most important thing when sewing french seams. You don’t want part of the seam allowance hanging out of your new seam!
::Making the Elastic Casing::
Remember when you started sewing 2 1/2 inches from the top? Well now it’s time to fold those 2 1/2 inches in half (don’t forget to tuck in the seam allowances!)
Sew this folded part down, 1/4 inch from the edge. This creates your elastic casing.
Attaching a safety pin to the end of the elastic, work it through the casing all the way around both sides of the cover up.
Once the elastic is all the way through, you will need to sew it together. I like to use a zig zag stitch, and go over it a few times, just to be sure it stays sewn together! We don’t want any dresses falling down, even if you do have a bathing suit on!
Hand stitch the openings closed.
::Almost Done:: aka Hemming
We are so close to the end! You need to figure out how long you want your cover up to be. Will you be wearing it as a dress? Be sure it’s long enough to cover your bottom! Mark how long you want it, add an inch and cut it to that length.
For me, I was able to get away without having to cut anything. 1 yard was the perfect length to make a cover up dress and maxi skirt. If you want a shorter skirt, you will need to cut some length off.
Fold the bottom under 1/2 an inch. Press well.
Sew all around the bottom of the cover up. I sew my hem 3/8 inch from the bottom.
Ta da! You now have a comfy, wonderful summertime bathing suit cover up. Go, get your suit and sunscreen on and get yourself outside and enjoy being stylish poolside!