I have a habit. A swimwear sewing (or at the very least, a swim-fabric-hoarding) habit. And I have Cali Fabric to
I lived in San Francisco a few summers ago, and my maiden voyage to their bricks-and-mortar shop, The Fabric Outlet, was just in time for a super swim fabric sale. Table upon table of nylon lycra yardage lined the entryway. I’d not sewn a single stitch of the stuff, but I was powerless to resist. I left with bags full of it. Those bags moved with me back to our home in the Virginia suburbs, and again when we moved last year into the city. All unsewn.
Still, I had it in my head “this is the year I’ll sew the kids swimsuits!” and I knew just where to start my search. (No, not my existing stash, that would be far too fiscally responsible.) I pulled up Cali Fabrics and saw this gem:
It’s PINK, and GLITTERY. Perfect for a certain 5 year old I know! But it was also miiiiiiighty familiar. Like, perhaps I’d bought it many moons ago… (Spoiler alert – I had.)
So I pulled it out of storage and got to work sewing up my most recent HAD-TO-HAVE-IT/DARN-YOU-INSTAGRAM impulse purchase: the Bridgette Swimsuit by Violette Field Threads. 11 printed pages and one hour later, I had finally put my first cut of my Cali Fabrics swim stash to good use:
Overall, I’m pretty happy with it. I enclosed the side and crotch seams within the lining, and simplified my sewing experience with fold-over-elastic straps instead of the hassle of turning a mini tube of fabric right side out. Afterwards, I wished I’d thought of FOE for the bodice binding, too. Next time!
The fabric cut and sewed up beautifully. As far as swimwear fabrics go, this one is about as stable as they come. I think the glittery texture of it actually helps it “grip” the other pieces better, keeping the slippery/shifty swim-sewing experience to a minimum.
My only gripe about this project is the finished length of it. Considering I sized up, I can’t help but feel like the bodice/neckline should come up higher and keep my baby girl more modest. I’d also love some extra cheek coverage but I’ll blame her genetics for that one.
Nevertheless, this Pink Giraffe suit is pool-tested and kid-approved! The best part?? Kids swimwear requires hardly any fabric, so there is scrap enough to make her another suit next year! If that happens, I’m sure you’ll hear all about it here – or at the very least see it documented somewhere on instagram.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for swim sewing tips and tricks, check out my earlier writings on the subject. Good luck!