We have been trying to go to the pool twice a week to keep the kids cool and happy. I had been wanting to make a swimsuit cover-up ever since seeing all of these, but didn’t have the time until yesterday.
It was pretty easy to make. I used two thrifted t shirts and my regular sewing machine. It only cost me $1, free if I had been able to find two decent t shirts in the hubby’s closet.
2 mens t shirts. Find one that fits loosely. You will need the extra size for the gathered neck. The second t shirt will provide material for the ruffled hem.
1. Cut Shirt~1 along the red dotted line, as seen in the diagram above. Save the hemmed piece from the shirt for the drawstring (see #6).
2. Cut second shirt as seen above for ruffled hem. I cut my hem 5.5 inches wide, but this can be modified to any width. With the 2 cut strips, sew short ends together to make one very long continuous strip. Sew straight stitch (using longest stitch) across the top of the entire length of the strip. Pull bobbin thread to create a light gather. Set aside.
3. Sew neck pleat on shirt ~1. I used a scrap piece of fabric to demonstrate this part.
Turn shirt right side in and double fold in edge of plunged neckline (as seen in photot). Pin in place. Using a zig-zag stitch (straight stitch would probably work, but it’s not as pretty) sew straight down on doth sides (see the red dash line).
4. Turn shirt right side out again and bring sewn edges together to make a pleat. Pin in place and sew.
5. Make casing around neckline. Fold in 1/2 inch all around neck and sew using straight stitch.
6. Make drawstring using leftover hem from shirt. Fold hem in half lengthwise and zig-zag stitch all the way across the length. Tie one end in knot. Attach safety pin to other end and work through neck casing. When all the way through, tie knot on the end. Adjust gathers evenly.
7. Sew on ruffled hem. You might have to mess with the gather to achieve the correct length for sewing on. Plus, you may want more or less of a ruffle than I have. My long strip was 1/3 longer than the total width of my shirt bottom, if that helps any. Once you get the gather you like, cut off any excess and sew short ends together. Sew onto shirt by pinning right sides together and then zig-zag stitch all the way around.
8. You’re done!! Go get on your swimsuit (as fun as that sounds), slip on this cute dress and head to the pool (or even better–the beach!). This is a very flattering dress, especially for those like me, with those empty-baby-house curves.
**Tips & suggestions**
* A serger could definitely be used for this but is not needed.
*When using a regular sewing machine, try not to stretch fabric as you sew. Practice on some scrap fabric and make sure your tension and feed dogs are adjusted as needed.
* A straight stitch works well for any area that will not be stretched, otherwise use a zig-zag stitch to allow for a teeny bit of stretch.
* No hem is needed for the sleeves and ruffled hem edge – it’s knit! It can handle that.
* This would be a cute dress too. Try 2 colorful t shirts instead.
I hope this all makes sense. Let me know if you have any question.