I finally made myself a crossover tankini swimsuit that is made for playing with my children in the water. It’s in the colors I love, but I don’t have to tug or cover or constantly adjust. I have always loved swimming, and I wanted to enjoy it with my children.
The biggest reason is that I wanted to be able to go swimming at the drop of a hat when my kids asked without worrying about shaving.
I ordered this navy and white striped swim fabric* from fabric.com* a couple of years ago and finally used it. It’s a great fabric, and I loved it. I originally ordered two yards so I have at least a yard to still use later.
I used the First Crush Swimsuit pattern by Rad patterns. I saw it when it was released about a year ago and loved the crossover front. It reminded me of this striped swimsuit that I pinned on pinterest.
I wanted to recreate it as a crossover tankini since I like more coverage but prefer easy bathroom access. The pattern was drafted well, and I fit into the measurements.
I added an inch for height, 1/2″ above the straps and 1/2″ below the straps. I ended up taking the 1/2″ above the bust out. Because the straps were too long.
I couldn’t make sense of the instructions, and I couldn’t figure out if the crossover was supposed to end at my waist or just under my bust. I constructed the suit my way, had trouble because I made the elastic too tight and the straps were too long. I don’t know.
I added fabric to the sides, removed the underbust elastic, took out some of the fabric. I added size A cups that did not look flattering to my small bust and the crossover wasn’t crossing in the right place. I took the cups out and decided to add some smaller push up swim cups I had.
I didn’t like how big the cups were, but I needed a better option. When I pinned them in I poked the gel part which then spilled out. But then the cups shrunk and were a better size.
Then I handstitched the crossover the cross and lay where I wanted it too. And it finally looks good. I unpicked and reworked a lot on the top and wanted to give up and throw it away, but I stuck with it and I’m happy with the result.
It works and I never want to sew it again. I really should have just used my book of basic swimsuit patterns* to get what I wanted. It probably would’ve been a lot easier.
I thought the pattern came with swim shorts because that’s what I’ve been wanting. There were cheeky bottoms, but I knew I wouldn’t get the inseam length that I wanted so I didn’t use it. I used a free legging pattern and cut it into short shorts for the bottoms.
I was really worried at first about wearing shorts because I’ve read everywhere with how unflattering that style is. Well, I want to wear shorts so I can sit criss cross applesauce with my kids and not flash anyone. I want to sit and bend over to help my baby and have no worries.
I have since realized that since I have almost no hips, these shorts are not completely unflattering since they give me the illusion of hips. But I’d probably wear little shorts anyway so I can enjoy swimming with my kids.
When I was pregnant with my children I didn’t get stretch marks on my stomach. I got them on the back of my legs at the top of my hamstring. My shorts slightly cover them, but that actually wasn’t my intention.
I want to wear them proudly and not hide them. The stretch marks don’t really show up in pictures, but in real life you can see them.
Learn How to Sew Your Own Clothes
- If you want to learn how to sew your own clothing you need to start somewhere. These are the Things I Wish I Could Tell Myself Before I Started Sewing. They will help any beginner who wants to learn how to sew.
- Then you can read some Tips to Start Sewing Clothing.
- Once you start you’ll get better at using a sewing machine, but you’ll make clothing that you might not wear or love. I made every mistake and this is How to Sew Clothing You’ll Love. (Avoid my mistakes!)
- As you get better and better you’ll need to learn How to Choose Fabric for Sewing Clothes and the Best Fabrics for Sewing Clothing. I recommend fabrics that I love, but you’ll find the fabric you love the best.
- You can use paper patterns which are great to buy on sale or you can use PDF patterns which are great for instant gratification. There are lots of Different Ways to Assemble PDF Patterns so you need to find what works for you.
- Lastly, when you are sewing your own clothing and you are drawn to lots of different printed fabric, you need to learn How to Make a Versatile Handmade Wardrobe + Free Printable so that all the items in your wardrobe can coordinate with another item of clothing and be worn!