i didn’t get around to doing a 2013 recap / 2014 goal setting post this year like i’ve done in the past, but if i had, it would’ve likely said to “tackle a few new things i’ve never sewn before.” i love pushing my skills bit by bit…and swimwear was definitely on that “never done it, want to!” list, like jeans and my first zip fly were!
BOOM. SWIMWEAR. TACKLED.
this is the cosi swimsuit, a brand spankin’ new pattern from Suz at Sew Pony - i just couldn’t wait to sew it up! the pattern goes from size 6 months to 10 years and there are a bunch of different views included in the pattern (seven!) but i chose a pretty basic version as my first attempt at swimwear – view C, which is a halter suit with leg ruffles. squee! leg ruffles!
i bought all fabric and notions for this project at Mill End - isn’t that watercolor flower print incredible?? i loved it immediately, but the fabric itself is sorta thick and heavy lycra, so i wasn’t sure about it. i went for it anyway. it is so thick, i only lined the gusset (with nude swimwear lining fabric – i got a yard and i’m sure it’ll last me forever).
i’ve been inspired by a bright watermelon color that’s been popping up lately (Caila and Erin are my muses) so I grabbed some as an accent and to keep the swimsuit looking fresh and young. the watermelon is more of your typical soft lycra swimwear fabric, great for the tie and leg ruffles!! the combo feels perfect for my little gal.
i made a 5T for E, who was just a little shy of that on the size chart, height-wise. as you can see, it’s a bit long on her, but she went swimming in this suit and it didn’t sag at all, so i’m happy for the growing room.
sewing a swimsuit was surprisingly straightforward and quick, though i probably wouldn’t recommend it to a knitwear beginner. there’s some stretching-elastic-evenly-while-sewing and double-needle-topstitching that takes a bit of practice. i used my serger for the side seams and the inside of the ties, but my sewing machine for the rest. i think it helped that my material was nice and thick, it didn’t curl or move on me much. by the way, there was no elastic measurement provided for the legs, but i cut mine around 11.5” and the chest elastic right at her chest measurement. E is a skinny little thing though, so just measure your kid as advised!
there was one step in the pattern i’d skip next time, and that’s zigzagging the gusset lining to the front of the suit along a drawn-on curve. it doesn’t look super clean to me on the outside, and that front gusset lining usually isn’t attached in store bought swimsuits (i’ve been checking). one less step next time!
Suz’s directions are clear and thorough, with notches to line things up properly which i love. however, the fact that there are 7 views (one piece and two, with gathered center panel, color blocked panel, and solid, with leg ruffle, peplum, and strap options, either fully or partially lined) makes it a bit difficult to keep track of your place in the instructions sometimes. i almost wish she’d released two separate patterns – maybe a one piece and two piece suit – so it was a bit easier to follow along? but hey, plus side is the cosi swimsuit is a great value for the money!
you can see lots of examples of all the views in Suz’s tester recap, and with all those options, you could make this pattern many times and have lots of different-looking suits over many years! i actually bought fabric to make a much-needed second one. gotta have multiple suits in case one is wet from frequent summer use!
go on, give swimwear a whirl! get your cosi swimsuit right here!
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P.S. i generously received a copy of the cosi swimsuit pattern for free from Suz and always do my best to give you honest pattern reviews. thanks, Suz!