Quick Beach or Pool Cover-up
by Olivia & Aunt Lizzy
(Palm Beach County, FL)
Pic 1 - layout of shirt/shorts
After a few trips to our local beach this summer, Miss Olivia and I realized that we needed something that is easy to get on & off when wet (or sandy!) and that may help protect mom's seat from getting soaked. We searched all over the internet and couldn't find exactly what we needed, so we improvised and came up with our version of a Shortie Cover-Up.
1. Find a t-shirt and pair of shorts that fit the child. Be sure to mark on the shirt where the child's waist is (where the waistline of the shorts hit the shirt).
2. Take your material and fold it so that you may cut out both pieces of the outfit at the same time. Usually the material is already in half, so just fold the cut edge over enough to lay the shirt/shorts on as shown in Pic #1. Leave a little room for play/stretch/wearing of a bathing suit underneath, etc.
3. Cut around the bottom of the shorts and up all the way to the neckline of the shirt (This is where you'll have to wing it when cutting). Stop here for a second (see Pic #2), and start cutting again at the armhole area.
4. Following the curve of the sleeve on the shirt you're using (easier if you're using a tank top!), cut out the armhole. Instead of going all the way up to the shoulder, make the hole head over towards the neckline of the pattern shirt. As you can see in Pic #3, I've cut the neckline on a very slight curve and angled the armhole over to meet the neckline.
5. If you're making your own bias tape, go ahead and cut it out now. If you're using store bought (or already have tape made), you're ahead of the game!
6. Now we get to start sewing. First do the short inner leg seams to create the legs. Then, turn one of the 'sides' right-side out and place it inside the still inside-out side. Match up the leg seams you've just sewn, and sew one big, curved seam down one side and up the other (I tend to do a double-seam in the crotch area due to regular wear and tear!). If you have someone that's learning to sew, these are pretty straight, easy seams to practice with...and making your own clothes is really cool!
7. Pulling the sides open again, you've basically got the shortie done. Now you can finish the front/back of the shortie at the neckline and hem, and run the bias tape around the armholes, leaving enough 'ends' to create ties at the shoulder.
We've done about 6 of these for Olivia and her friends, and no two have been 'finished' the same way. On one, we did some elastic shirring along the front and back at the neckline to pull it a little tighter before putting on the bias tape. On another, we also did a little shirring on the leg holes to make it a little more fitted. Still another we just hemmed everywhere but put a bow on the 'front' side so the child could tell which way was the front (doesn't matter which side you choose as the front, let the pattern of the material or the child decide!)
On two we got really creative and made it with a peasant-top sleeve, creating a channel for a ribbon that ties in the front. (To be honest, we made one out of old towels and the other out of terrycloth, so they needed something to 'shrink' the neckline without getting too bulky). One, made for a pre-teen who is very body-
conscious, had a piece of elastic about 3" long put in each side to give her more of a 'waist' effect without being too clingy.
(Unfortunately my computer has decided to no longer recognize my camera, so I'm unable to show the really great 'wearing' shots of these outfits...maybe next time!)
These are really fun to make and to let the kids 'design' the finishing parts...they can be made very original for each child. They're also great for toddlers...and yes, I've made one for myself as well :) (mine's the 'old towel' one!)
Hope you enjoy making these as much as we did!
Olivia & Aunt Lizzy
Sew your own Clothes Pages:
~Sew your clothes, ~Skirts, ~T-shirt skirt with handkerchief hem, ~Ball Gown, ~Cover-Up, ~Arm Warmers, ~Costume, ~Shorts