• Julia Mulcair

Guest blog post by Lisa @selvedge.and.stitch SEW – FAMILY SWIMWEAR CAPSULE (FT. PITT TRADING LYCRA)

I bought some Opal Mine lycra & coordinating navy lycra from Pitt Trading to make myself a new swimsuit this summer – but when Julia from Pitt Trading offered some gifted fabric in return for a blog post, I took up the offer for *more of the same* to create a family swimwear capsule!

A couple of years ago, I made myself and my two girls matching swimsuits & rashies before we went on our first cruise. We got heaps of wear out of them, but sadly the kids have grown out of them now!

I picked the following patterns :

– for me : Grace rash suit by Swim Style Patterns

– for the kids rashie : Radical Rashguard by Ellie & Mac Patterns

– for kids swimwear : Squad Togs by Boo Designs

Grace Rash Suit

I’ve made this one before – check out my earlier blog post here.

This time I made a couple of fit & finish improvements:

– added some extra coverage at the backside (similar to last time)

– extended the swimsuit at the waist by 1cm

– attached the lining at the zipper for a clean top stitch finish

– fully enclosed raglan seams at the shoulders

To insert the zipper I used the Swim Style tutorial for an enclosed zipper but I *also* attached the lining at the zip *before* doing any of the lining / outer shell side seams.

I then sewed the side seams and then sewed the shoulder seams using the burrito method. There are lots of great videos online about what the burrito method is – like this one – although I confess I winged it a bit!! This is the best photo I got of it – not very helpful!!

And the finished product!!

Radical Rashguard

I have made a LOT of these rashies for my kids & their cousins. What I love about this pattern is that it’s a raglan sleeve and the seam allowance is 6mm. It’s a cinch to sew this on the overlocker – although I use the sewing machine to:

– baste in the neckband

– finish sleeve & bottom hems (I use a 3 step zig zag).

I also made the Megan Nielsen Mini Cottesloe swim bottoms to make this into a beach-appropriate swim set!

Squad Togs

This is my favourite swim set for the girls.

The racer back style is super comfortable to wear, easy to get on and off – and the Boo Designs patterns have AMAZING measurement instructions so you can fit these bathers to any size & shape little body.

It’s a little more work putting swim elastic in than the average swimsuit – but well worth the effort. Again, the Boo Designs pattern has all the elastic lengths specified so there’s no guess work – and so far they haven’t steered me wrong!

About the Pitt Trading fabric

If you know me at all, I am very much a frequent flyer at Pitt Trading, and 99.5% of the time I pay full price (or in the sales!) of my own accord. As noted above – I already bought some of this fabric before I got some more gifted. So you can be pretty confident that my opinion is unbiased!

So – the opal mine lycra is very stretchy (4 way) with excellent recovery. It’s slightly thicker than the solid colour lycra so I expect it’ll hold up well to regular pool & beach use (as have other lycras I’ve purchased from PT).

The navy lycra is slightly thinner so will be very comfortable on the sleeves where there is more movement. It’s got a slight rib finish feel about it and recovery is great.

I bought the swim lining myself and it’s a pretty hardy and opaque finish while still being pretty lightweight.

This is the first time I’ve used the dark grey swim elastic – in my opinion it’s got a bit more give than the white swim elastic I’ve used before which I like. The kids have also commented it feels more comfortable/soft when wearing the bathers.

The fabrics are all a pleasure to sew with – the lycra isn’t super slippery so it tends to stay in place when sewing (so I don’t use a lot of pins – which I think is better for the lycra in the fabric). I use woolly nylon in the overlocker upper & lower loopers. On the sewing machine I use my walking foot & a super stretch needle for seams & elastic insertion.

Final note:

Truth be told, the family swim capsule goes beyond the immediate family! I’m making coordinating rashies for all my nieces and nephews too! All other fabrics are also from Pitt Trading and bought by me (other than the plain red from now closed Sew Active Fabrics).

Progress to date:

Thanks for another great contribution Lisa!

You can follow Lisa's sewing adventures on her blog here

or on Instagram here

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