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Stitch Happens Logo with Spool of Thread and Scissors

MAY 29, 2022


by Britney Fong

Are you a one garment at a time kind of sewist? Or a matching sets and interchangeable pieces kind of creator? I mostly find myself in the former category. I find it difficult to justify a whole grouping of new pieces in mine or my family’s wardrobe. However, I always swoon when I see another creator’s capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothing pieces that are made to coordinate with each other. This allows you to mix and match all the pieces and create many different outfits. Slow fashion at its best! After sorting through my little one’s closet, I found a definite need for a summer swim capsule. Squeeeeeee, creative time!

Read along if you’d like to learn more about sewing with swim knits, planning a capsule, or looking for summer sewing inspiration.

Sewing with swim fabric

I often read about people wanting to try sewing with swim fabric, but they don’t want to break the bank or are nervous that swim is too hard to work with. One of the best tips that I received when learning to sew was to work with good quality fabrics, but to start with solids. In my opinion, this tip is even more true for swim fabric! Stitch Happens has great quality swim knits and the solids come in at a lower price point than the prints. You’ll be able to avoid the frustrations that come with lesser quality swim fabrics, while still feeling good about trying something new. You can also find some interesting textured solids like ribbed swim or seersucker. This capsule will use a lot of solids and show how you can pair them with beautiful prints to give yourself a wonderful swim sewing experience.

TIP - I also love using wash away hem tape when sewing swim fabric (and zippers too!). I cut myself a small piece and place it at the beginning of my seam. If my seam gets off to a good start it will usually sew cleanly along the rest.

How I planned the capsule

Do you start by choosing the fabrics or the pieces? My starting point was asking myself, what summer swim items do my kids need?

  • Minimum of two swimsuits - On a hot sunny day, whether it be in the backyard sprinkler or on the beach at camp, my kids can use 2 swimsuits per day.
  • Separate rash guard - I’m always concerned that I’ll get distracted and forget to reapply sunscreen. Stitch Happens swim fabrics have an SPF50 rating perfect for sun protection and quick drying when wet.
  • Cover-up - My kids love to play in the dirt or refuel with snacks after they’ve gone swimming and they can get quite cold if they keep a wet rash guard on. In the past, I’ve used toweling fabrics to make cover-ups, but I fell in love with the bamboo section of the website.
  • Summer hat – Have you seen the price tag on kids’ summer hats? Besides sewing kid’s hats is a great scrapbuster. Plus, I love when things are matchy matchy.

Next, I looked at choosing two prints that I love (one for each suit) and then looked at their coordinating solids.

Luminescent Orchids

Citrus Punch

Choosing the pieces

I made a total of 5 pieces for this capsule. After choosing my prints, I noticed that they both coordinate with the Turquoise solid (yay! A common coordinate, this makes life easier). Since my two prints do not coordinate, I always wanted to make sure that my prints wouldn't overlap. To do this, I made the rash guard out of solids and kept my print in a spot that would be covered on one suit.

Note - Fabric and notions used have been linked to the website (for easy peasy lemon squeezy shopping). Patterns have been linked as well. Affiliated pattern links are clearly marked. By clicking on an affiliate link, I receive a small commission should you choose to purchase a pattern. This is at no additional cost to yourself. I do not affiliate for companies that I don’t absolutely love (quality, design and ethics).

-The Camila Swimsuit by Made for Mermaids *My first time sewing this suit. The pattern ran true to size and was a simple sew. I chose this pattern because the flounce is perfect highlighting a vibrant print and then is easily covered by the rashguard for additional sun protection. Fabric is Citrus Punch and Turquoise Swim Solid

-The Wren Cardigan by Petite Stitchery & Co (Affiliate) *A simple open cardigan with great coverage for a cover-up. And I mean, those sleeves. Fabric - Bamboo Jersey in Vanilla

-The Narwhal Swimsuit by Sofiona Designs *Love the back detail on this suit. This pattern can be sewn as a one or two-piece. Fabric is Luminescent Orchids, Wisteria Swim solid, Crystal Rose Swim solid and Indigo Bunting Swim Solid.

-The Taylor Rashguard by Rad Patterns *This is easily my most sewn rashguard/swimsuit. I own both the adult and kids version. Rad Patterns gives me a great fit every time. Fabric - Turquoise Swim solid, Indigo Bunting Swim solid, Crystal Rose Swim solid and Wisteria Swim solid.

-The Bucket Hat by Menta *Another one of my favourites. It's no secret I love Menta. This is the bucket hat pattern and my person favourite is the high-low brim. Fabric - Luminescent Orchids lined with Turquoise Swim solid

Other helpful notions that I used in my capsule were swim lining, as well as swim elastic available here!

I hope that you have been able to take away a tidbit of knowledge or a drop of inspiration for your own makes! Would love to see what you create with your swim fabric. Make sure that you join us on Facebook or Instagram to share your creations. If ever you are interested in more of my creations, you can find me on Instagram at Britney Fong (@fongium)