Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How To: Add Ruffles To A Swimsuit

Hello and welcome! I cannot believe it is already after four! Busy day busy day! But, I have the photos uploaded and I am ready to show you my latest attempt at refashioning. A couple weeks ago I came across some brand new swimsuits at the thrift shop. I wasn't sure if it would fit Wednesday (Although the tag said 4) but I thought for two dollars, it was worth a shot. Well, at first it seemed to fit but I think I was distracted by the utter plain Jane-ness of it. This swimsuit was all business. I thought great, you can never have enough swim suits in the summer and I am sure I can girlify it somehow. I did, and it looks darling!

Swimsuit Collage

Isn't it adorable?! I think it is. But alas, when I was taking an action shot, I noticed something...one side of the suit crawling right up her little butt. Boo-urns! But it was not all for naught. I did take photos, and I did get a tutorial out of it. And I did learn for next time AND I cannot wait to do this to one of my suits! (As soon as I dig them out and brave the mirror.) Okay, on to the instructions!

Swimsuit (Preferably one that fits, but whatever makes you feel good.)
Stretchy material. Something with a lot of Lycra I guess. To be honest the polka-dotted fabric you see was bought as a remnant with not description. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say it was something you would use for dance or skating outfits?


Swimsuit & Fabric.

Measure, add and multiply by three. That will give you the length of fabric you need to cut for the ruffles.

Measure & Cut

Keeping the ruffle lengths with the stretchiest direction, cut your pieces for ruffles.

Lettuce edging.

Pulling both away from you and toward you with each end edge stitch your Lycra to give it the lettuce edge. If you are not familiar with the technique I have a tutorial here that turns a onesie into a top.

Finished Lettuce Ruffles.

Finished ruffles. See the edges that are curling themselves? That is the 'lettuce edge'.

Pin ruffle end.

To cut each ruffle, I pinned it to one side and then cut about a half inch past the the other side. repaeat this for all your uffles. (Or just eyeball and cut, whatever works for you.)

Coffee can dress form.

If you don't have a toddler sized dress form like myself, just use a 1kg plastic coffee can to keep the suit taught while you pin. We do not enjoy this kind of coffee, we are self proclaimed coffee snobs who try to only drink organic, fair trade varieties. But that is a whole 'nutha bag o' beans!


To sew ruffles, I used a three step zigzag stitch while pulling a little on both the suit and the ruffle. I tacked it in three places along the edge of the ruffle to help it keep it's shape.

Repeat for front.
Rinse and repeat for the front ruffles as well. I found it do-able to pin and sew three ruffles at a time.

Close Up Top
And you are done. This is the front of the suit. It turned out great, although the ruffles are more taught when it is stretched out, but like I said the suit is too small for Wednesday.

Close-up Bottom
The back ruffles turned out great both on and off the model. They do not cover the bum because I didn't realize the bum was so low.

It does look great though. I can't wait to do this to my plain Jane black and white swim suits. I also have some purple Lycra I am just itching to do something with!

Okay, I am running really late so I am going to post this now. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask! Happy refashioning ladies!

Proudly linking to:

Creative Share Wednesdays @ The Trendy Treehouse
Idea Sharin' Wednesdays @ Women Who Do It All
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Make It & Wear It @ The Train To Crazy