Samantha is the amazing talent behind the highly sought after LittleJem Handmade swimmers. Sam took out 2nd place in the recent Pimp Your Swimmers competition and has been kind enough to share some information on how she pimped her swimmers!
Ok….. How to pimp your swimmers…..LittleJem style!
Select your correct size from the size chart and print out your paper pattern pieces. I tend to use the actual paper print out, you can use your pattern traced into interfacing or whatever you prefer.
To make a lower back.
Grab your paper pattern piece and draw a lower back on your pattern piece, see photo. Experiment with what size suits best, older children can probably have a lower back and then you can add more loops for criss cross straps. Don’t go too close to the side seam, you need to allow for seam allowance. When binding you will need to stretch the binding using similar principles as outlined in the pattern instructions for the under arms. If you don’t stretch the binding, the back may gape in places. I only add elastic up to the neck seam, so the “straps” part is just spandex. The binding is best made too long rather than too short, I usually make it around 50 inches long, and then cut off excess once it’s been tried on. You can always join 2 pieces together to get the length. I pop the seam in the middle at the back. To create the loops to thread your straps through, I usually use off cuts from the straps, folded in half, approx. 1 inch long. The larger the back opening the more loops you could add, I usually add 4. Attach with small zig zag stitch, or stretch stitch. The first loop should be an inch or so under the side seam. If your child is there experiment and put them where you think sits best.
To add a skirt.
Take the front piece of pattern, I usually insert the skirt near the widest part of the hips as It tends to be more flattering here, but it’s totally up to you and experimenting is good to see which spot suits your child best. I also tend to dip the skirt lower in the middle (both front and back) draw your line on the pattern and cut it in 2. When cutting out your fabric you will need to add a seam allowance! You can add a ruffled gathered skirt or a circle type skirt (like the skater skirt) both look fab. I like the look of the ruffle skirt, the measurements are up to your personal taste, more gather, less gather, longer or shorter, all up to you. I tend to do approx. 3 inches wide and 44 inches long. When drawing your lines, make sure that the side seams of the pants line up (same measurement) then the body wil also line up. Make up the pattern according to pattern instructions, gather your skirt, and attach it to the pants ( I use a small zig zag stitch ) then sew the back and front body together, then attach it to the skirt.