Now that it is 39 degrees and we’ve had our first snow I figured it was a great time to finally show the mini Cottesloe swimsuit I made for Caroline months ago. I really can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get this post done and I’m feeling a little embarrassed about it– but it’s such a cute little pattern that I think sharing it in November is better than never sharing it!
The mini Cottesloe swimsuit is from Megan Nielsen Patterns and I was a tester for the pattern back in the Spring. I’ve made the women’s Cottesloe swimsuit twice and I love wearing mine. When I saw that a kids’ version was coming, I was really excited. I’ve got lots of swim fabric scraps that would be perfect for making tiny suits!
Caroline is 4 and she measured a size 3 in the swim top and a size 4 in the bottoms. I chose to make her a size 4 in both pieces, based on the finished garment measurements. I cut the low rise bottoms and the bikini top with no added band at the bottom.
As I was sewing I was a little concerned that the view I chose might not be age-appropriate for a 4-year-old. I didn’t mind her showing some midsection but I didn’t want the bottoms to be too low. I should not have worried at all– this is just the perfect little two-piece for her! She’s still got a bit of a round toddler belly (despite not being a toddler at all anymore) and I love how it looks peeking out of this suit.
The straps ended up being a little too long and they were sliding off of her shoulders so I added some ties, inspired by the one-piece view with the back ties. It solved the problem and was a very cute solution! I love the pattern mixing on the top.
As is always the case with Megan Nielsen’s patterns, the instructions were very detailed and easy to follow. Prior to making the women’s Cottesloe pattern last year, I’d never sewn a swimsuit and her instructions held my hand throughout the process. This mini version or the adult version would be the perfect place to start if you’re looking to try sewing swimwear and feel nervous about it.
I was slightly disappointed that, over the Summer, Caroline decided she didn’t like having her belly exposed so she didn’t get much wear out of the top. She did really like wearing the bottoms with a rash guard, though. I think next Summer I might try adding a peplum to the top so give her a bit more coverage. I love the ease of a two-piece suit but I could also try the one piece. I’d like to try making a rash guard for her, too, since she’s gotten used to wearing those to the outdoor pool.
Because the “swim undies,” as we called them, were such a hit, I decided to use the mini Cottesloe pattern to sew her some actual undies. Since I started sewing my own undies I’ve used most of my larger knit fabric scraps for pairs for myself. Now I have the perfect use for those even smaller scraps that are leftover!
I went up to a size 5 for the undies, since I didn’t think they needed to be as fitted as a swim bottom. I’m glad I did because she thinks these are really comfortable and she asks to wear them whenever they are clean.
I made the black and white striped pair a while back and had the floral pair all done except for the elastic. It probably took me 6 weeks to finally take the 20 minutes and finish that part. Sometimes sewing elastic feels repetitive and bit boring, which I guess is why it took me so long to motivate myself to finish. I regret that it took so long, though, because Caroline really loves her mama made undies. Eventually, I’d like to make her a few more pairs, but I’ll give myself another nice long elastic break before I get into that project.
I’m excited to have a pattern that I can use for swimsuits and undies for her for years to come. This pattern goes from size 3-12, so I will be able to make use of it for quite a while (or until she’s no longer excited to have her mom make her swimwear and undies.) She loved that her suit coordinated with mine and she thinks it’s really funny that her undies match two of my t-shirts. I hope she thinks that kind of thing is fun for a long time to come!!