I am always looking for cute cover-ups to take with me to the beach or pool. Last Spring Break we went on a cruise and I could not find any bathing suit cover-ups that I liked, so I decided that I’d try to make one. I’m thrilled with how it turned out and have been wearing it all summer long. I sat down and typed up the directions and am excited to share this free Swimsuit Cover-Up Pattern with you!
As I was packing for our Disney Cruise last April, I noticed that all of my swimsuit cover-ups consisted of somewhat ratty knit dresses, or shorts and tank tops. Since we were going on a Cruise and people on cruises usually dress up a bit more than I do in my backyard pool, I thought I should take a cute bathing suit coverup along with me. I started searching for cover-ups online. I found a few that I liked, but none that I loved.
After looking at an older cover-up that I own (it’s all worn out now) I thought that it would be possible for me to make one myself. After a bit of trial and error (if you follow me on Instagram you may remember the many errors I shared on my Insta story), I was finally happy with the result.
This swimsuit cover-up pattern is considered a “fits most” pattern. I am about 5’9″ and wear a size 8-10 and it fits me well. It would also fit me if I was larger, and fits my daughter (size 6) as well. If you are larger or smaller than a size 6-16, then you may want to adjust the size of the pattern up or down.
Okay, are you ready to get started? It’s easy I promise!
Swimsuit Cover-Up Pattern:
Supplies to Sew Cover-Up:
2 yards of Lightweight Fabric for the cover-up. I used a seersucker. I do not recommend making this with medium weight fabrics.
1 package of double fold bias tape
2-3 yards of twine or rope for the drawstring
Fabric Safe Marking Pen
Basic Sewing Supplies
Swimsuit Cover-Up Directions:
Begin by cutting two pieces of fabric each 40″ wide by 36″ tall. The 36″ is the length that goes from your shoulder to your leg. Just in case you’re working with directional fabrics.
Stitch the two pieces together at the top along the 40″ sides. Right sides facing. If you have a serger, finish off the edge.
Print off your neckline pattern piece. Trace it onto a scrap of interfacing or pattern paper, on the fold, so that you have a full pattern piece. Place the pattern piece on the front of the swimsuit cover-up and pin in place. The straight edge will be even with the seam in the fabric. Cut out through the front fabric piece ONLY. Do not cut the cover-up back piece.
Cut a slight curve in the cover-up back piece, so that it lines up with the cut out you made in the cover-up front piece.
Stitch a small rolled hem in the two sides and bottom of the cover-up. I like to use a rolled hem foot for this step.
You need to make a few marks on your fabric pieces. With the fabric pieces right side out and with the front and back pieces lined up exactly on top of each other. Make the following marks.
Measure down 10″ from the top corner. Place a mark.
Measure down another 3″ (so 13″ total). Place a mark.
Repeat on the other top corner.
Draw a line connecting the two marks that are 13″ down. Repeat for the back piece.
Find the center of your front piece, and place two marks each ½″ long 1″ apart in the center of the front piece. These are your buttonholes.
Next, place a mark 6″ in from the edge of the front piece, on the 10″ line.
Draw a curve connecting the 10″ line to the bottom of the cover-up (the dotted line in the photo above). The curve will come in the sharpest at the top, stop curving at the 6″ mark then gently taper off towards the bottom. Repeat for the other side.
Stitch two button holes in the marks you made on the front piece.
Refold the coverup so that the front and back pieces are on top of each other, with wrong sides facing.
Pin along the curve you drew. Pin it well!
Stitch along the curve, making sure to backstitch at the start and the stop. Repeat for the other side.
Turn the cover-up inside out.
Open up your bias tape so that it lies flat and is folded under on each end.
(Different project, the photo is just to show bias tape folded out flat)
Pin the wrong side of the bias tape to the wrong side of the cover-up, along the line that you drew across the front piece of the cover-up. When you get to the point where you stitched the curve (the side seams), fold the raw edge of the bias tape under.
Stitch the bias tape along the top and bottom edges. DO NOT stitch across the ends. Repeat for the back piece. You will have two different pieces of bias tape sewn to the cover-up. One to the back and one to the front.
Feed your drawstring through the front of the cover-up, through one of the buttonholes. Feed the string all the way around until it gets back to the other buttonhole. Cut to the desired length and tie knots at the ends.
Using your bias tape, finish off the neckline. You will start at the back of the neckline and place the bias tape on top of the neck, with the raw edges even and right sides facing (you’ll need to unfold your bias tape).
(an example of how the bias tape is folded open for the neckline)
Stitch in place close to the fold in the bias tape. When you get back to where you started, join the ends.
Fold the bias tape to the inside of the neckline. Press well. Top stitch along the outside of neckline, catching the bias tape as you go.
That’s it, you’re done!
To wear, just pull up on the drawstring in the waist until it’s gathered the way you like it!