The kids and I really enjoyed watching April the Giraffe throughout her pregnancy, especially baby girl. One day I was looking through my fabric stash (I may be a fabric hoarder LOL) and found this giraffe swim knit fabric I had purchased from Joann Fabric on clearance over a year ago. I was inspired, April the Giraffe inspired me! I actually had the fabric cut even before April gave birth, but I just never had a chance to get around to making it. We were about to leave for a trip to New England, so I finally decided to finish the swimsuit. I have not been able to find more of this fabric anywhere, but have quite a bit left over, if you would me to win the giraffe fabric enter here.
Brr! It was a little windy the first day the beach. I wanted a swimsuit top that was cute but functional as we spend a lot of time outside in the summer. For the top I used the Heartbreaker Cami pattern by Patterns for Pirates. I did not make any changes to the pattern. I added the ruffle options to the front of the cami and the straps. The only changes I might make on the next one is to add a couple for ruffles to the strap ruffles. I used brown power mesh for the ruffles. It has a little stretch and is softer than tulle. You also do not have to hem power mesh as it does not fray. Please feel free to check out the Star Wars Tunic and the Lace Overlay Tunic I made from the Heartbreaker Cami as well.
Here is a closer look at the brown power mesh. It was very soft and Baby Girl does not freak out when it touches her skin. I used my Brother SE400 to top stitch the binding. I did not take the time to switch to a double needle. A double needle or a coverstitch would have made the stitching look more professional. I was on a time crunch and Baby Girl does not care the stitching is not perfect.
I did however to add the v-neck on the back of the Heartbreaker Cami. I still think it looks cute without it, but I may go back and add it later. For the shorts I used the FREE Bonnie Legs pattern from Made For Mermaids and made the shorts version. Yes I did say free pattern. It was a super easy and quick sew.
I made Baby Girl size 2 shorts however, they are a little loose for swim gear, so next time I may make a size 1 to compare. As the water was too cold in New England she did not get the chance to use the swimsuit in the water. We did, however, she did use the swimsuit at the lake when returned home without any issues. I did add a couple of modifications to the shorts.
I took the strap ruffle from the Heartbreaker Cami and added a ruffle on each of the sides of the shorts. I followed the instructions of the pattern to gather the ruffle, then clipped (I use wonder clips instead of pins) to the inside of the center of the side of the shorts and topstitched the ruffle down with a stretch stitch. Again, I think next time I would add a few more layers to the ruffles to make them a little fluffier. I just wanted to add a little fun to the swim shorts. I also added a tie to each side of the shorts.
For the ties, I used the strap pattern piece from the Heartbreaker Cami. I cut the brown power mesh on the fold. Then I folded the ties in half wrong sides together and serged (you could use a sewing machine as well) the long side together. Then with a little wine and a chopstick I turned the tie right side out. You could also use a Dritz Turning Tool, I just ordered one and let you know it if makes turning easier.
This does take a little bit of patience, wine and a good audible book, however it wasn’t too bad. Once I had the straps turned I tucked each side about .5 inch and topstiched them closed. I folded the straps in half to find the middle. I clipped underneath the middle of the ruffle ant topstitched them down. Voila! I was finished with Baby Girl’s new giraffe swimsuit. She thinks it is a lot of fun. Please do not forget to enter the giveaway if you would like to win some of this giraffe swim fabric! All photos (except wine picture) were edited with Summer Sea Actions by Family Photo Treasures.
Items Suggested to make the Little Girls Giraffe Swimsuit:
Serger (optional, but recommended)
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