DIY Swim Suit Covers

I am that girl who buys the 5XL t-shirt from the dollar store because she likes the color. You know, you figure what the heck it’s $1, you’ll do something with it someday. Well my friends, today I am vindicated. Not only did I use that 5XL shirt from my stash, but I used a sewing machine without breaking something. 

For some reason the only swim suit covers I could find last month for our trip either didn’t cover much of anything, or they were long sleeved (which I honestly don’t understand). Those of you who are fair skinned and farmer tanned know that it doesn’t take long for our shoulders to completely sizzle, thus began (and ended) my search for cute swim suit covers that had sleeves, but also covered enough that when I bend down with my kids I’m not embarrassing myself.
How to Make Your Own Swim Suit Covers

5XL (or very large) shirt
Sewing Machine
1. Turn the 5XL shirt inside out and lay your fitted t-shirt on top of it.

OPTIONAL: pin out about 3/4-1 inch on each side using safety pins. This makes it so you can turn it right side out and try it on to make sure it will fit right. Remember if you did not pre-wash the shirt it will probably shrink a bit.
2. Once you know where you want the seam pin with straight pins. I continued the flare of the fitted shirt all the way to the bottom so the skirt would be a short A line.
3. Trim off the excess material from the sides. 
4. My seams lined up with the shoulder seams on the large shirt so if I cut it off right on the seam it would have been a cap sleeve. I wanted the sleeves a tad longer so I just left about an inch outside the seam.
5. Sew along the pins and stop when you get to the sleeve seams to finish the sides for a plain t-shirt dress.
6. Use strips of the excess material to form your ruffle. I had 4 strips about 3 1/2-4 inches wide and 13 inches long. You can sew all four strips together for one long strip or do two at a time to make it easier. 
7. Sew a loose stitch all along one edge of the strip about 1/2 inch from the edge leaving strings on each end. Pull one of the strings, holding the other in place to gather the fabric. 
8. Pin the gathered strips on to the skirt. I ended up with seams on the right and left sides and in the middle of the front and the back, but they are not visible because of the gathering.
9. Sew a straight stitch right down the line where you gathered to attach the ruffle.
Congrats you made your very own swim suit cover! 
I wore this all day on the dive boat in Maui and it was so comfortable! I borrowed my mom’s sewing machine  (cause well I killed mine after 3 uses) and when I told her what I was doing she gave me the courtesy smile and nod like “this should be interesting.” When I told her in Maui that this was the one I made, couldn’t believe it.
I also made the matching ruffly headband from the shirt material, but this post was getting massive, so we’ll save that for another day.
I hope your having as much fun with the De-stash Bash as I am!
If you like this post you may like these projects made with t-shirts:

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  1. says

    So, so, so cute! I would wear this with flip-flops to the grocery store during the summer! I’m also 4’10″ish, so I could pull it off as a normal dress! Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing these!!!

  2. says

    Love the coverup but best of all using a 5x tshirt. I always check out larger sizes. Can use them for something with a bit of effort and ingenuity.


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