Swimwear fashion tips: Make your own coordinating wraps and covers
Keep the construction simple, and you can easily create several swimsuit wraps for different looks with your swimwear.
Swimsuit wraps give your beachwear versatility. When you are out of the water, tie on the wrap and you’re ready for lunch, shopping or a poolside party. Wraps, true to their name, consist of a single piece of fabric and often have a string for easy tying. Wraps transform a swimsuit into a summer outfit. Fabric and length are the main considerations for swimsuit wraps.
Your wrap should look good wet. For an elegant look, select sheer nylon curtain material in a solid color that matches a shade in your swimsuit. Measure your hips and purchase at least a ½ yard more than the amount necessary to wrap around your waist. Hold the material up to your waist and adjust the length accordingly. Cleanly cut gauzy material often passes off without a hem. Secure your piece of fabric on your hip with a double knot. You are ready for a moonlight beach party.
Cotton batik fabric, more durable and appropriate for daywear, creates a colorful island skirt effect. Purchase batik fabrics from most fabric stores or start with a medium weight cotton and tie-dye it to reflect your individual mood and personality. Ample fabric creates cascading folds. Your wrap should appear to be a skirt with a slit up one side. Tie a rectangle of fabric around your body, cutting it at the bottom to adjust the length. Most of the time you will be wearing this wrap at the beach, so is a hem really necessary? If you prefer a finished look, hem the raw edges. You can also sew fringe around the bottom and skip the hem. Select a fringe color that complements the fabric. The fringe on most batik wraps sold in stores matches the background color in the fabric.
For a less bulky skirt, you can also cut a six to ten inch strip on either side of your fabric rectangle. Spread out your fabric on a flat surface. Measure six to ten inches from each end and draw a pencil line six to ten inches long toward the middle of your fabric. Your tie should be at least six inches wide to allow for hemming. Starting from the bottom of your fabric, and cut up to your line. After you cut out these ties, you should have plenty of fabric remaining to wrap around your body. Test your fabric length at this stage. If you think it is too wide, adjust your width and make your ties longer. Cotton fabric is comfortable, but it does not stretch like lyrca or spandex. Keep this in mind when you are adjusting your fabric width. Hem the raw edges for a finished look.
Lycra or spandex skirts stretch to accommodate the wearer’s movement and body type. Select a color that matches one of the main shades in your swimsuit. Black is usually a safe choice if you are working with hard to match shades. You still want to buy at least your hip’s circumference multiplied by ½ to allow for hemming and light gathering. A Lycra or spandex skirt looks best if it is several inches above the knee. Estimate the length by holding up the fabric against your body and cutting it about three inches longer than the desired length. Hem the raw edges on the bottom. Cut a two-inch strip and fold it over several times until you have a thick cordlike roll of fabric. Double thread your needle and sew running stitches along the top of your fabric rectangle, leaving plenty of thread at the end. Pulling on this stitching will create a lightly gathered effect. Tuck your gathered rectangle under one of the folds in your cord and stitch the cord to the rectangle, leaving about six inches of rolled fabric on each end for a tie. If you prefer a straighter skirt, sew the rectangle to the rolled fabric without gathering it.
Keep the construction simple, and you can easily create several wraps for different looks with your swimwear. Rectangular fabric and a few stitches easily becomes a fashion statement with personal flair.