Friday, July 31, 2009

Bathing Suit Coverups & Pool Bags

I made the kids bathing suit coverups out of a bath towel and pool bags out of a shower curtain. They love them. They look so cute in them. They can carry their own swim goggles and pool toys in their own little bags. I was carrying everyone's things in one big bag which would get pretty heavy. They also like being in charge of their own things. It makes them feel a little more independent. The terry cloth coverups are so perfect for several reasons. I don't have to worry about their towels falling off or dragging on the ground and getting dirty. And it keeps them nice and warm and covered. It's perfect for pool parties at a friend's house. When they are they taking a break from swimming or are done swimming, they just slip these on and don't have to change immediately. The coverups fits nicely in their bags. We just roll them up tightly.

These coverups and pool bags are so simple to make and so quick and easy that it is a perfect project for a beginner.


First I picked out a pretty bath towel. If you would like for the coverup to be longer, choose a super long bath towel or a long beach or pool towel. Mine were not extra large bath towels.

It was a bit too wide; so I trimmed off two or three inches off of each side, depending on which child I was making it for.

If you are making this for someone who is larger, then you don't have to trim the sides. Also, if you buy a pool or beach towel, keep in mind that they are usually more narrow than a bath towel; and, therefore, may not need trimming.

I then folded the towel in half and cut a semi circle in the center to make a hole so the coverup could slip over the head. I caution you to be very careful here and only cut a small semicircle at first, open it up and see if it's enough. Then if need be, cut a little more. Only cut an eensy weensy bit at a time. It's amazing how huge a little half circle is when you open it up. I actually made the head holes too big, especially on my son's. Looking at the picture, it looks to me what I did wrong is I cut the semicircles too deep versus too wide.

Then with right sides together I serged up the sides. I stopped at a predetermined point in order to leave an opening for the arms. You could also zig zag the sides together with your sewing machine.

Then I pinned extra wide store bought bias tape over the raw edges of the arm holes and head hole. It's important to use the double wide because the terry cloth is so thick. Be sure to pin the shorter side of the bias tape to the right side of the fabric so when you are sewing on the edge on the right side, it catches on the wrong side. Hope that makes sense. If not, just trust me. I didn't do this on my son's; and you can see, the bias tape is curled up and not as neat.

You don't even have to do the bias tape trim on the arm holes and head hole. You could just zig zag or serge the edges to keep it from fraying. But it isn't hard to do the bias tape trim, and it looks so much nicer. It gives it that professional, store bought look versus the homemade look.

Then I sewed the bias tape in place on the right side of the fabric. That way you can sew right on the edge of the bias tape. On my son's I sewed on the wrong side of the fabric and therefore was not aware of how the right side was turning out. So his is not as neat. I guess you could say that his coverup was the trial one because I made all of the mistakes on his, but it still turned out all right.


Cut three 5 1/2 X 12-inch rectangles and two 12X12-inch squares out of a vinyl shower curtain or some other vinyl material. Attach them as you see in the pictures with right sides facing to the inside, then sew up each side. You must either sew these pieces together with a serger or by hand. The vinyl gets stuck on the bed of the sewing machine and jams up the thread. Turn right side out. Fold the top down a quarter of an inch toward the inside of the bag and stitch down by hand.

I picked up the material for the handles at Wal*Mart. They sell it by the yard. I sewed them on the machine. To get it to go smoothly under the machine, I placed a square of fabric to the inside of where I would be sewing the handles and then stitched it as well when I sewed the handle in place.

You can see, if you look closely, where the threads are all jumbled and knotted up where I folded down the top a quarter of an inch. I tried sewing it on the machine, and it wouldn't feed through smoothly. It kept getting stuck, and the threads kept getting tangled up.


  1. This is such a brilliant idea! Two brilliant ideas in fact!

  2. Love the projects-the kids look so cute! The idea of using a plastic shower curtains to make totes was excellent.

    You've continued to be in my thoughts and prayers. I know these last few days have been difficult.
    God Bless you!

  3. What great little cover ups and bags! Something you might want to try for making the shower curtain feed smoothly is a teflon foot on your machine and then take a square of wax paper, cut out a little window for your feed dogs and then tape it down onto the bed of your machine. That should provide enough slippage for the plastic to stop catching.

  4. Awesome ideas! I will have to try something like that!

  5. I remember making coverups like that when I was a girl. The bags are a great idea. I need to check with my daughter whose girls are on a swim team to see if they need one each.

  6. You go girl! They are awesome. Can't wait to make some for my grandkids!

  7. A shower curtain! What a super idea (well, ideas!). Great pics.

    I hope you are doing okay. You all are in my thoughts.

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  9. Cool. Mom I love you

  10. These look great! Well done!

  11. Hey Trudy! Bet you & Marty are the best looking couple at the reunion party! You do look very nice!

  12. Those coverups and bags are adorable! And you and hubby look fab for the 30th reunion. Hope you had a wonderful time!

  13. Separate beach totes for each child is a great idea. I always made my boys wear T-shirts to the beach, because we're all red, and always made matching coverups for the girls. Yours are great!

  14. what a great idea! I think I still have some cute towels that I haven't chucked out in my moving preparations!

    you guys look way too young to be going to a 30 year high school reunion!!!!


  15. This is a great idea Trudy! I need to make something like this. Gigi has outgrown last year's cover up. Thanks for linking up!


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