How to Make a Swimsuit Cover-Up

Make a simple tank top style bathing suit cover-up out of jersey knit fabric.  You can also use lightweight fabrics like cotton batiste, or gauze that are breathable and comfortable. These are the fabrics you’ll want on your body in the hot summer months. If you’re feeling fancy or want a fun print, chiffon or challis are great options as well.

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Download the pattern.

Download the PDF instructions.


DIY Swimsuit Cover-up Materials



Step 1: Cut out the pattern

This pattern uses the same pattern piece for both the front and back.

First, fold the fabric over about 18″. Take the pattern piece and pin it to the fold line. Pin around the pattern to help keep it in place, and cut. Fold the fabric over again, and pin the pattern piece to the fold line. Pin all around, and cut.

Step 2: Sew the front and back

This jersey doesn’t have a right side but if you’re using a fabric that does, match the right sides up together and pin. For a zigzag stitch on a stretch fabric, make sure your stitch length is 2.5mm and the width is 3mm. This stitch will help the thread stretch with the fabric.

Remove all the pins on the pattern pieces. Line the front and back sides up together and pin. Start 1” in, and zigzag stitch with a 1” seam allowance on both sides. Back stitch at the beginning and the end. Pin the shoulders together and stitch with a 1” seam allowance. Start a ½” in, and leave 2” at the end. Back stitch at the beginning and the end.

Step 3: Trim the inside

Take the inside seam allowance for the sides and shoulders and and trim it down to a ½”. Fold the cover-up back to the right side.

Step 4: Finish the neckline and armholes

For the neckline and armholes, fold the edges over a ½” twice and pin. Use a regular straight stitch, and stitch a ½” in from the edge. Back stitch at the beginning and end.

Step 5: Hem the bottom

Fold the hem over 1” twice and pin. Sew 1” in from the edge. Back stitch at the beginning and the end, and your bathing suit cover-up is now complete!

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