Marina with a Tankini Skirt
I am Stevey Taylor from S Taylor Threads and I am beyond thrilled to guest blog for Simple Life Pattern Company today!!
One of my favorite things about sewing is seeing something beautiful, or completely unique, and figuring out how to make it myself. I love gaining inspiration from larger boutiques or stores and putting my own spin on their styles. Despite years of creating, I was always too nervous to try a swimsuit! That is, until Marina. After ordering WAY too much swim fabric (it was just too much fun to buy it all!!!), I was totally committed to learning how. Of course, I couldn’t simply follow the pattern. I had to figure out how to modify Marina tankini to resemble a suit I had seen online and I am so in love with the outcome!! So without further rambling, let’s get down to business!
I began by completing the simple tank version of the Marina pattern exactly as written. I left the straps unattached until the end, which you will notice in my photos, however, this is not necessary. Side note: I received an awesome tip from another tester who used a glue stick to “pin” her binding in place and I was so pleased with how well it worked!
Once my tankini top was constructed, I measured 1” up from the hem and drew a line with a disappearing ink marker. I chose to hem my tankini, but if you prefer to leave it unhemmed just measure up 1.5” instead – really no one will see the hem anyway!
I wanted my skirt to land just above the bottoms so it didn’t look like a one piece but still had some length and coverage. I used the SKIRT RUFFLE as a guide for length and increased the length by 1”. So for my size 4swimsuit, I increased the 3” skirt ruffle to 4”. This was completely arbitrary so go ahead and play with the numbers a bit if you have a taller or shorter child or just want a different look! Use the NECKLINE RUFFLE width from the measurement chart in your given size. So, for example, I cut two skirt pieces that were 4” long by 22” wide for my size 4T.
Sew the short ends of your skirt pieces with right sides together to create the skirt. Run TWO rows of basting stitches (set your stitch length to the highest setting) ¼” and ¾” from the top of your skirt. We will sew between these two rows with a ½” seam allowance when attaching the skirt to the tankini. Having two rows will help keep your slippery swim fabric nice and neat which is especially important with our exposed ruffle!
I like to find the center front, center back and side seams of my skirt and pin those to the corresponding points on my tankini before gathering. You will need to line the top of your skirt up with the line you drew, 1.5” or 2” from the bottom of your tankini.
Gather your skirt to match the width of the tankini and pin in place. Take care to keep the top of your skirt aligned with the line you drew and move your gathers along so they are evenly dispersed.
Using your favorite stretch stitch, twin needle or chain/coverstitch, sew your skirt to the tankini ½” down from the top of your skirt, in the middle of your two rows of basting stitches. Carefully remove your basting stitches being careful not to prick your swim fabric which will pull the fibers and leave a fuzzy appearance on your pretty new swimsuit!!
You now have a beautiful Marina swimsuit with a fun twist!!