Swimming is something we take pretty seriously here in Australia. Most of Australia’s population lies in the coastal regions of the country, and here in Sydney, it is generally warm enough to swim from October through to April. Swim to survive is a compulsory programme in all Australian Primary Schools (elementary school equivalent) and most kids in Australia also have a swimming lesson at least once per week, especially when young. Naturally I was delighted to see this pattern released and have a go at sewing it up.
The FlyGirl Racing Suit is a one piece swimsuit that offers two different finishing styles - The first involves using elastic - and is a great place for beginners to start, and the second involves binding. It has a fantastic size range from 1-14, making it great value for money. I’ve sewn the elastic version here.
I sew lots of swimsuits and in order to get a good fit that looks great on the kid you are sewing it for you need two things. You need a pattern that is drafted well and accurately, and you need to be able to measure!! Close fitting spandex swimsuits will not look good without these two things! In this pattern, Suzanne has really gone to great lengths to explain how to measure your child and how to adjust the swimsuit to fit accordingly, especially for mixed sizes. It is well worth not skimming over this part of the pattern if you want a nice fit and a comfortable swimsuit.
My daughter measured at a height of 6, with a width of in between a 3 and a 4. She was getting over the flu when I measured her to make this, and I knew she had recently lost some weight from being sick, so I made a six height and a four width. Had I not paid attention to the instructions, and made a straight six, it would not have fit well at all. Zoe is a very competent little swimmer, and already at 5 is required to practice dives, multiple laps of freestyle, and backstroke and is currently learning breastroke. She does not like wearing swimsuits that give her a wedgie, or that are loose across her chest and don’t stay put when she’s diving. I am pleased to say this one got the tick of approval!
For those that are a little intimidated by the concept of swimsuit sewing, don’t be! This is a great suit to start with. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. Every single measurement you need is in the pattern (including elastic measurements - have I mentioned that it is a pet hate of mine to have a swimsuit pattern that requires you to use elastic but doesn’t give a measurement) and it really is a straightforward and very lovely sew. I’ve used swimsuit spandex from Boo! Designs to sew my swimsuit as it is top quality and I know will hold up to months of chlorine and sun, and I haven’t come across a better quality swimsuit fabric.
Thanks Suz for a great pattern. The Fly Girl Racing Suit will definitely be an essential in our Summer this year!