spring, summer

tween swimsuits

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited that summer is coming back around! I love our days of the sprinklers being on and our trips to the lakes. Since water is such a big part of our summer days, I like to make sure my kids have a good variety of swimsuits. It may also be because laundry is at the bottom of my list in the summer…

So that brings us to today’s topic! Tween Swimsuits!

My oldest daughter is 12 and 5’6″ tall. I’ve always had to blend sizes for her, but she’s now entering that little space between kid sizing and adult sizing with her measurements. Luckily, I found that there are quite a few pattern companies that cater to this small 14/16 size that have a good variety of patterns available:


Boo Designs

Ellie and Mac

Mountain Ash Designs

Striped Swallow Designs

CKC Patterns

I started off going on Pinterest with my daughter to get some inspiration. She is all about the flounces this year so I knew the Boo Designs Flounce Dress would be absolutely perfect for her first swimsuit! She chose this popcorn swim and the red and white striped swim, because it’s amazing.

It was crazy easy to hack and I only had to use the bodice and flounce piece to make the top. I made the 12 width with 14 length for the bodice, and a size 8 inner circle with a size 12 outer for the flounce, since my daughters shoulders are more slender. I also added a 1/2″ elastic band around the bottom of the top, just to make sure it stayed nice and snug on her. I paired the top with the Tweenie Bikini Bottoms  that are a straight size 12.

I always line our swimsuits, but just as a tip, at this age, make sure to line your whole suit!

The second suit she really liked was the Ellie & Mac Cape Cod Swimsuit. I made a straight size 12 and added 3″ in the middle of the front and back. When making a one piece, the trunk length is sooooo important and when adding length, make sure you cut the pattern at the waist, then re-draw that line to blend the top with the bottoms. This girl had free reign to most of my swim (some prints are for me!) and for this suit she chose the popsicles. I’m glad that even though this girl is growing up, she still has fun with the fabric prints!

For the last suit I made, we ended on the Sofiliantjes Solis Dress & Tunic, which has been a summer staple. This girl is much more of a Tomboy, so I was a bit surprised that the flounce top was her number one choice, but I knew she’d want a fun sporty suit as well.

To do this I measured my daughters shoulder to underbust then cut the bodice right under the bust and then added a 2″ band just slightly smaller width so it would be more snug. It worked out really well! We paired this top with the Tweenie Bikini Bottoms too. I love the coverage it gives!

She had demanded the scales and decided to go with a nod to the Little Mermaid with the purple top. She’s still wanting a Jalie Valeria zip rashguard in the scales too!

What are your biggest issues when it comes to tween sewing? Style? Finding fabrics? Finding patterns in the sizing? Learning how to blend and adjust for a tween? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Reply whosewever April 6, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    These are perfect! I love how you used dress patterns and hacked them to make swim tops!

  • Reply DERHAM PAUL September 1, 2019 at 6:14 am

    I’m looking for a present for our daughter she will be turning 13 a teen soon her mother and I don’t know what to buy her she is a fussy girl like her mum my wife we will keep on looking

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