I have always had a hard time finding swim suits for Abi. Even when she was little, we had a hard time finding ones that fit her long skinny torso. And, frankly, I don't like little bikinis on children. I know many people disagree with me and I am not judging those that buy them for their kids. It is just my style of parenting.
After some trial and error, I learned that a tanki style is great for her. It complies with my modesty requirements but allows for her long torso to stretch out and not be constrained. And, when I make her suits, they fit like a glove, unlike the RTW suits.
This year I wanted to use the vintage patterns I received from my grandmother. She passed way this winter, so these patterns are even more dear to me these days.
In order to test the fit, I used some left over scrap knit I had from previous projects and then talked to Abi about what modifications she wanted.
Then, I used some left-over swim fabric from her suit two years ago and some costume fabric to make a practice version. The way I figured it, if it fit, she has a spare suit. If it did not fit, I did not waste my new fabric and I did not need to go shopping again.
She wanted little boy shorts, but I did not have that pattern. Or so I thought. After I finished the practice and the final, I found Boy's Swim Trunks Pattern No. 1225 when looking for a different pattern entirely!
The shorts for Abi turned out a little bigger than planned but the ones I sewed for Eli fit her perfect. Luckily a 1/2 yard has enough for two shorts so I will just make her another pair in the Eli size.
NOTE: I have a serger and normally would use it. But it was acting up so I exclusively used the 3-step zig-zag stitch. It worked fabulous! So, please don't think you need a fancy machine to sew swimsuit. Also, I was able to use fold-over elastic as the binding. Wow, that stuff is wonderful and I highly recommend it.