It's kind of a pain though it makes sense; do you want to swim around with your neighbors' stray hairs? (Or see the pool shuttered when they have to clean the filter — again?).
But the spandex cap we bought her was too big, and the rubbery ones pulled at her hair. So what does a lady with some extra spandex and little pattern paper do? I drafted my own. And because it is so simple, I am sharing it here for free. After the jump:
I've written here before about the folly of sewing for small children, who often are not as appreciative of your efforts as you might hope.
But this swimsuit and bathing cap set I made last week truly did wow my nearly six-year-old. This face says, "Nailed it."
For one, she looks adorable. But two, the cap fits her head snugly without pinching and pulling. It's made from the same spandex I used for the suit, with a piece of swimsuit elastic for the band. And three, it sews up so quickly.
Wait till she sees the Wonder Woman suit I have planned for her birthday present:
First, the pattern. You can download it here: The size should fit most kids. You will adjust the length of elastic to fit your kid's head):
Next, a quick tutorial. You can sew this cap on a regular home sewing machine using a zigzag stitch as you would to sew any stretch fabric. Or you can use a serger for the seams and a twin needle to finish (that's what I did).
-couple scraps of spandex swimsuit fabric
-about 24 inches swimsuit elastic
The pattern has just two pieces: the side and the middle. You will cut two side pieces and a single middle (on the fold). You can see it doesn't take much fabric:
The first step after cutting is to pin the side pieces to the middle along the long edges.
Stitch seams using a serger or the zig zag stitch on your regular sewing machine.
Next, measure the child's head and cut your elastic to fit, giving yourself an extra inch for overlapping and sewing shut (use the zig-zag stitch again):
Pin your elastic to the edge of the cap, stretching to fit as you go. Make sure to pin to the wrong side of the fabric:
Stitch it down, taking care to stretch to fit. This time definitely use a zig-zag stitch:
Fold the bottom edge over one more time and zig-zag or use a twin needle to top stitch it down.
Hurray, you're done! Do some air punches to celebrate!
This was my first crack at converting a self-drafted pattern to Illustrator. Learning a new computer program on your own time (and with no help!) is no walk in the park (or swim in the pool). So do me a favor and post me a pic if you make a Little Swimmer Bathing Cap. @ me at sewyorkcity on Instagram or Twitter. I would love to see it!