I made this swim cover-up for my niece from a towel. It has got to be one of the most frustrating projects I have ever worked on. I got the bright idea as I was perusing Target. I had one of those infamous "I could make that" moments. Oy. I checked the internet thinking surely someone had this idea before me. Sure enough, there were several patterns. However, the patterns for this style cost money. Being the cheapo, I mean spendthrift, that I am, I thought to myself, "I don't need no stinking pattern". So, I bought the towel, envisioned my project and set to work. I had just received a copy of Sew News in the mail that had a tutorial about how to make a gathered top, like this project has, using elastic thread. I had never worked with elastic thread, but the tutorial made it sound simple saying something like "wind your bobbin with elastic thread, sew horizontal lines close together down the top". Ok, maybe that's my paraphrasing, but that's basically all the info it gave in regards to elastic thread and how this project might prove difficult. I did understand that the whole gathering process works better on lightweight material, but I also saw the pattern listed above that was clearly made from a beach towel using the same process.
After stitching my horizontal lines with the elastic thread for the first couple rows, I was seeing NO gathering taking place. After reading numerous tutorials and tips given by bloggers and the like, I finally was able to trouble-shoot somewhat. It was quite frustrating because one blog would tell me to wind the elastic tight, while the other would say loose. Eeek. Some blogs talked about changing the bobbin tension. All my years of crafting and I didn't know how to change my bobbin tension... more tutorial searching... Ugh!
When I finally got it to work somewhat, what I ended up with was a not-tight-enough swim cover. I decided to cut the whole thing down to size, about half. Which meant that the skirt was now not full enough to pull over. It has to be stepped into. So, the ribbon straps that I originally applied had to be removed because they made it so you couldn't step in! I replaced those with FOE that I had on hand in a pretty tealy-green. Then, when I went to stitch the other side up, the seams were fraying. OMG, I was about to throw the whole thing away.
However, I got it to where everything seemed to be holding steady. I emailed my SIL to warn her of the need to step into the cover-up and put the darn thing in a gift bag. I mentioned the gift to my niece since I was out of town during her party. She told me she hadn't tried it on yet, but "It's really cute!" Thank God someone thinks so!