When I was a little girl, I was often home sick from school (chronic ear infections….plus a little lollygagging), and while I was “recovering”, my favorite thing to do was watch Peter Pan on VHS (am I dating myself a bit here?). The best part was when Peter is visiting the Mermaids in Mermaid Lagoon…despite their catty attitude, they captured my imagination, and I dreamed of swimming the sea with pearls in my hair, flashing and splashing my shimmering tail in the waves, flirting with a young Peter Pan.
I’m a little older now, and I was lucky enough to find and marry my own Peter Pan, but I can still appreciate this fantasy, so when I saw the new Mermaid Shores collection from Made for Mermaids, I couldn’t resist joining up and sewing a few swimsuits for myself and the Princess, so we could play mermaids together in our own lagoon (ok! It’s not a coral lagoon, just a creek, but we’re PRETENDING here!)
Now, I’m no stranger to sewing swim (see examples here and here) but even I can appreciate the clear, easy to follow instructions on these patterns. As a bonus, all of the suits in this collection are also a pretty quick sew, so even if it’s your first time sewing swim, you will have a finished suit (or maybe even a matching set!) pretty quickly (minus any interruptions from naughty mermaids and mer-men).
During the test, I sewed up four different patterns from the collection: The girl’s Lainey suit, the girl’s Camila, the Pearl Cover-up and the Mama Camila suit- I’ll share my favorite parts of each below!
The Lainey suit is an adorable one shoulder design with a ruffle that extends around the body, and an optional shoulder strap. I made both the cropped and the tankini view!
I love how well this top stays put- the strap truly is optional- Princess ran around for a whole day in it without the strap and it didn’t budge. I made her a size 1/2 width with a 1 length- but I think in the future I’ll add a little more length to the tankini for her considerable baby belly.
I also chose to fully line my suit for comfort (no exposed seams), and I was pleased with the clean finish of the binding. The tankini version features fabric from Peekaboo Pattern Shop, and the cropped version is made from the scraps of my rainbow dragon scale top from Pink Zeppelin Fabrics (pre order has closed, but join the Facebook group to keep an eye out for retail! Check out my matching top here). I love these suits, and so does she- it’s been in constant rotation since I made it and will get used alot on our beach vacation next week!
Princess was pretty hesitant during the entire photoshoot, but she finally got into her groove at the end watching her brothers splash around! I love seeing her smile!
I fell in love with the Mama Daphne during my “Sew What to Wear: Vacation Edition” Tour with Made for Mermaids, and I was excited to see the Camila suit in the same style! I sewed both the mama Camila and the girls Camila suit, in the off the shoulder and the halter strap versions.
I’ve mentioned before that I prefer tankinis for the Princess to avoid the “poop in the pool” factor (definition: a baby’s tendency to let it all go when they are completely enclosed in a difficult to remove one piece suit and surrounded by people and water), but Princess is potty training and is now able to communicate when she needs to go, so I felt it was finally safe to try a cute one piece suit!
I added trim to the flounce on both of our versions (pom poms for me, cotton lace trim for her), and I love the effect.
Mmm….don’t you just love those little baby rolls!? I’m going to be SO SAD when they disappear!
This is a pretty simple modification- simply sew the trim to the suit right sides together, then flip it down and topstitch! (Be sure you haven enough though-mine took around 3 yards and the baby size took over a yard!) I really appreciate how easily I can nurse in the off-the-shoulder version- for some reason swimming always reminds the Princess that it’s time to eat!
You might notice that the ruching in my suit isn’t quite as prominent as in other examples, as I forgot to shorten the elastic when I shortened the suit (I’m only 62″). I actually prefer it this way, but you could easily adjust the amount of ruching to your preference.
The butt coverage in this suit is awesome- if you hate the cheeky look, this is definitely the cut for you! It was made slightly cheekier after this version, but very slightly!
Tips: We did discover during testing that pressing the seam allowance toward the front and securing it with wonder tape before attaching the ruching elastic was key to getting the elastic applied evenly, so highly recommend trying that technique. Upper arm measurements are included in the pattern, and I also recommend basting your neckline elastic and flounce on and doing a fit test before topstitching to make sure it’s at a comfortable length. I find it quite easy to maneuver in this view, but if you want more freedom of arm movement, there is another view for attaching the flounce under the arm, which I hope to attempt soon!
Both our Camila Suits were made with swim fabric from JoAnns, and through the process of constructing these suits I found I actually prefer their swim lining (slightly thicker, easier to manipulate and tolerates unpicking MUCH better). The coverup was made from fabric from Fabric Mart. Tip: If you’re new to sewing swim, check out my blog post on supplies HERE.
The Pearl Cover Up
My favorite piece in the whole collection is one you can get FREE- the Pearl Coverup! This little number takes so little time (literally, 15 minutes from start to finish), and is so adorable, I whipped up 3 to match all her suits! Princess surprised me by squealing with joy and attempting a twirl as soon as I put it on for a fit test, so I see even more of these in the future!
You can grab each pattern ON SALE for $7.50, and remember, the Pearl Cover up is FREE if you grab one of the bundles.
OR, check out the bundles here:
Girls bundle (Camila, Calypso, which I didn’t test but is adorable, Lainey and Pearl) for $21
Collection Bundle (all girls suits, cover up AND mama Camila) for $26
You can also check out the hacks on the Made for Mermaids blog HERE
While we were taking these photos, the boys enjoyed hunting for craw-dads- they even caught one! I’m just loving these long summer days and the opportunity to hang out as a family!
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