Saturday Project: Swim Suit Cover Ups

As I sew more, I am learning that not only do I actually like it but it comes in very handy. So I am looking for more and more sewing projects that have application to our lives. This one is perfect: The Towel Cover-Up!

The steps here are pretty easy and this is best when made from a thinner (and cheaper!) beach towel.


  • 1 beach towel per cover up (again – a thin towel is easier to work with and cheaper!)
  • elastic thread (1 spool of thread should make 2 cover ups)
  • Extra bobbins
  1. Take a beach towel fold it in half, wrong-side out, matching up the shorter sides. Think about how you wrap a towel around you when you dry off. If you are making this for a child, you may need to cut the towel down to a smaller size (or if it is for a larger person or you want a fuller skirt you may need to add up to 1/2 of a second towel).
  2. Sew the shorter sides together inside out to make a tube.
  3. Wind elastic thread by hand onto 3-4 bobbins. It will take that many to make 1 cover-up.
  4. Thread your needle with regular cotton thread that coordinates with your towel. Put the bobbin with elastic thread in your machine. You must use both types of thread together for this to work.
  5. Once you have made the tube wrap the towel around you and mark your waist or where you want the smocking to stop. For me that was between my waist and chest.
  6. Sew parallel vertical rows, starting at the top of the towel approximately 1/2″ apart. You don’t have to measure and mark each row. I just moved the material over the width of the presser foot.
  7. Stop sewing the parallel lines at the spot your marked in #5.
  8. Spray the elastic threads with water, then iron on the reverse side. You can also spray elastic threads and put the cover-up into the dryer (my choice!). The heat causes the elastic to pull together and “smock”.

TIP: You can add straps to the cover-up if needed. Simply take coordinating fabric or ribbon and sew straps. Be sure to measure the length of straps while you are wearing the cover-up to be sure the straps will fit properly.

TIP: You can add a ribbon under the last row of smocking to a solid color towel to add a punch of color or pattern.

Enjoy your new pool or beach cover-up!

One thought on “Saturday Project: Swim Suit Cover Ups

  1. Pingback: National Sewing Machine Day: June 13th | The Organized Wife

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