Thursday, July 11, 2013

Putting snaps on a girl's one-piece swimsuit

As I pointed out, the baby girl swimsuit industry is stupid. Why they don't put snaps on swimsuits is beyond me, but turns out, it's fairly easy to do it yourself. 

*DISCLAIMER: This is not a pretty fix, more of a functional one.

I decided to start with the swimsuit that only cost me $0.66. That way if it totally bombed, I'd only be out less than a dollar. 

I started by cutting the swimsuit right along the crotch seam. One of the straps had already ripped off so I also cut the other strap and now use it as a halter top.


I bought some Snap Tape at Joann's for $4 (with a coupon). It came with enough to do 2 swimsuits and still had some leftover if I had wanted to do 2 more.
 
 

Cut the snap tape a little longer than the swimsuit. The swimsuit will stretch as you're sewing it so you want to leave some extra on the ends. 
 
 

 

So the first swimsuit, I put the flat snap on the front part and the sewing machine was able to sew right over it. Except that I didn't realize I had done that, so on the second suit, the sewing machine kept getting stuck because I put the button part on the front.

 

You can see that I cut the back part a little too short so there was a gap on the ends. Like I said, not a pretty fix. But when it's closed up, you can't really tell. Especially when it's on a chubby little baby with massive thighs. Lucky for me, Allie has some pretty ginormous thighs so you can't see it as much. 

 

On the second suit, when I kept getting stuck, I decided to hand sew it. It didn't look as pretty looking right at it, but when finished, it actually looked better than the machine sewn one.

 


I would've included a final picture of my precious baby girl wearing the final results, if I had remembered. If you are a better seamstress, then I'm sure you'll get much better results.

Some things to note...
  • You don't have to worry about the nylon (swimsuit material) fraying. The raw ends hold pretty well. 
  • You DO have to worry about the snap tape edges fraying. Allie wore her swimsuit in the pool and after sitting on the pool step and scooting around, the edges were fraying pretty badly. 
  • You could just buy some snaps and avoid the whole sewing part. I didn't want to do that because both of these swimsuits were already a little small and that would've pulled them up another 3/4 inch or so, making them even smaller. 
I decided to write a letter to Baby Gap and Target (where I got Allie's swimsuits) and ask them to start incorporating snaps on their infant girl swimsuits. We'll see what happens with that.