Children's High Neck Maillot

Easy Maillot and Bikini

It seems there's more interest in childrens swimwear right now than there is for women's swimwear, so I'm going to show you how easy it is to work with the childrens 10% blocks. I'll do a few of these so check back often to see if there's something new or join the Group where I'll post about updates. The children's blocks are easy to work with because all you're really doing is drawing the style lines right onto the block .... just keep in mind that the pattern will stretch on the horizontal when on the body, flattening out your lines slightly .... keep true to the proportions on your design and you should have no problems.

These are a couple of styles I drew up to illustrate that's it's possible to create something a little more stylish and still be quite conservative for the 8 to 10 year old group. The top section uses bound edges to continue into double straps that go down to the back.The band with the bow is just a suggestion for dressing it up ... it's nothing more than a rectangle tacked at the side seams to stop it running away. It's not something you need to do, and equally something you could change for a tie style or something else. What we're interested in is making the pattern for the one piece.

Note: you can now click on the illustrations to enlarge them!

Step One

I've chosen the 68cm chest block for this demonstration, but you'd choose the one for your child/client. I start by dividing up the center front from the chest line to the base of the neck into eight ... I find it easier to estimate proportion on the design illustration if I break things up into thirds, quarters or eighths. Draw a guide line from the bottom of the first eighth to the side seam at about 1-2cm below the chest line. Draw another guide line from one third the way along the shoulder to the halfway on the center front ... I've then drawn a 2cm wide rectangle around this guide to represent the strap spacing.

Now might be a convenient time to adjust your wait measurement if need be and smooth off the side seam (blue).

Childrens Style 01-02.jpg

Step Two

Slide the back block over the front and line up the side seams at the guide line from step 1 .... extend the guide line all the way to the center back as illustrated.

The top of the high neck is about halfway along the guide rectangle ... square it off here and curve down to where the other guide intersects center front ... then curve from the other side down to the guide line as illustrated. These are style lines .... you can pretty much be as creative as you like but they do need to look balanced when stretched out on the body. If you're wondering why we went to the first third on the shoulder and not about half way as it appears in the illustration it's because the top section will not stretch out on the body the same as it will around the chest!

Childrens Style 01-03.jpg

Step Three

Draw in the back design from the side seam following the guide but gradually coming away to become perpendicular to the center back seam (red line).

Childrens Style 01-04.jpg

Step Four

Now rotate the back block starting where the back and front meet at the guide lines, and close the side seam as illustrated. Square out from center back (parallel to waist) where the guide line intersects center back, all the way to the side seam (red) ... draw a line from here square to center front.

Childrens Style 01-05.jpg

Step Five

Create a continuous smooth curve from center back to center front (red line).... this is the bottom line of the optional bikini top. 

Childrens Style 01-06.jpg

Step Six

Separate the two blocks. Now simply mirror the optional bikini line exactly along the waist line. If you're using paper just fold it along the waist line and trace through. Mirroring is just a cut and paste action in CAD. Notice that the bikini lines are nicely square to the side seam?

Childrens Style 01-07.jpg

Step Seven

Remove all the unnecessary guidelines and add your seam allowance (I've used 10mm) ... I've kept the pattern as a one piece and put the seam lines for the bikini on there too. There is no seam allowance for the bound top edges, just the little bit between the straps where you'd join the fabric to the lining.

Label your pattern pieces with the panel name, style name, how many pieces to cut (fold lines), size, date, version and pattern author.

Childrens Style 01-08.jpg

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