DIY Swimsuit Cover Up : Free sewing Pattern for a beach dress

This is an easy to sew beach swimsuit coverup sewing pattern.  A swimsuit cover is a must for a beach day/pool party packing list. You have to be comfortable and covered everywhere you go other than in the water. With this sheer chiffon cover-up, you can look modest and beautiful on the beach or by the pool, without being overdressed.

DIY bathing suit cover up – free pattern


swim suit cover up

Step 1 Cut out the pattern pieces 

This beach dress has to be made of a thin lightweight fabric like chiffon georgette etc. Check out the post on sheer transparent fabrics for more details on sewing with these kinds of fabrics


Take two fabric pieces measuring the length you want for the beach dress to be. Width should be 38 inches minimum ( to get knee length sleeves). Keep them together and then Fold the two pieces by the center

coverup pattern

Cut out the pattern pieces.  Now cut the sides and the bottom edge only and then separate the two fabric pieces. The neck can be cut separately (individually) for the front and the back.

swim suit beach dress

Cut the neck of the back piece

beach dress cover up

Cut the neck of the front piece

swimsuit cover up pattern

You need to cut 4 pieces of bias tapes. Check out the post on bias tapes for more details on cutting them. One 1.5 inch piece for waistband; Two 1 1/4 inch ones for the waist ties; One long bias tape of 3/4 inch for neck binding.


Step 2 Join the shoulder seams of the back and front.

I did a french seam because the fabric is sheer and if you have frayed edges it can look ugly to the outside especially if you are using light colored fabrics. Check out the post on french seams for more details.

swimsuit coverup tutorial


swimming suit coverup pattern

Step 3 Finish the sleeve hem with a turned under hem.

beach dress diy


Step 4 Bind the neckline with the bias tape.

Step 5 Mark gathered waistband on front piece

You have to mark two buttonholes on the front pattern for the gathered waistband, as well as the position for the waistband. The waistband is placed just under the bust in an empire waist.

cover up diy

The waistband does not stretch fully to the side seams. It is marked 16 “. The waistband is attached to the back of the front fabric piece so that it is not visible to the face of the garment. Just the ties come out through the buttonholes. 

Step 6 Make the buttonholes on the front pattern piece where marked

Check out the post on making buttonholes if you do not know how to.They are made 1.5 inches apart in the center  of the line you have marked earlier.I would interface the back of the buttonhole next time.

coverup for bathing suits

cover ups for swimming suits

Step 7 Make waistband and ties

Make the two waist ties.They are simple fabric tubes. Check out the post on making fabric tubes for more details.

Prepare the waistband piece ( 17 inch long 1.5 inch wide fabric ). Turn the endes 1/4 inches to the inside all around. Baste stitch in place.

Stitch the waistband piece to the back of the fabric on the line you have marked.Remember not to stitch the short ends. You have to insert the waist ties through them.This will make the casing for the drawstring waist ties.

Using a safety pin insert the waist ties through both the side edges of the waistband. Bring it out the front through the buttonholes you have made. Stitch the ends of the waist ties in place to the waistband. A simple stitching would do it. 

swimsuits coverup diy

Sew the side seams. Finish the hem. I did a baby hem. You can use the hemmer foot to make rolled edges as well.

coverup for swimming suits

A shirred dress also makes an easy to sew swimsuit cover up. Check it out