DIY Beach Cover Up

Posted on June 17, 2015 by Anna Tollar

 Create a fun easy bathing suit cover up with this easy to follow tutorial.

Make the most of your summer!

Items needed

Items needed

2 yds. Fabric

Thread to match fabric

Thread to match trim & lace

2 yds. Trim (for bottom of cover up)

2 yds. Lace (for neck line)

Dress Pins

Seam ripper – for mistakes

White erasable pen


Measuring tape

L square measuring ruler

Safety pin or loop turner


Step 1: Pick out 2 yards of fabric and matching thread

Step 2: Wind the bobbin of the thread you chose to be used on your garment (use sewing machine hand book for directions on bobbin threading if needed).

Step 3: Thread machine properly with the same thread used for bobbin. (Use sewing machine manual for directions if needed).

Now you’re ready to sew!

Step 4: Fold fabric in half selvedge-to-selvedge, right sides together and iron.

Step 5: Measure width of the fabric to 20” (folded = 40”) mark a line with the white pen throughout the width of the garment to ensure an even line. Cut fabric to a total of 40” (Add 1-2 inches for seam allowance).

Step 5

Step 6: Measure 60” long, mark a line with the white pen throughout the length of the garment to ensure an even straight line.  Cut the fabric adding 1-2 inches for seam allowance. You can always hem the bottom to create a shorter length dress.

Step 7: After the fabric is cut 60 “ long and 40” wide, fold the fabric right sides together cross wise, (the opposite of selvedge-to-selvedge when originally cut).  Iron the fabric where it folds and pin; this will be the top of the dress.

Step 8:  Lay the fabric flat still folded cross-wise with pins in place. Now carefully fold the fabric in half to find the middle marking point in the top of the dress. Mark this point with a white pen. After you mark this point unfold the fabric in half and lay flat.


Step 9:  Lay an L square measuring ruler horizontally against the middle point you just marked down. You want this point to fall directly on the 5” mark. Mark 2 more points, one at 0 and one at 10”. This will be the start of your neckline.

Step 10: Now lay the L-square measuring tape vertically on the middle point line (the mark at  5”). Draw a line with your white pen down to the 10” mark.

Step 10

Step 11: Place the L square ruler on a diagonal, meeting the two points. One point being 0 on the horizontal neckline and the other meeting the 10” mark on the vertical line previously drawn in the last step. Do this for both horizontal points making a V-neck line.

Step 11

Step 12:  After making the V markings with your white pen re-fold the fabric in half.  Iron the fabric flat where the V neck line is placed. Cut the V shape out of the neck line while folded to insure the front neckline and back neckline are even.

 Step 12

Step 12-2

Step 13: After you have cut your neckline out, try on your cover up to see if the neckline fits to your liking. Make adjustments as needed.

 Step 13

Step 14: If you are satisfied with your neckline, fold your fabric back in cross-wise direction, line up your neckline and pin it.

Step 14

Step 15: With your neckline pinned, create a hem on both sides of your dress. My seam was ½”. Sew this seam while back tacking at the beginning and the end of your stitches.

 Step 15

Step 16:  After the seams are sewn on both sides of your fabric lay it flat again folded cross wise and still with the neckline lined up. Use a measuring tape and start from the bottom of your dress and measure up to the 15” mark. This will begin to create your sleeves.  Now, pin together starting from the bottom to the 15” mark. Sew up to this 15” point with both seams lined up. Do this on both sides of your dress.

Step 17: Now that you have the bases of your dress sewn with the sleeves formed and the body of the dress sewn its time to add trim. Create a ½ hem at the bottom of the dress just like you did for the sides of the dress. Iron and sew.

 Step 17

Step 18: Lay your trim out and pin it to the bottom of the dress, with the dress inside out. Remember to change thread in machine if needed to match the trim on your dress. After you pin it, and cut the trim to fit around the dress sew this dress on the same line you previously sewed the hem on the bottom of the dress.

 Step 18

 Step 18-2

Step 19: After finishing  your trim at the bottom of your dress, it is optional to add lace around your neckline. I chose a lace trim to add to my neckline.  You are going to want to pin your lace around your neckline with the ends meeting at the V.

Step 20: Where both ends meet at the V place the together like a sandwich and mark a deep diagonal with a pin on both sides. Do this to the front V and the back V.  Now unpin the lace from your garment but leave the deep V diagonal marks.

Step 21: You may cut the access but leave about an inch from the diagonal marks. Sew the diagonal mark back tacking.

 Step 21

Step 22: After you have sewn the diagonal marks on both V formations, open the two sides up and press down to make a neat V with the lace.

 Step 22

Step 23: After the V is neat and formed; cut any excess lace that is sticking out of the V. Pin the lace to the neckline of your dress. Pin at either side of the lace if it is a wide lace. Sew the lace to your neckline starting with the edge of the lace that is closest to the edge of the dress

 Step 23

Step 23-2

Step 24: After you sew the edge closest to the neck, if your trim is wide sew it at another point to make sure it lays flat on the dress.

 Step 24

Step 24-2

You are now ready to hit the beach or pool in your fabulous new cover up. Great for 4th of July or summer parties !

Optional Add-On

After completing my coverup and trying it on, I wanted it to be more stable and drape on my shoulders more neatly, If you want the same for your cover up follow these steps for an extra simple add on.

Step 1: Measure out a long piece of fabric about 2" wide, the length of mine was about 12", I made mine longer than needed to be safe. Fold the strip together with right sides together and sew along the edge.


Step 2: After sewing this together clip a large safety pin to on edge of the tube, or you may use a loop turner to turn your tube right side out. After turning this inside out it should measure to be an inch wide.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 9.41.44 AM

Step 3: Put your beach cover up on and decide where you want your back strap to be placed, pin it where it will create the maximum stability to your coverup, this will be higher up on your back about where your shoulder blades lay. Turning your cover up inside out, sew two diagonal lines connecting the strap to your garment about an inch apart. Do this on both sides, cut the excess strap off.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 9.41.08 AM

Completed this is what your strap should look like.

Completed back strp

This will insure a stable garment on your shoulders, being that this is an oversized loose cover up it is a good idea, but not required option!

Enjoy the sun and have fun while being stylish during the summer in your trendy beach cover up!


DIY Beach Cover Up - Mood Sewciety
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