Monday 24 June 2013

Full Covering Swimming Costume - Mini Tutorial

full covering swimming costume burkini muslim tutorial

I made a Full Covering Swimming Costume for my daughter and one for me too! I originally thought about buying one but when I saw the prices I thought they were sooooo expensive and even then you are not guaranteed to get the exact size you want! So after Googling what fabrics would be required I searched for the best deal which happened to be on Ebay. I Googled Burkini and full covering swimming costumes to get some ideas of designs to inspire me!

The swimming costume was actually quite easy to make. I used one of my daughter's top's and a pair of her trousers to trace around for a pattern. These costumes are great for Muslim Women or women who just want something more modest. You can adapt this costume tutorial to suit your own style.

  • Swimming Costume Fabric (there are a variety of mixes from Spandex/Nylon/Lycra/Polyester) I used 2 different colours of fabric.
  • Sewing Machine and thread.
  • Buttons and Elastic

full covering swimming costume burkini muslim tutorial

My Instructions:

To make the Tunic

I used a current long top of my daughter's and placed it on the fabric and traced around it (I didn't include the arms as I was using contrasting fabric for them.) - leaving extra space for sewing hems and also adding a high neck! I then cut out 2 pieces exact same size for the front and the back.

I personally wanted to add a design so added a long rectangle piece of contrasting fabric diagonally across the tunic. I simply cut the main parts of the tunic where I wanted the diagonal piece to go so that each tunic part was now cut into 2.

I then used the sleeves from my daughter's original top and placed them onto the contrasting fabric to make a pattern for the sleeves. I then cut out 2 pieces for the sleeves exact same size leaving a little extra for the hem. I actually used contrasting fabric to make some cuffs for decoration.

Once I had all the pieces I then sewed them all together. I started by sewing the cuffs to the sleeves and then the sides of the sleeves up first. Then I attached the diagonal piece of fabric to the tunic. Then I sewed the top part of the tunic at the neck to the top of the armhole and then from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom of the tunic. I then attached the arms to the tunic. I then made sure you I had stitched all seams securely, going over a few of them to strengthen them.

To make the Trousers

I again used a pair of my daughter's trousers and used them as a template to make a pattern for the swimming trousers. I then decided to add contrasting hems to the trousers too so sewed these to the bottom.  I then sewed the trouser legs together to make a pair of trousers. I added a high hem at the top to make a waistband to add some elastic to make them fit more securely. 

To make the head Piece

I then added a head piece, sorry not many photos! I cut out a rectangle piece of fabric and made a wide headband shape. I then cut out a circle shape of contrasting fabric and sewed this to the headband making a hat! I measured our head size to get the size I wanted for this piece. I then attached the hat to the top of the high neck of the swimming tunic at the back and coming around to the front, making sure that I ended the stitches so that it covers the ears. You can hem the part of the neck showing at the front, but I didn't as this fabric doesn't fray!

Extra Sewing

I then added buttons to the trousers on either side of the hip (below the waist). I then added to the tunic some wide elastic ( the ones you find inside trousers with buttons to extend the waist!) I had a lot of this in my stash as I always remove pieces from old clothing that have some use like buttons/zips etc. This enables the tunic and the trousers to attach so not to separate when swimming!

I made myself a swimming costume after this one but didn't bother adding contrasting cuffs and kept design simple which meant it was a lot easier and quicker to make. It is a personal choice as to how you want to change the design. I made the trousers quite baggy but some people like them a bit tighter which is easy to alter!

Here are some great You Tube tutorials I have found online to help with the sewing:

A YouTube Video on how to make Leggings (without the elastic waist - but that is not too difficult!)

A YouTube Video on how to make a tank top. This shows you how to make a paper pattern if you wish and how to sew the front and top tunic together!

A YouTube video on how to add sleeves:

An Elastic Waistband Tutorial I found:

These are just a few videos, but there are many videos online showing you how to do specific sewing tasks that you may find more useful.


  1. Thanks for this post Karima, funny I never thought about making your own swimming costume like this, I've also always thought that the prices of these are ridiculously high. You really make things look so easy, Masha-Allah.

    PS: Hope you are doing well and preparing spiritually for the beautiful month of Ramadhaan

  2. Assalamualykum
    JazzakAllah for this super easy tutorial. Will definitely try to make on for my daughter InshaAllah.


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