We have been absolutely dying to share the Mini Cottesloe tester makes with you!! Once again our pattern testers have done an amazing job and made beautiful creations modeled by the cutest kids! Check out all the adorable makes and I hope you find some inspiration for your mini!
My favourite part of the pattern tester round up is seeing all these beautiful creations modelled by the cutest kids! All our testers have done such an amazing job we just had to share their adorable creations! Happy viewing!
This pattern has been in the works so long i’ve actually lost track of how long – but I am so excited to be able to share it with you now!
Mini Eucalypt is a hardworking wardrobe staple woven tank top and dress pattern. This is absolutely 100% the most used kids pattern in my house. I have used it to make my girls endless summer tops and dresses and even pajamas! I’ve hacked it to make gathered dresses and crop tops and it’s basically the base i start with when i make them anything woven.
This is a fantastic beginner pattern that will help you learn new techniques or if you’re an experienced sewer, is a super quick and satisfying make. It uses very little little fabric and is my favourite way to use up my scraps – i turn them into bias binding to use as the facings. If you need some extra help sewing, all of the Eucalypt pattern tutorials will apply to this pattern as well.
Lets run through what’s included in the pattern.
View A is a woven tank top // View B is a woven tank with centre front seam
This is probably the view we use the most. It’s a fabulous little summer top that is quick to sew and uses minimal fabric. I love using this to make my girls summer pjs as well as tops. one of my favourite hacks is to slash the pattern half way down the side seam and add a gathered skirt. It makes such a lovely dress!
View C is a woven tank dress
This basic tank dress is a great summer dress option, and i’ve also used it to make super cut nighties for my girls. The fit is roomy which makes it easier to slip on and off over their heads.
View D is a woven tank dress with centre front seam
For some reason i love sewing View D in a heavier fabric with feature stopstitching to use as a pinafore style dress. One of the great things about the loose fit of this pattern is that it’s incredibly easy to layer over long sleeves for winter which helps to stretch your little ones wardrobe.
If you want to try adding something down the centre front this is a great option – we’ve even done tutorials on the blog for how to add button plackets to the adult Eucalypt and the steps are the same!
I love sewing up these tops and dresses in my leftover fabrics. The simple lines really allow the fabric to be the feature, and the fit is so roomy and comfortable that it’s always a hit with the kids.
I really hope you love this pattern as much as i enjoy it!
We’d love to see what you’re creating from the new Mini Eucalypt pattern ! Don’t forget to tag your creations #MNminieucalypt and @megannielsenpatterns to share what you’ve been working on, and check out what everyone else is up to!
Don’t have the pattern yet? Order Mini Eucalypt today!
I’m so excited to introduce you to the Mini Cottesloe swimsuit pattern! I started working on this pattern very shortly after I began work on the womens pattern. Making my own swimsuits made me extra irritated when I couldn’t find appropriate swimsuits for my girls. After an incredibly frustrating experience trying to find Bunny a bikini that she could swim laps in that was athletic and age appropriate, she asked if she could have the same one i had made myself. I love it when my kids ask me to make things! So I got to work and from the very first samples i could tell i was going to love this pattern for my girls.
Mini Cottesloe has been thoughtfully designed with age appropriate details and active little lifestyles in mind. The views in this pattern roughly align with the adult pattern, but with adjustments to the design for little ones. What I love about this pattern is that not only does it make adorable, practical and comfy swimsuits – but you can use it for so many other things too! By changing your fabric choice you can make leotards, underwear, trainer crop tops – there are so many options!
Lets have a closer look at all the views!
View A is a one piece swimsuit with back ties
This is Birdie’s favourite view! View A includes a low back and back ties and is able to be fully lined if you need it to be. You can easily omit the ties if you would like, but for kids I would recommend keeping them as they are such active little souls that I think the extra security is necessary to stop the straps slipping off when they jumping around.
View B is a high back one piece
This is your classic one piece swimsuit and you really can’t go wrong with it. This is a fabulous option if your child is swimming laps in or you just want something with clean lines that shows off your swim fabric. You can also use this view to make gorgeous leotards for dance classes, and we’ve already had some testers report doing this with excellent results. As with all views you can fully line this swimsuit and instructions are included in the pattern.
View C is a low rise bikini
This is Bunny’s favourite view! Bunny loves wearing a bikini to swim because it’s so much easier for bathroom breaks. Especially when school swim lessons come around every year, its much easier to wear under her uniform until it’s lesson time. The bikini top for the mini pattern is longer line that the adult pattern and provides a bit more coverage to make it child appropriate. It’s also worth mentioning that the low rise here isn’t as low on the adult pattern, again to make it more kid friendly. This is a fantastic view for using as underwear and i’ve used the bottoms especially to make my girls so many pairs of comfy undies from my knit fabric scraps. We’ve also used the bikini top to make Bunny some cute trainer crop tops as she is entering that preteen stage of life. As with the adult pattern this view includes an optional wide waistband if you would like it. I highly recommend trying this view!
View D is a high waisted bikini with bands
Much like the adult pattern this view includes a higher waistline and wide waistband as well as a wide underbust band. As with all views this one can be fully lined. Birdie is not really fan of bikinis in general as she doesn’t like her tummy out, so this is her preferred bikini view as it only really shows a small amount of abdomen. So possibly a really good option if you want the benefits of a bikini (easy bathroom breaks) without being too exposed.
It’s also super easy to take the bikini top from View C or D and lengthen it to a tankini OR add a circle skirt or gathered rectangle to the bikini top to make a cute skater dress for summer. Honestly the amount of hacking potential in this pattern is beyond silly ;)
If you need some extra help constructing your suit, you can follow the Cottesloe swimsuit sewalong as all the steps are exactly the same with the exception of the shelf bra as that isn’t necessary for this age group.
If you’re wondering about how this pattern flows into the adult pattern, as with all my childrens patterns it’s been carefully graded so that once your child has grown beyond the size 12, they should be ready to step right into the women’s size 0.
I love this pattern SO much and honestly wouldn’t want to put my girls in anything else anymore. I hope you enjoy making it up as much as I do! If you’re wondering about the adorable swim lycra i have used for these samples they are all from Ellie Whittaker studio.
We’d love to see what you’re creating from the new Mini Cottesloe Swimsuit pattern ! Don’t forget to tag your creations #MNminicottesloe and @megannielsenpatterns to share what you’ve been working on, and check out what everyone else is up to!
Don’t have the pattern yet? Order Mini Cottesloe today!
Last year for my Dad’s 60th we went to Bunker Bay in Western Australia to celebrate and had the most wonderful magical time playing on the beach and exploring the sights. I made new swimsuits for Bunny, Birdie and myself, and now that I’ve released the Cottesloe swimsuit pattern I can finally show you a few family photos of us enjoying our swimsuits on holiday!
For myself I made the View D bikini – this is the high waisted bikini with wide waistband and wide underbust band. I actually didn’t include a waistband in this set initially, instead opting to use 1/4″ elastic at the waistline as you would do for View C. After a while of wearing it this way I found I didn’t really like it and much preferred my suits with the wide waistband, so I unpicked the waist and added the waistband. Super easy. Isn’t that the great thing about sewing? I love being able to alter my clothing whenever I want! I actually used an athletic fabric here from Sew Active Fabrics as a bit of an experiment (this one), and gosh it works well!
You probably recognise the fabric from our View C pattern sample. I loved this fabric so much I couldn’t help but use it again in our samples! I’ve worn this swimsuit swimming in the ocean and the pool and everywhere for two years and it still looks brand new. I even use the top as a sports bra! I’m pretty tempted to try more active wear fabrics for swimwear from now on. It feels so supportive and didn’t need any lining so that’s another win in my book.
For Bunny I made her a bikini crop top to go under her rashie, bikini bottoms and a matching rashie. The rashie was self drafted but for the bikini top and bikini bottoms I used the Peekaboo classic panties pattern and it worked really well! By the time I made Birdies i got a bit smarter and instead of drafting a whole new pattern for the rashie I just used the Mini Briar tee as my base and it sewed up like a dream! Her bikini bottoms are also the Peekaboo classic panties pattern. Poor Buddy missed out this time on a handmade suit as I honestly couldn’t find any good boys swimsuit fabric. It was so frustrating!
I bought swim lycra for both of these swim sets at Tessuti fabrics and though Birdie’s suit has lasted really well, Bunny’s is absolutely shredded. This is one of the ways that I learnt that swim lycra is fantastic but has it’s limitations. Bunny does weekly swim lessons year round, and I think that just sped up the natural rate of decay for swim lycra. Birdie’s set on the other hand is still perfect.
This year when I made my kids new rashies and swimmers for summer I ended up purchasing the rashie pattern from Peekaboo patterns. I would definitely recommend that rashie pattern – it’s fantastic!
So that’s a little run down of our handmade swimsuits! I haven’t got photos of me wearing my other Cottesloe swimsuits, so i’ll try and take some flat lays so i can show you what they look like! I may or may not have made Bunny and I matching swim sets…