In layman's terms, a maillot is a one-piece bathing suit / bodysuit. This tiny garment requires very little fabric. My original idea, in fact, was to create the garment directly on the doll. But then I realized this is such a useful basic garment, I'd probably want to cut more than one and using different types of stretch fabrics. So I sacrificed an extra bit of lace to drape the garment and then used a fresh bit of lace for the final bodysuit. In addition, I used the foot of a man's sock for the navy blue bathing suit.
The lace in this garment (which you can also find in the stores) has 2-way stretch, but you'll need to figure out which direction has less stretch to determine the "straight grain of the fabric." In other words, you'll want everything to stretch more horizontally than vertically.
|Steps a, b, c, d|
|Steps e - f|
Cut away the excess at each side (e). Use a soft piece of chalk or pencil to mark the seams where the pins are (f). Remove the pattern from the doll (g) then trace the markings onto tissue paper (h). Fold the front tissue paper pattern in half (i), making slight corrections to the one side so that the pattern will fall symmetrically on the body. Then trace off to the other side. Be sure to check to make sure the side seams of the front and back line up. If not, adjust so that they line up. Also, check to make sure the bottom seams match up as well.
|Steps g - h|
You could sew this by hand. However if you decide to machine sew lace or any other delicate fabric, you will need tissue paper to keep the machine from gobbling up your maillot. Place enough tissue paper under the fabric to line the entire seam, then stitch. Simply tear away the tissue paper and you're finished. I turned the edges over and hand stitched. However, if you have stretch lace or elastic, pin it in place while stretching slightly and hand stitch it in place.
You can use non-stretch lace over the legs but not at the top because it will no longer stretch over the doll's hips. You can add straps at the top and fasten them to the inside of the back using dots of Velcro.
In short, this is a very basic garment that can be worn under jeans, a sarong OR as the foundation for limitless creativity!
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