DIY Disposable Swim Pants for the Larger Swimmer

Summer's just around the your older child ready for swimming? You have a few weeks still to dust off your sewing machine and whip up some disposable swim pants.

Can't find disposable swim pants to fit your larger child?
These will fit a 34" hip or 85 pounds.
There are times when disposable swim pants are an ideal solution for swimmers who must wear incontinence protection. They travel easily to summer camp or on vacation where laundering cloth swim pants would be impossible. Some pools require swim pants for children with continence issues.
Even bigger kids can benefit from these handy disposable pants. These adapted swim pants fit up to a size 34” hip or 85 pounds. They can be made in less than 5 minutes a pair.
Note:  I have no vested interest in the Huggies brand shown; it is simply one available in my area. Feel free to substitute with brands you have locally. The brand I’ve used can withstand a few trips through the washer and dryer to extend their use over several wearings (just make sure the Velcro sides are closed before you start the wash, as with all things Velcro). Cool!
Materials needed:
1 pair disposable swim pants, size 4-5T 

1 pair disposable pull-on pants with hook-and-loop side openings, size 4-5T or larger

Sewing machine, thread, scissors

Step One:
Cut side stretch panels off Pull-Ups where they are fused to the main absorbant pant. These will become side extensions to add up to 4” of unstretched width to each side of the swim pant for a total of 8" of added width!

Pull the two sections of each side panel apart and set aside. Do not throw the absorbent main section away, as it can be used to line the inside of another diaper when extra protection is needed (at night, on an airplane, when spending a long day at the mall…).
Cut open the side panels of the swim pants where they are fused to one another. Leave the fused “seam allowance" attached to one side, as this adds ¼” extra width to each side.

The red arrows show the fused seam allowance still attached
to provide a little more width.
Step Two:
Lay one side panel of the Pull-Up face up on the sewing machine bed. Velcro side up, overlap the front side panel of the swim pant by ¼”, matching top and bottom edges. Stitch down the overlapped edge with a plain or 2-step zigzag stitch set at a wide, long stitch.
Wahoo! Pinless sewing... We're aiming for speed and utility here.

I prefer a 2-step zigzag at 2.0 length and 6.0 width. The 2-step zigzag stitch will not tunnel. A 3-step zigzag is commonly found on most machines and will work also; it's just a tad slower to sew out.
This is a "2-step zigzag" stitch, which keeps the stitches from
pulling into a tunnel.
Repeat for second front side panel.
Step Three:
Overlap the longer side panel from the Pull-Up onto the swim pants back panel and zigzag into place. Make sure the Pull-Up is facing up and the Velcro tape is facing down.
If the shape of the extension is longer than the panel on the swim pant, it can simply be cut off after it is sewn.

Repeat for second back panel.
That’s it! In one quick afternoon you can whip up a whole package of large-sized disposable swim pants to take your child through the summer. Now your older child is ready to slip a swimsuit over their protective disposable swim pants and hit the beach or pool insecurity and style!

 Happy swimming!

If you found this tutorial helpful, please share it with a friend. Let's make life a little easier for all those terrific moms and kids who are adapting their lives creatively!


Anonymous said...

you saved the day!! thank you SO much. i've been searching and searching for disposable swim pants for my 8-year-old autistic son for our vacation in a few weeks and have only found $8.00 apiece swim pants. :( i will definitely do this...or ask my mom to. ;)
thanks again! it was very kind of you to share this.

Rose-Marie said...

Thanks for your kind comment. So glad to be of help!

You'll love these for vacationing...they're so convenient! Plus each pair is dry when you put them on, so you can avoid meltdowns with kids who have sensory issues when it comes to wearing swim pants that are wet from yesterday.

I only wish I could find disposable swim pants without the character designs...

Have a wonderful, relaxing vacation!

Kayt said...

Wouldn't it be easier to sew your own swimmer all together or just buy a reusable cloth swim cover?

Rose-Marie said...

Hi Kayt,

It could be, depending on the way your child uses the swim pants. Since my daughter tends to use hers at camp, disposability is a must (wet resusables that have been wrapped in a plastic bag for a week are not nice!). For me, these go together in just a couple minutes a pair and so it works well for us. Other folks may certainly find other solutions better for their situation.

"echo" said...

hi, my name is "echo" Im diaperd 24/7 due to health problems. and right now I use pampers cruisers with extra protection size 6 at bed time. and pampers cruisers size 7 during the day. and I have to modifie them both to fit right and to get a nice snug fit. I found out that the pampers cruisers size 7 are the same exact same size as a pampers with extra protection size 6 there is no diffrence in size. but the way I do it it works great. I cant use adult products due to my size. is what I would like to know can you make a disposable swim pant like what your showing to fit a waist size of 24"=60.96cm to 32"=81.28cm. I cant find disopsable swim pant that will work for me due to my size. and I like swim pants with cartoon prints on them. can you make me a set? I need at leat 6 pairs and Im wiiling to pay top dollar $$. because I know it takes time to make them. I cant enter the pool with out a diaper on. please help. thanks for your time. god bless. and have a great day."echo"

Rose-Marie said...

Echo, I completely understand your frustration with sizing! There seems to be a serious gap between the end of childrens' sizing and the beginning of adults'. My daughter has stopped growing right in this no-mans-land, so I empathize with your situation.

My daughter has worn these adapted swim pants at a waist size of 24-29". Would that be large enough?

I'd love to talk with you off the blog comments. If you send me a note (my email link is in the sidebar; I hesitate to write it out because of spamming), I'd be happy to help you.

Allison said...

Thanks for posting this. I am a mom who also loves to sew creatively for my son who has cerebral palsy. I will definitely be pointing people to your blog from my Facebook page CANDOGOODS. Check it out for other inventive organizational ideas to help yourself and your child.

Rachel T said...

Thanks for a great tutorial and a lifesaver of an idea. I too wish we could find swim diapers without the characters -- oh well, my son's been sporting some Disney Princess swimmers for a few years now -- that's all I could find in our Target. Since we put a regular suit on top, the annoyance is relatively minor. . .

Anonymous said...

What a clever idea - I'm autistic and urinary incontinent both day and night, at present I have plastic overpants from Vive Medical which are "supposed" to work and keep pool water out of the nappy I wear, but when ever I come out of the pool I always find I'm walking out with more water from the pool in the nappy than needed. At present I put the plastic overpants over the top of a Drynite (Drynites don't seem to absorb as much as the large adult nappies). I was trying to figure out if there was anyway to use the little swimmers pants - I did look in continence choice as well to see if they had any swim pants at reasonable prices, the only ones they had was the overpants at £5 or full swimming shorts at nearly £60 which when you consider that a normal pair of swimming shorts is normally about £5-£10, £60 is a bit extortionate and the overpants don't really keep that much water out (I have to wonder whether or not it's actually protecting the pool from urine anyway as the amount of water in the Drynite probably releases urine into the water anyway - but the pool does have a sign up requesting wearing of swim nappies although I have noticed that despite the amount of water in the Drynite it does have urine staining on it so I guess it is catching urine first, and then extra pool water just gets in there afterwards).

My waist size is 32" so this idea would be great. I'll give it a go - just wondering though if there is any other way of doing it other than sewing as I'm not very good at sewing, maybe with stick on velcro or something.