How to Sew DIY Swim Jammers (easier than you think)

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It’s so easy to make boy’s swim jammers! They are really just biker shorts made with swim fabric, in other words, short leggings with swim fabric!

You’ll need a leggings pattern to make these – try my free basic leggings pattern here.

I had never seen swim jammers until my boys were on a swim team last year and even then I thought they were pretty inappropriate at first. Which brings up the question, why do we let our girls wear skin tight and comparably skimpy swimwear without a second thought? But I digress… if your boys are not on a swim team you may like my DIY Boardshorts post better.


But I have 2 boys on a swim team, and I recently discovered how much $$$ I can save by sewing the boys jammers. They are totally not complicated. Think leggings made shorter in swimsuit fabric. In fact, I used a girl’s legging pattern and swimsuit fabric and elastic from The Fabric Fairy.

With one yard of camo swimsuit fabric (around $10) and less than 2 yards of swim elastic (.45 per yard) I have already made both boys camo jammers. Woo hoo! FYI, that was their fabric choice, not mine. I have to compromise sometimes.


I have learned that the trick to making these fit right is measuring the body and the pattern first. I traced and cut out the legging size that matched my boy’s height (cutting it off at the length I wanted). I carefully measured the front and back piece where I imagined his hips would be – without the seam allowances. Then I added these numbers together and multiplied it by 2 (for 2 fronts and 2 backs) After measuring my skinny boy’s hips I found that the leggings would be 8 cm too large.

So I made an accordion fold lengthwise to remove 2 cm from each pattern piece. That would remove 8 cm from the shorts total.

I also cut the elastic to fit his waist exactly, ignoring the pattern’s instructions.


And they fit! You’ll have to use a stretch stitch or serger, just like working with other knit fabrics, but I think you’ll be surprised by how easy and fast these are to sew.

And if your boys have never worn jammers before, they’ll be surprised by how much faster they can swim. 🙂

See the competition swimsuit that I sewed for my daughter last year too.

Happy Sewing!


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8 Comments

  1. Michelle White says:

    Wow those look cool! Are they down to his knees?
    I have never seen those before!

  2. Jessica LePine says:

    We live by the beach and my boys use jammers under their board shorts to stop chafing on their thighs. This is awesome! I wonder if I could make compression shorts to hold a cup for baseball? I might just try it!

  3. mapsmommy says:

    Hi Caroline,
    Did you line the boys jammers? Is the legging pattern one of the free tutorials on sewcanshe? My son is about to start his second year with one of the other swim teams that meets at the same pool where your kids swim. Thanks!
    Melinda

  4. Great idea for the pattern. How did you create the lining for the support in the front?

  5. How did that fabric hold up for the boys? I was very curious. Thanks for this blog post, how awesome.

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