A little while later, I was at Value Village and took a look at the sewing patterns. And wouldn't you know, there's Simplicity 8553, from 1978, in Meg's size! I thought that might be a good way to get going. We picked out the fabric together and then I had a panic attack at home when I realized the fabric didn't stretch as much as the guide on the pattern. And the pattern called for 2 way stretch fabric, but isn't swimsuit fabric 4 way stretch? Added to that, Meg was one size in the chest, and a much bigger size in the waist. Bigger than any of the sizes on the pattern! And then, there was the issue of the length. Just how much should it stretch to be the right length? She's only 5, and is tall, but probably not as tall as the size 8/10 that I was using.I carefully followed all the steps, in the order given (although I didn't really pay attention to the lay out of the pieces, so I've ended up with a LOT of the bright pink left; it called for .8m but since I laid it out differently, I used maybe .4m). If I was doing it again, I would change when I did the button holes for the ties to come through to after sewing the side seams and putting on the binding, to ensure it lines up better. Or, make it like my suit and have the ties come through the binding.
She loves it though and we've already bought fabric for another suit. Or two. However, there really wasn't a single skill I learned while making this suit that I then used to make my own suit. LOL.